Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Aug 23, 2020; Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 51: 1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 11:33-12:8; Matthew 16: 13-20
“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteous- ness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.” Isaiah 51: 4-6
What can we say about the goings on in the world? Disasters EVERYWHERE. Crazy weather systems, never seen before in certain parts of the world, are now common. A worldwide PANDEMIC. And I’m sure you can add your own personal experiences to the mix.
It would not be out of line to say that this world is a scary place. Especially over these past few months, it is easy to get caught up in all the chaos bombarding us and the lack of control we have over it. To be honest, if this world was my only hope, I probably would have been overcome with anxiety many times over: Do I have Covid? Am I passing on Covid? Let’s get out of the house? I can’t handle being out of the house? Let’s see each other virtually? I can’t stand another virtual meeting? Should the kids go to school? Do we need to go to work? Who’s going to babysit? Do I want my children to be exposed? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
Sure, all these things go through our minds. At least they have gone through my mind at one time or another, …and I can’t imagine I’m alone. These have been the things we think about, and boy do we have time to ‘think’ and to let our minds go wild in these days.
Yes these days are scary. But, these days are not all we have, these days do not have to have power over us. In fact, these days were foretold to us thousands of years ago by Isaiah and then again in Revelation. Yes, the heavens will vanish, and the earth will wear out. Yes, the human race will even ‘die like flies’. But the Salvation of the LORD will last forever. Although the world and our earthly existence may be in turmoil and unpredictable, the righteousness and faithfulness of the LORD will never fail. As we trust in him, our days will occur just as they were marked out before we were ever born. So none of us will live one day longer nor die one day sooner than ordained. No this does not mean we can go around doing whatever we want without regard for our neighbour. In fact, these days should exemplify the sacrifice of self-indulgence and display the love of Christ to all. Then in those times when we can get sucked into the fear and worry, let us turn our thoughts to God and think on him. Let us deny our situations and occupy our minds with words of praise and thanksgiving to our God, who has the power to dispel all fears. For where Christ is, Satan will flea. So consume your thoughts of God’s goodness and your anxieties will have no power over you. Personally, I have been singing over and over and over in my head the Doxology we sing in worship:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN!
So despite what is happening around us, we can stand firm on the Rock of our Salvation. We can stand in the shelter of his wings and his justice will be a light to the nations. We can fix our minds on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We do not have to carry our burdens and fears alone. We do not have to coward in the corner of our homes. But we can give each and every fear, anxiety, and concern over to the LORD, and then sing praises to him for the blessings we have this day and his salvation which will one day be ours; no sooner, no later.
Prayer: Dear Lord, take my burdens and worries and grant me your peace. I praise you for all your blessings and your ever present love and faithfulness. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. AMEN!