From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 13th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I guess many of you were out to see the eclipse this past Monday.  I found it funny how something as simple as a shadow would bring so many people out to enjoy nature and company of strangers.  I found people who didn’t give two shakes of a lion’s tail about astronomy before suddenly were extremely interested in this eclipse and ways of viewing it or taking a picture of it.  I read countless articles about it and viewed dozens of pictures that people took.  Many people saw this as a “once in a lifetime” event, and from the looks of it many people treated it as such.

I admit, it was cool.  It was cool to see it get so uncharacteristically dark during an otherwise very sunny day.  It was cool to see the funny shadows cast on the ground if you knew how to just hold your hands right.  It was cool to see something so simple as the dichotomy of light and darkness bring so many people together to just watch them battle it out to rule the sky.

Oh, spoiler alert: the light eventually wins.

As it is in many areas of life, the light eventually dispels the darkness, because only light can do that.  The moon cannot eclipse itself, of course, and the sun cannot be blocked for too long.  That is a good thing, because you know, we need that sun to live and stuff.

Here are the readings for next week:
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Just as we have the dichotomy of light and darkness, we also have the dichotomy of life and death.  And just as how light will always dispel the dark, so does life win over death.  This was Peter’s problem here in our gospel story, he didn’t quite get that Jesus’ death didn’t mean the end of Jesus and his teaching, but instead it immortalizes it as we still talk about it 2000 years after the fact.  Jesus’ death wasn’t the end, but it was the beginning of life.  Life with Christ, life with God, life enriched by love.

Oh, and another dichotomy we have is love and hate, as we’re reminded of in the Romans passage.  We know hate, we see hate, we feel hate perhaps directed at us or at others.  But we sometimes forget what dispels hate, and we try to battle it with more hate.  But as dichotomies go (or at least the ones I’ve given as examples), hate can only be dispelled by love.  And we can believe and trust that love will win eventually, for love is of the very essence of God.

As the summer comes close to an end, I admit I look back at it not with the greatest fondness.  I mean, summer 2017 will always be for me the summer my dad died, the summer of blatant racism in the States and around the world, and the summer of some really crazy weather and natural disasters.  But as we continue on into the fall and the rest of the year, I have faith that the light, the life, and the love of God will prevail and dispel the darkness, the death, and the hate.  Thanks be to God.

Have a great week, everyone!


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