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    Monday, May 27, 2024

    Psalm 146: 1-4

    1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
    I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
    2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them.
    3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, and in that day their thoughts perish.
    4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!
    whose hope is in the Lord their God…

     

    A central question of faith: Do we truly believe in a God who intervenes in a broken world? Why else pray if we do not believe in that? Was not that the task and the central reality visible in Jesus?

    This, then, is the task of the church. To prepare disciples who can sit still and small in wilderness silence. Disciples who can sit at the feet of the Lord, who know they must prepare. How can it do this? Perhaps the church must model smallness and weakness. It too needs to come silently into the Presence. There, in its brokenness and weakness, it can instruct. The lesson: Know your brokenness. In your brokenness, the church will teach, God will become visible. God will intervene on your behalf.

    “The hope of his glory emerges for us when nothing but the existentiality of God remains, and He becomes to us the veritable and living God,” Karl Barth wrote. “He, whom we can apprehend only as against us, stands there – for us.” [Epistle to the Romans, London: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 237.]

    Eugene Peterson, commenting on Jeremiah, said this: “Far too many people… go to religion the way I go to a baseball game – to escape the muddle, to have everything clear, to find a good seat from which they can see the whole scene at a glance, evaluate everyone’s performance easily and see people get what they deserve. Moral box scores are carefully penciled in. Statistics are obsessively kept.”

    He saw that many religious meetings were designed specifically to complete those tasks, to reduce the world to something that could be organized and managed.

    “The problem with such… religion is that the clarity lasts only as long as the meeting.” [Run With the Horses, 197-198.]

    We in the church cannot depend on the systems of the earth. Those systems, much like us, are broken and weak, helpless and harried, concerned and frightened. Let us, then, turn to heaven. Our help lies there.

     

    Hymn of the day: Hymn of Heaven. Online at Rossford UMC - Media

     

    Rev. Lawrence Keeler