Saturday, June 11, 2022
Before the Sun Sets,
What Will We
Be and Do
These Hours of Ours?
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’
Words of Grace For Today
God chose to make a life for us, a life filled with peace, grace and love for all people.
We’ve turned it into an entirely different thing; it’s cruel, short, and disappointing. Instead of loving all people, we’ve learned to exert our will over others. Conflicts dominate couples, families, churches, cities, countries and the world.
Isaiah has seen it all. Actually Isaiah is more than one person of more than one generation, so ‘he’ has seen it all through multiple generations, from before Israel was conquered and exiled to Bablylon, during the exile when most of the leaders were in Babylon, and when the exiles return to rebuild Israel. Isaiah starts early on with the vision of God’s justice prevailing, so that, even as Israel is under attack by it’s more powerful neighbours, war will not exist any more.
It’s quite the hope-filled vision, one that we can easily claim as our own still today. We are still caught in the turmoil, suffering, and destruction of conflicts. Evil seems to win at every turn, and the best people suffer injustices they do not deserve. Canada, so proud, polite, and reserved as it may have a reputation of being, is no exception. Evil abounds, corruption prevails, the unjust accumulate more and more … and more and more people suffer trying to live on less, many without enough to subsist on.
Jesus comes promising God’s future is now. People want to see that play out in their daily lives. First they want the Roman rulers to give them independence. Then they want the religious leaders to be replaced with truly faithful priests. And they want prosperity for all people.
So we today would still wish for ourselves. The names of rulers and corrupt religious leaders and evil-doers have changed but the ‘game’ of this cruel, short, and disappointing life are pretty much still the same.
Jesus’ promise, though, is not to bring all that to be. Instead, Jesus leads people to a reform that starts within.
For example, there will still be soldiers. The will be just, not corrupted, and be true peace-keepers.
All our roles in life will be similarly reformed from within. Instead of holding our own interests first, we will celebrate God’s blessings by sharing the basics of life with everyone, ensuring that all people more than subsist. All people will live abundant lives, able to share God’s blessings with their neighbours.
Today, how is the Holy Spirit reaching into our lives to reform our hearts to see not the cruel, short, and disappointments of life, but God’s abundant blessings freely showered on us all?
Will we spend today again chasing after ‘our fair share’ of the limited resources of earth and life? OR
Will we remember all we have is free gift from God and be ready and eager to share these blessings with everyone in need?
Today. It’s just 24 hours. Everything happens within 24 hours. Today is ours to do with as we choose. What will we choose to be and do in these hours?