Today’s Readings: Psalm 90, Isaiah 4:2-6, Luke 21:5-19
Fridays are my days off. Usually I write in the morning, devotional, sermon, emails, liturgy and then I play during the rest of the day. Of course, there might also be picking up the house, reading lots, etc. Yesterday the day came out in abundance and even though chilly it was completely gorgeous. So my roommate and I decided to take our newish bikes and ride. We decided to explore the town a bit more and Betty had some places she wanted me to check out. So we bundled up and hopped on the bikes. We rode and rode and ended up on this road where we could see Mt. Hood perfectly. The light was brilliant and we were surrounded by different farms. I thought, “This has got to be the kingdom of God on earth in one little glimpse.” We took a short break to take it all in and then we were riding again. We then headed back into town and explored some neighborhoods. By the time we got home, I was full of gratitude and hope and my butt was really really sore! So I asked Betty to figure out how far we rode…12.1 miles!! No wonder!
Then we went to one of my favorite things, a social gathering with homemade pizza, good wine and new friends. I was so pleased! On a spontaneous move, we went from there to a movie. Yes, we saw “Love and Other Drugs” which is actually pretty good. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a pretty predictable love story but with a twist. You find out early on that Anne Hathaway’s 26 year old character has been diagnosed with Parkinsons. I won’t give anything away…it tells you that in the reviews. It was a good way to end a full and lovely day.
All of this being said today I can resonate with the prophet Isaiah when he says, “On that day the branch of the Lord will be fruitful and glorious….” Yesterday also got me to thinking about what it must look like for the kingdom of God to be here and now. When hanging in the evening with homemade pizza in hand and talking with new community members, I felt a sense of community that I welcome as the kingdom of God. But what of those that don’t have that community? What would that look like for people out there struggling to get by and struggling with that glimmer of hope that I saw? Advent is the season where we get to ask these questions, right? In the midst of the darkest time of year, where do we see the glimmers? In the midst of struggle, where is our sense of community and how can we reach out to others?
Brett Dennen, one of my fav musical artists, wrote a song called “Heaven.” If you have time, I am attaching the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3SNP5cK6J0&feature=related If you don’t, here are some of the lyrics:
Beyond the rules of religion
The cloth of conviction
Above all the competition
Where fact and fiction meet
There’s No color lines or casts or classes
There is no fooling the masses
Whatever faith you practice
Whatever you believe
What the hell is Heaven?
Is there a home for the homeless?
Is there hope for the hopeless?
Throw away your myth misconceptions
There ain’t no walls around heaven
There are no codes you gotta know to get in
No minutemen or border patrol
You must lose all earthly possession
Leave behind your weapon
You cannot buy your salvation
There is no pot of gold
Heaven ain’t got no prisons
No government no business
No banks or politicians
No armies and No police
Castles and cathedrals crumble
Pyramids and pipelines tumble
The failure keeps you humble
Leads us closer to peace
May we see heaven today. May we reach out with the kingdom of God in hand to those who are anxiously waiting for a glimmer of hope. May we remember that we are also anxiously and activetly waiting for a child to change the world. May we ride with abandon, laugh loudly, weep deeply and empathize wildly. Amen.