Sometimes the answers are too heavy for us to understand. Sometimes we have to put our trust in God who promised to never leave us. Sometimes we have to be patient and accepting - we may not know the why, but we do know the creator of the universe. The Proverbs were written for the young who needed guidance toward God, but also for, the older "mature" who can still be guided to grow in wisdom and relationship with God. Proverbs still matters today. Everything we need to know in life is not found on the Internet. We need to open the Bible, and trust in the inspired word of God.
Because I believe we are all in the need of wisdom as the issue of disaffiliation and moving forward is something every Methodist Church has been confronted with today. Some of the wisest folks I have known in life were my grandmother and some very special teachers in my life. I also consider my wife, Katherine, to be one of the wisest people in my circle. Remembering this was more than 900 years before the birth of Jesus, what Soloman was telling us was both a prophesy about the Messiah, but also an explanation of the back story of who the Messiah was, or is, in relation to God. We search the world over for wisdom today. I believe in the last 30 or 40 years we have begun to realize we cannot expect wisdom from our politicians or our news media. Still many of us are longing for true wisdom to help us along life's journey.
At creation there was no need for the United Nations. There was no need for NATO. The world was one perfect community. You've got to admit that sounds pretty good. There was a perfect world - until we got a hold of it and began to mess things up. What that our destiny? Is that a human excuse for understanding why the world is the way it is? If we believe the words of the Bible, in it not an excuse, but an explanation of how we got to where we are today. In God's perfect creation all the world spoke one language and communicated directly with Him. This was God's plan, being lived out in grace until sin walked in. Sin has left us with nothing but remnants of that past life at creation.
It is too late for this shooter, and too late to do anything but mourn his victims. But it is never too late to pray for others who need the power of Jesus to touch their lives. There has been a great deal of pain and anger expressed in the media. The politicians and blaming each other as they normally do. But there has been a rising tide of such phrases as, "I am tired of your thoughts and prayers, we need to do something." Some anti prayer comments were quite graphic and not something I am going to repeat in polite company. Let me say categorically that prayer IS doing something. Pray that our hearts will never be hardened by the violence epidemic that is upon us. Pray for those who will face years and years of grief. Pray for the first responders and others who must directly face such nightmare situations. Pray that this world will be renewed in the love of Jesus Christ.
Truth because truth seems to be at a subjective premium today. Today I want to look back on what Jesus considers the truth. That truth is Jesus. No one else. May we continue to know the truth of Jesus Christ as savior of the world. The truth is also realizing the glory of God is so much greater than any one church, any expression of Christian faith, or anything created by people. Glory becuase those who love God can no longer simply be about what is best for each of us. Or even what is best for the United Methodist Church or St. Paul Church.
If nothing else sticks with you today, make this our call to shake off the dirt and keep moving forw...
He took us all on his back, every one of us. He put our salvation and restoration to a right relationship with God as the call that was more important than his own life. Today, we have the benefit of looking back to what happened on that first Holy Week. Even as the crowd turned against Jesus, we know that he did not desert us. Even though he asked God to take the cup away from him, he gave us his will for the path of following God's will. The path to the cross becomes real with Palm Sunday. We know what is coming. On Maundy THursday there is the Passover MEal which became "the last supper" and the first communion. Then the arrest. The trial. The walk to Golgatha. The nails. The cross. Jesus' final words. Then the three days of darkness until the women arrive at the tomb on Sunday morning and find, it's empty. Praise God!
Put yourself is Mary's shoes for a second. This guy brought your brother back from the dead. He supported you when your sister got bent out of shape when you didn't want to help her serve dinner. This guy was special. She was beginning to see how special. She realized Jesus was the son of God. This devotion is contrasted with the greed and selfishness of Judas Iscariot. While he said he wanted to give more to the poor, what he really wanted was to get his hands on the cash that would be generated from selling the perfume. Two extremes demonstrated in one simple story about a dinner party.
When we don't know how to lean of God, or lean on each other in times of need, we are opening the door to so much negative stuff. When we don't ask God to save us, we neglect the fact that only through the saving grace of Jesus Christ are we spared from the sins that stain our lives and burden our hearts. I am just as guilty of this as anybody else. But I have got to ask does it really have to be this way? No. We are created to worship God. We are built to be in community. Even the most introverted among us needs a hug or a helping hand now and then.
Transfiguration Sunday is about recognizing the LIttle Light inside every Christian. The light that changes each of us. The light that needs to shine all over Temple, Texas, and across the world. The light that gives us peace and promise every day. I want to share that light with you. I want you to realize you have the power to share that light with others too.