Friday, March 31, 2017

Despair to Hope

It can be a long journey. From a place and circumstance of despair, we are hesitant or maybe even reluctant, to realize that hope is a possibility. Even if we reflect on the specifics of our own context, let alone the apparent unraveling that surrounds us, we can find our selves rather quickly encumbered and rendered still.

However, maybe it is precisely from a position or in an attitude of stillness that we need to be in order to hear. Listening to the creative and redemptive voice of God amid the noise of our world is no easy task. Discerning the bluster from the Truth takes care. Being intentional and proactive in our minding of our relationship with God is a discipline to which we are called -- summoned -- by the One whose desire is for our hearts as beloved children.

I wonder sometimes often why I hesitate to publicly speak to the confusion that I hear all around us in regard to what is clinically referred to as current events. Three days a week I spend time exercising at the gym on an elliptical machine and other instruments of torture. On the wall in front of the line of machines are multiple television monitors. Of the three television screens in my field of vision, one is tuned to ESPN, the other to HGTV, the third one -- the one in the middle -- to either FOX News or CNN. Needless to say, perhaps, it all depends on who gets there first as to what news channel prevails on that middle screen.

On a recent trip to the gym I noticed ESPN got the boot as both FOX and CNN were live, side by side, allegedly reporting on breaking news. I began my normal exercise regiment on the elliptical machine to warm up and spent the next half hour in a vortex of jabberwocky. It felt as if an alternative reality was at hand.

Polarization is convenient for those who operate with a worldview that is black and white, left and right, in or out. It's easy and, dare I say, the lazy person's fail-safe. But for the rest of God's creation functioning well within the creative tension of diversity and beauty, there is greater life to be found amidst the wideness of God's mercy.

My point here is that it would be too easy to slip into despair over the state of our world today. It simply seems too much and far gone at times. Yet, as citizens of God's Kingdom in Christ, we remind ourselves, that we do not loose hope

The reading from Ezekiel this coming Sunday, shares with us a vision of a valley of dry bones. God asks Can these bones live? Is there hope in the midst of despair? The answer is found in the realization that what the apostle Paul refers to as a slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory . . . because we look not at what can be seen, but at what cannot be seen (check out 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

 The Vision of The Valley of The Dry Bones 
Gustave DorĂ© 1866

April 2, 2017

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son came into the world
to free us all from sin and death. 
Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, 
that we may be raised to new life in Christ
and serve you in righteousness all our days, 
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45 

The Raising of Lazarus 
Duccio, 1310–11

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