Trinity United Church
November 8, 2020
Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
devotion to God. Some time had passed since the nation had crossed the Jordan river and a number of Israelites had started to worship idols and new gods from their neighbours. The people agreed to throw away these idols and to commit to worship the God that had freed them from slavery and brought them out of Egypt and protected them in their 40 years journeying the desert. It is somewhat surprising how quickly a number of them had taken to new idols. Joshua then committed this new Covenant to stone slabs as a reminder of the commitment the Israelites had made to their faithful God.
As I write, history is being made with the election of a new president in the USA. The current president has been defeated. It is my view that there is an opportunity for a new covenant to be expressed and put into action when the transition of power occurs in the new year. It is clear that the devisions that surfaced during the past 4 years will need to be reckoned with. Under the leadership of the current president, the startling reality of a dark underbelly of the American soul has become very apparent. If ever we needed the power and love of Jesus Christ, it is now.
In a previous reflection, I talked of the power and importance of the first two commandments: To love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and Love thy neighbor as thyself. I posed the question of how much love we really hold in our heart. Today, there is a great relief and rejoicing of the results of the election. Tomorrow, we need to focus on building the radiance of God’s loving presence to ease the tensions of the many who believed in the style and approach of the current president. The divisions that have grown or come out of the closet will remain and possibly increase if we fail to bring the light and spirit of Christ into the transition of power.
I say “we” because the better and stronger we become as followers of Christ, the more effective will our prayers, actions and resolve will be. Our new Covenant with God should be to action “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” meaning that we are committed bringing an end to the suffering and inequalities that continue to persist. It is our collective efforts that make what is often a hope, a dream and a reality.
The fuel and sustenance of creating a powerful and positive healing energy is the power of love. The Love of Christ, God’s love and the output of our collective loving thoughts and energy. It is essential to understand the great healing authority we have been given by God, through Jesus Christ. Christ says that if we abide in Him, He will abide in us.
Now you need to stop and feel that deep abiding love, you will recognize its presence when you feel the certainty that everything is right, that brings an abiding sense of joy and safety. Making this power of love more conscious requires effort but brings tremendous peace and power, a power that is healing and healthy. One practice that builds this ability is not to focus on our lacks but to be overwhelmingly focused on gratitude and the abundance of what we have. Allow God to meet our needs, repent of pride and allow the grace of humility to flow in and feel the power of God’s love.
As I absorb the possibilities of a new tomorrow, a resumption of caring for the whole world and a focus of better stewardship of the lands that we occupy, I can see a new earth possible. I know that there lies ahead many heartfelt prayers to heal the divisions. I am most prayerful that we can collectively, as individual communities, provinces, states, and eventually, countries, build a new vision of how to respect our environment and share our resources in a fairer and more equitable way. I know in my heart that this is doable with God’s love as long as there is a collective agreement and intent to do God’s will.
Lastly, we are approaching Remembrance Day, I always feel divided as I honour those who died defending our freedom. It is the recall of the wars fought and the thousands of lives lost that makes me very sad. I include a poem as a closing prayer in honour of those who have died in too many wars.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields Poem
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.