Sunday, November 11, 2018

Praise the Lord!

              Praise the Lord, with my whole being—every role I have, from engineer to electioneer…
Every relationship I have—from child to parent to next door neighbor… may it praise the Lord.
              Praise the Lord in my work and my play, from the tips of my toes to the hair I once had on the top of my head.
Praise him like David in scandalous dance and divine ecstasy and like Mary in quiet pondering.
Praise with our hearts and minds, in the very depths of ourselves, even those recesses inside us we barely know.
              Praise the Lord, as well, with the length of my life.  From the first kick in the womb like John the Baptist to my last words, like Anna and Simeon—from nursing bed to hospice bed—as our whole life unfolds, being raised and raising others, sandwiched between generations in those middle years… all of it, may it praise the Lord.

              Trust God, not leaders in this world—they’re so human. Inconsistent, unsure of their own motivations, unaware of the consequences of their actions, and liable to get distracted. They won’t help or won’t do a good job of it… God help us! Don’t make of them an idol.
              They are so human, so mortal… what they begin they shall not end—did not David wish to see the Temple, did not Paul wish to preach in Spain—and yet they did not do so. All rulers shall die, their powers diminished, their projects unfinished.

              Trust instead in God— all else spins fast and does not hold, but we are held fast by our Father in Heaven, the Parent of us all. In God we are like a well-watered tree—fed and stable.
              Be rooted in God— your joy shall be complete—not happiness as such, but joy, that which transcends all that is bitter about our mortality—joyful even in sorrow and abandon—even in times of distress and at the end, there is rest and joy… journey done, return to God.
              Return to the Creator of all that is, seen and unseen—the one who is the beginning and the end…
that vast dome, sky, heaven, space, infinity
—that solid rock, earth, our precious home, we earthlings of the earth
—the depths, the sea, the chaotic waters transformed to nourish us and all creation
—every last creature, ameba to whale, breaths spirit,
everything is held together because the Lord is faithful.

What is the nature of this faithfulness, you ask.
              The Lord is faithful—he hears the groans of his people in Egypt, and exacts terrible punishment upon whole societies when they refuse to heed prophetic calls for justice!
              The Lord is faithful—Elijah, and the Israelites hungry in the desert, and those who receive the food we collect for them, and soon enough those who will receive food at our own Pop-up Food Pantry—all those who hunger are fed their daily bread, so long as we don’t get in the way and obstruct it.
              The Lord is faithful—God called his people out of slavery in Egypt, out of captivity in Babylon… Paul and Silas out of Jail—Christ freeing us from our captivity to Sin, Death, and the Devil.
              The Lord is faithful—Bartimaeus born blind, Paul blind and then he could see—may we all truly see, see the world in front of our eyes, in front of us to be loved!
              The Lord is faithful—Are we not bent down, or curved in upon ourselves, or just in need of some straightening up so we remember we’re human, we’re made in the image of God and ought to be treated as such.
              The Lord is faithful—In every age there have been people made right by God, brought into relationship with God—loved by God, empowered by God to love and serve their neighbors—from Adam to Abraham, Moses to Mary, Ezekiel to Zacchaeus.
              The Lord is faithful—Though Elijah tarries in a strange land, though Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, though Moses was forever a stranger in whatever company he kept, though the Holy Family sought refuge in Egypt, God always protected them.
              The Lord is faithful—He will always help the most vulnerable, Job declares himself righteous on account of his aid to them, the Law is laid down in the book of Exodus (they are to be protected!) and James says true religion is visiting them, the orphan and widow. 
              The Lord is faithful—God thwarts the evil plots and plans of Pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar and Herod, that slaughterer of the innocent—the wicked he shall bring to ruin.
              Yes, in all these things the Lord is faithful!

              And the Lord will continue to be faithful, continue to reign with Justice—the Kingdom of God will continue to be a reality, every generation shall know that He is God!
Praise the Lord!