the 10th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
O God, judge eternal, you love justice and hate oppression, and you call us to share your zeal for truth. Give us courage to take our stand with all victims of bloodshed and greed, and, following your servants and prophets, to look to the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said:] “You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
the DEVOTION. . .
Last Sunday, as usual, right after the sermon, we sang a song. This time, it was one attributed to Charles Wesley, “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending.” And from where it was in the hymnal, it’s all about End Time. Angels! Trumpets! Thousand, thousand saints! It was kingdom and power and glory, from beginning to end! And when we sang those last few words, you couldn’t tell if we were standing at the end of one age or the beginning of another. “Thou shalt reign, and thou alone!” Swept up in the moment! Lost, yet again, in wonder, love, and praise!
But the whole time we were singing all those alleluias, I couldn’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be better singing this song, Easter morning. “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!” But for some reason, when we hear Jesus say, “I shall return,” we’re able only to think of the end, after everything’s been said and done. It’s so difficult for us to imagine he might, actually, mean, instead, on the third day! Jesus king, not somewhere over the rainbow, at the end of the yellow brick; but king, right here and – more importantly – right now …
Bob Barndt, pastor