Monday, November 3, 2014

No Comfort

Jesus said, “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.” Luke 12:49-59 

On Sunday, the Second of November is snowed for awhile in Massachusetts.  Yesterday the time changed and the world changed with it. Standing in this thin time of year, where our worlds are on the verge and the veil between living and dead grows rightly liminal, we awake some days to changes we neither desire nor are ready for. Life throws us curves, hounds us with storms and torments, and loving people turn on each other all too easily. This time of year, as the holidays loom, and the memories crowd in, we can be overwhelmed by loss and wickedness the seems to be all around. Fortunately it is to this world God has come and it is for this exact world and time, the Divine continues to interject love.

Jesus challenges the peoples' romantic and nostalgic desires. At some time, we all want to live in a snug little blanket fort of our childhood. A place where we can dream and be idle and all our cares are seen to. Jesus invites us to wake up to the real adult world. A place where our faith has to be strong and where we have to be honest with ourselves, first and foremost. This world has no get out of jail free cards. Despite our nostalgic and romantic fantasies, God promises more, if we are but humble and fearless in our faith. Despite the storms and traumas that swirl around us, God is bringing new life forth. God is renewing the earth, despite the harsh blanket that has fallen.

Today I ask God to help me be honest with myself and others. May our expectations be tied to our service and may we be ready to stand firm despite the traumas and torments of these times. May we shelter the needy and welcome the homeless, and in so doing welcome the in-breaking of God's kingdom.

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