1st Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 & Psalm 14
Oceans – many of us love to live near or visit often, oceans. Mystics say that oceans are symbolic of the deep unconscious, present in each and every one of us – the place of our most vulnerable emotions, our hidden fears and buried shame, the place in us where we are most needful of Divine Guidance, support and love.
Dan’s song invites us to reflect on the way God calls us into uncharted territory, calls us away from the familiar, the safe, the comfortable and into the unknown, the potential, the mystery of being close to God – trusting in God – in spite of our fear being willing to grow, to change to become who God knows we can be.
In such a time as this, this song is pertinent. The reading from the prophet Jeremiah (who always seems to be the bearer of bad news, by the way!) points out God’s disappointment with the people of Israel, who, having been given good things by God, are still failing to make moral progress, are still doing evil and missing opportunities to do good.
As we in Canada enter this federal election cycle, we are acutely aware that we have not been good stewards of this beautiful planet, and we are asking our political candidates to elucidate for us what they would do to help us grapple with our shortcomings in this area should they be elected. What are we, the present tenants of this finite planet, prepared to do to protect our environment and the habitat of many vulnerable species? How are we prepared to grow in understanding and responsibility-taking to become better stewards of God’s Creation? Are we even prepared to listen for Divine guidance?
Hymn #87 MV “Water flowing from the mountains”
2nd Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 & Luke 15:1-10
And we are all complicit. Every time I take garbage to the dump, every time I use and discard a plastic bag, every time I take my car to the store or the post office, I feel acutely my shame and my complicity.
Like Timothy says, we are all sinners, in so far as we are not listening for and trusting in the will of God. In other words, if we are not part of the solution, then we must by definition, be part of the problem!
Our spiritual growth and development are very important to God. The future of this wonderful experiment, life on earth, depends on us learning the spiritual lessons laid before us by the prophets and by Jesus the Christ. It is becoming ever more obvious that if we don’t learn these spiritual lessons, our time in this amazing schoolroom will soon be over. We are looking at so many ways we could destroy ourselves and our viability as a life form on planet Earth. Nuclear apocalypse, dead oceans, massive climate change causing increasing desertification with attendant famine, mass migration, wars and widespread disease. If we don’t learn to live in harmony, we will end up fighting for the scraps.
As I say all these things, I feel like a modern day Jeremiah. But I also know that Jesus is there for me – Jesus is part of me and I am part of him. His love for me is deeply personal, and has resulted for me and countless other lost souls in deep healing that has liberated us from fear and hatred. We win this battle, friends, when we can rise above the waves of fear, and shame, and unworthiness to know ourselves as children of God, beloved and loving servants of the good, of each other, and of life itself. Jesus love never fails us. He will find us, heal us, and love us into wholeness, if only we will say yes to him. His mission, I believe is to find every last one of us and fill us with his love.
The way of Love, the way of Jesus, that is our only hope, our only path to salvation and survival. It seems to me the choice is very clear. We must be willing to work hand in hand with God, to build the kingdom of God here on earth. Apathy and procrastination lead to certain disaster. Time is running out.
“Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Hymn #157 MV “I am a child of God”