I so wanted to preach upon last week’s texts from Psalm 146 and Mark 7, but time and circumstance wait for no one! The “moving finger having writ, moves on.” I did keep Psalm 146 but thought Romans 13 and Revelation 13 have a lot to say about Sept 11, Rowan County, KY, church, and love.
The events around us have moved from immediate painful personal losses to the events of the nation and world. We walk with BOTH our personal concerns as well as those of the world and community. We are both private and public Christians. We are both local and worldwide. We are both “in the world and not of it.”
Go figure…most of us are not hermits nor monks nor Presidents nor Senators. Somewhere in between! Citizens in community and in church. For some things….against some things.
The texts from Psalms and Romans and Revelation are just “packed” and no single sermon nor worship do them justice….. But we will try. We will pray and listen to the Word. May God give the increase.
Luke 10:42 “One thing is needful…..”
If you are like most of us at Thanksgiving, you make a list of people, places, and things to be thankful for. They will be uttered in prayerful thanks around the dinner table surrounded by family or friends, co-workers, teammates, or other social groups. You will be “counting your blessings.” All good and well and a right thing to do.
I propose, as a slight variation of giving thanks for many received blessings, that in your private moments of prayer during this Thanksgiving Season you think upon giving thanks for one specific Being. Our God, Creator and Maker, Savior and Lord. Don’t go over what the Giver has given you but rather just pause in devotion to the One who makes all things, all gifts possible. Quietly focus your silent moment on God and God alone. As if you had virtually nothing else at all….but God.
I know we can’t just quietly stay in that place of “one thing needful” for we are called to enjoy, use, and share what gifts we have received. But……God alone for one lone moment this Season. Find your prayer closet….wherever that might be and take a full 5 minutes.
Think upon “one thing needful”….. and be glad. The Mary of Luke 10:42 did……….
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. ~~ I Corinthians 15:22 RSV
Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell are spoken of as The Four Last Things. They tend to be interpreted chronologically, since life is more easily expressed in notions of time.
Rev. Robert Farrar Capon, though, imagines these Last Things as being similar to the layers of an onion. There will be tears as we peel away the layers.
The tears that surround Death and Judgment are obvious: The former tells us we are mortal; the latter reminds us that our lives will be seen in all their goodness and badness. And Hell makes us weep as it reminds us of separation and isolation.
But crying over Heaven?! Well, who hasn’t cried for joy? At the center of the onion, and of all our life, is the heart of all Creation, the Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, who makes us weep for joy. Only in Christ will all be made eternally alive, every sin be forgiven, and every tear finally wiped away.
Doesn’t it make your eyes water?!!
PRAYER: O loving and forgiving God, may our tears flow freely in this world, but disappear completely in your New Creation. May we trust that all the Saints are rejoicing and are at perfect peace with eyes clear and full of praise and wonder!