Originally posted on November 18, 2019
This is a portion of my sermon yesterday. The scriptures we read were from the Revised Common Lectionary: Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, & Luke 21:5-19.
The prayer that I reference is the Collect for the Day (also from the RCL) and the same one I posted yesterday: ‘Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.“
There was another shooting at another school this past Thursday and amidst all of the political scandal playing out on the news, it seems it barely got a mention. Perhaps it wasn’t “bad” enough – there were “only” five shot and 3 dead. Or is it that this is just common news these days?
Or are we just burying our heads in the sand? We wonder if this type of event will ever end and we grow weary of doing what is right because it doesn’t seem to matter. We’ve decided that only evil persists and we’ve forgotten that love and compassion persist as well.
We want quick answers instead of an eternal story of God’s creation and so we stop looking to God for answers. And we became afraid. We look at the immediate circumstance around us and we do the exact thing Jesus tells us not to – we lose sight of the eternal and we become frightened and terrified.
Jesus gives us the difficult information that all of these terrible events will happen and in spite of it all, we are not to lose sight of God and God’s promise to set things right because God chooses to work out his eternal plan through each of us, IF we are willing participants of love and compassion. Because love and compassion do persist and they are stronger than evil.
Instead of giving up in fear, we let’s ask God to give us the strength and courage to keep loving, to keep looking for ways to show the world God’s love.
Instead of screaming WHY, let’s ask God to show us how we can shine the light of heaven into the dark corners of evil.
The prayer we read this morning is my very favorite – we ask God to direct us to know scripture in such a way that it is a part of our very cellular structure, just as food we eat becomes a part of us, just as the body and blood of Jesus we consume at communion are part of us and make us part of God and each other.
When God’s word is so much a part of us, we don’t have to fret about defending our faith and way of life. All that we need to live a life different from the world – the courage, strength, patience, and peace, will come from God. When we know God this way, we know the hope of eternal life – that life isn’t about quick answers and fixes but about living for God’s greater purpose and glory, trusting God is always with us, guiding us and loving us. In our endurance, we gain the eternal life our souls are created for.
Each and every one of us is part of God’s plan. We are the instrument that God has chosen to spread love. We have work to do to outbalance the evil in this world. Together let’s keep our vision long, working in the moment to dispel fear with hope and conquer evil with love, trusting God who is always faithful to us. Amen.