Today's Gospel (8/7/10) is from Luke 12:32-48 and in part talks about the good steward who, entrusted with the master's household, manages it according to the master's will, awaiting his return, without knowing when the master will return. It is a recurring theme in many of Jesus' parables and throughout the NT -- the return of Jesus.
We all know that there may be no tomorrow for us. It is not just that we do not know the day and the time of Jesus' return; but rather we do not know the day or time of our own personal death.
But, we should know that there will always be a "day after tomorrow". Do we live our lives with that in mind? To often we are concerned with the "tomorrow" that may or may not come. We live our lives, making decisions for a tomorrow which may never come. For us, tomorrow is our present; it lies within the timeline of our earthly life. When our earthly life ends, there will be no more tomorrows.
And yet, there will be a day after tomorrow -- a new day, one which continues our journey into eternity. That day begins a new chapter in our lives which reflects reflects the decisions which we made up to that point but which cannot affect those decisions. It is a door through which we walk with no return.
What makes that different than the life we lead today? We cannot undo a single event or action in our past, can we? Time is a one-way street and there is no way for us to turn around or back up. And yet, God, who exists outside of time, knows and loves us. He is a merciful and loving God. And as such, He gives us the opportunity to repent and atone for our failures again and again, as long as we exist in the present. We must be ever mindful, though, that we may not get a "tomorrow" to repent. So, our lives should be lived, the decisions we make, the things we do, should always be with the thought of the day after tomorrow for us. For if we plan for that day, think and act with that day in mind, we can always be prepared for when the master returns to us.
Originally posted on August 8, 2010
Thursday, August 29, 2013
TO GODHad an interesting thought as a result of a discussion between a group of people with quite varied religious beliefs -- we are on a journey to God with people, not on a journey with God to people. Our ultimate destination is not to be one with this world but to be one with God. Our journey, however, reflects the passengers with whom we travel.
Originally posted on July 10, 2010
ON SUFFERINGIt has been two months now since I had to put one of my dogs, Ginger, to sleep.
She wasn't that old - about eight - and she was just a big mutt, but I loved that dog. Not like a person, but still she had been part of our family for so long. There was a simplicity in her love and now there is a hole in my heart that she used to occupy.
She suffered from seizures and, despite medication, one Friday morning she began experiencing a series of seizures which did not stop. Rather than have her continue to suffer needlessly, I took her life.
If she was a human being, I would have gone to extraordinary efforts to save her. But she was only a dog, not human. And yet, through her death I had an opportunity to consider the value of human life. I've watched people suffer, some with dignity and strength, some without. Too often people say we should terminate the life of the sick and the elderly to ease their suffering, but they are not dogs. God's grace, and his mercy, cannot be dismissed prematurely. And during this season of Lent, as we approach Holy Week and the Passion of Jesus, it is worth our while to realize that God did not cut Jesus' suffering short, because as humans our suffering isn't needless. It is an opportunity for God's grace and, while we may never know in this life the whys associated with the suffering, we can be sure that God is there with us, just as He was with His son.
Originally posted on March 17, 2010
SHOVEL AND ROPESin is like a shovel in our hands. We use it to dig a hole. At first, it seems easy to step out of the hole, but as long as the shovel is in our hands, we feel compelled to continue digging. The deeper we go, the darker it gets around us as the sides begin to block out the light. Soon we reach a point where we are in the dark with the only light directly above us, and we can no longer climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.
God's mercy is like a rope that dangles into the hole. It is always with us, with Jesus on the other end, and the hole is never so deep that the rope cannot reach us. While we cannot dig ourselves out of the hole with the shovel, we can always reach up and grab the rope. If we are too tired to climb out of the hole with the aid of the rope, Jesus is always there to pull us up.
But in order to reach up and hold onto the rope, we have to let go of the shovel. We cannot climb the rope with one hand and hold the shovel with the other.
What are the shovels that you hold onto?
Originally posted on March 8, 2010
EMPTY VESSELI was asked the other day by my spiritual advisor how I would describe my relationship with God. After much discussion in which I finally said I had a hard time articulating what I felt, he asked me, "Then, how will you tell the people that you minister to how to relate to Jesus?"
As I sat there thinking, a thought came to me. "You are an empty vessel, which fills and is poured out only when needed."
How true that is! When I try to come up with the words to say to others, I frequently fail. It is only when I let the Spirit work through me that the right words come. I can usually tell when they are the right words because I don't remember them clearly afterward.
It is a humbling thought to know that your best work comes, not at your beck and call, but only when God works through you. My challenge is to find the ways in which I can allow that to happen, unimpeded by my own efforts.
Originally posted on February 26, 2010
CHALLENGES OF MERCYI hate to admit it, but one of my oft-repeated periods of discomfort is when I see someone on a street corner (or in a parking lot, etc.) asking for a handout. What should be my Christian response?
In discussing this with several other sojourners the other day, much was said about the reasons one should or should not give to the person. On the one hand, Jesus commands us, at the risk of our eternal salvation, to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger. However, social scientists (and those who have made it off of the streets) have said that by giving money to a panhandler you do not help them, feed them, or clothe them but merely enable them to continue in self-destructive practices.
In reflecting on this, I've realized that when I am confronted with these situations, they SHOULD make me uncomfortable, whether I give money to assuage my guilt or not. They are one of God's ways of calling to me, reminding me of the obligations I have as a Christian to meet the needs of my brothers and sisters. So I need to learn to discern each and every situation individually, and should at a minimum pray to God for guidance. I need to learn to listen to the little voice in my head that tells me how I should respond. And I should never be complacent with my responses, for every time I see someone in need I in turn need to turn to God for advice and assistance.
I'm surprised to say I'm glad I'm uncomfortable. (I know I won't be glad when it happens.) Maybe I should keep some dollar bills handy, just in case.
Originally posted on February 24, 2010
PRAYERS FOR HAITIThe feeling of helplessness which comes over one when hearing of the devastation in Haiti can be overwhelming, especially for those who are "doers." But it is often too easy to forget that prayer is the most powerful tool available for those who are in dire need, for only God can provide the magnitude of love and aid necessary in times of catastrophic events. He inspires the hearts of those whom He chooses to help others.
Take time to pray today -- really pray -- for those who have died, for those who continue to suffer, and for ourselves that in these times we may hear God's quiet call to us.
Originally posted on January 13, 2010
A NEW DAY
If the bishop can create a blog, I suppose I can too. There won't be a lot here, but I hope that what is here you will find interesting, even thought-provoking, and a recognition that we are on this eternal journey together.Originally posted on January 8, 2010