Sunday, October 25, 2020
The Best Life Possible
That Ends in Death
100% of the time
Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’
Words of Grace For Today
There are so many excuses not to serve the Lord our God; excuses not to fear and love the Lord with all our hearts, minds and strength.
It is a narrow path by which we find ourselves, completely turned around in our lives, doing the last thing we expected to be doing, all in service to our Lord Jesus.
That narrow path is not ours to find on our own. God finds us and pushes us on to it, like Amos. A herdsman and dresser of sycamore trees who God seconded to be … a prophet.
A quiet, hard labouring life, at the bottom of the human food chain, being a shepherd was not an elevated station in life, not even an inch or millimetre elevated.
A prophet, an official prophet, could be very lucrative. But a prophet of the Lord, that was not so. That meant speaking the truth, not what the wielders of power wished to hear. As a consequence prophets of God were most often terribly abused and eventually killed … because they followed God’s instructions and challenged evil corruption in all ways it disrupted and corrupted God’s people.
Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen, hard working men who ventured most days out on to the surface of the lake, the bubbling, boiling, roiling surface of anti-creation that swallowed more than a few fishermen with the sudden storms of winds and waves that sent boats, men, and their catch to the bottom.
Jesus walks along and calls them and for some reason they follow this glutton, itinerant preacher, teacher, and healer who has no home and nothing to pay them. They leave honest labour to become dependent on the donations and care of others. They become servants of a man they do not know, of whom they perhaps have heard much, or maybe nothing. They are uneducated, working near the bottom of the human ‘food chain’ subject to little respect, but upon whom many are dependent for some of their food. Following Jesus does not elevate their status. They, like the prophets, are eventually killed for following Jesus.
God calls and leads us down paths that demand everything of us, and eventually we will (as history proves) be killed for following Jesus.
The world just does not like good, honest, gracious, and holy people. We show up the corruption that the world tries to hide as normal or necessary for life.
But what a life God calls us to!
We live fully, participating in all of creation as God created us to be able to. Sharing Grace with all we meet. We are, like Patch Adams, bullied and gaslit for being excessively happy, excessively honest, excessively kind and gracious.
It is the life that is a well lived life, more than any other. We cannot find it on our own. Only God’s Holy Spirit can guide us to this life, in our own particular way, where Grace and Truth mean more then money or privilege or comfort … or even survival.
On this path of life, called by God to be here, we see God each and every day, visible in the the beauty and pain of even the mundane of life.