written in November 2019 ~ slightly adapted for today
October 29, 2022
But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. [Malachi 4:2a]
O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things...Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth...He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. [Psalm 98:1a, 4a, 9b]
For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work...Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. [2 Thessalonians 3:11,13]
When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately...By your endurance you will gain your souls. [Luke 21:9, 19]
It is election season in this country, as I write, and all the potential and threatening narratives of outcomes and events around the world seem to be written into this Gospel, indeed in all of these readings. The vitriol, derisiveness, and divisiveness of the electioneering has families and friends turning against each other. There are earthquakes, hurricanes, famines, terrorist acts, random violence, personal tragedies, and somewhere there are lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My, and things that go bump in the night.
Let us take a breath and stop living in the fear that more terrible things will happen. Yes, of course they will, they ALWAYS HAVE, from the beginning of time not a day goes by on this earth without something dreadful happening to someone, or to many, and the instant access to muddied headlines confirms the fear we want to have to keep us from moving forward in faith. But life is also filled with many wonderful and life-giving moments, if we but turn to the light to see and appreciate them.
Jesus tells us not to fear wars and insurrections, betrayals, natural disasters, and not to be led astray by those who falsely claim to know when the end time is near. Whether or not you are living in a difficult time at this moment, or even living with any semblance of religious/spiritual faith, Jesus told us: I will give you words and a wisdom...By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Whatever your fears, know that the fears of others are the same. Let our enduring work begin with prayer, or a thought, or a hope, for confidence in the sun of righteousness to rise. Let us shake ourselves out of idleness borne of the paralysis of fear that masks as hate and anger. Let us move out of living in pre-grief to finding purpose in our earthly time. Let us feed our faith or hope together, and never, ever, weary of doing what is right. Whatever is to come, take heart in the assurance that if we stay together on this path, our minds, hearts, and souls will not perish through any evil doing now nor in any apocalypse then. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
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