I have a little hitch in my git-a-long on this Sunday morning, September 1, 2013. So after a night of wind and storms, and since still recovering from surgery last Monday, I am ensconced in our cushy recliner, one dog lying on the footrest and the other under the footrest both sleeping. Terry and Tom have gone to church, leaving me to rest. Before he left, I asked Terry what scripture he had chosen for his sermon this morning and he told me, Hebrews 13:1-8, 14-16.
On a typical Sunday, I would be seated in my pew, taking notes on my iPad and adding my commentary as Terry spoke, but this is not a typical Sunday. Not there, out of ear shot, cannot signal subtly when he should wrap it up…or not so subtly..depending on the restlessness of the natives…I mean the congregation and to top it off my iPad has gone to Apple Hospital…probably needed a well deserved rest from me, SO it is just me in the aforementioned chair with a laptop that is offended because I keep trying to poke and scroll on its screen with my finger. Mrs. Wallis, my high school English teacher would say ‘Carolyn, that sentence has run on so long, its tongue is hanging out.’
So I am on my own with the scripture, my own inclinations, and thankfully, the Holy Spirit. So hopefully, there will be more Holy Spirit, the Word, and just a sprinkling of Carolyn.
For a woman whose memory is not as good as it once was the following passage has a lot of “remembrance” in it and even where it does not flat out say it, it implies it.
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.
2 Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it.
3 Remember those who are in prison as if you were in prison with them.
Remember those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them.
4 Marriage should be honored by everyone, and husband and wife should keep their marriage pure. God will judge as guilty those who take part in sexual sins.
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. God has said,
“I will never leave you;
I will never abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
6 So we can be sure when we say,
“I will not be afraid, because the Lord is my helper.
People can’t do anything to me.” Psalm 118:6
7 Remember your leaders who taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I guess I would sum it up like this, remember to love each other, remember to welcome strangers, remember prisoners, remember sufferers, remember to honor marriage, not just mine, but all marriages, remember how blessed I am and be satisfied with all God has given me.
Remember, MOST importantly, I am not called to do this on my own…because, I could not! So I remember the most important verses which echo down through the ages of scripture. So, I can love, I can welcome, I can suffer with those in prison or who are ill, I can be faithful and encourage others to be faithful, I can choose to be satisfied with what I have BECAUSE
God will never leave me or abandon me
God will help me. People can do nothing to me.
Others have carved the path, I just have to follow it.
JESUS is the Same yesterday, today and forever.
With all life’s ups and downs, in a world of turmoil and change…Good to know that Jesus never changes and I am safe in the boat with him no matter how high the waves. The last verses for Terry’s message (forgot to ask him the title) sum up my worldview:
14 Here on earth we do not have a city that lasts forever, but we are looking for the city that we will have in the future. 15 So through Jesus let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak his name. 16 Do not forget to do good to others, and share with them, because such sacrifices please God.
So Earth decays and will pass away, but our hope is not in the things of this world, but in God and His promises. And yet still on this earth, He sends messages of hope and of peace. In a hospital in Nebraska at 1:11 am this morning, Owen Clark Inglis arrived, greeted by his Mom, his Dad, and two of his grandparents, Ima Lee and Clark Pierce. Owen and his family are doing well. Prayer has been answered and a new remembrance added to our calendar, as we are reminded of the miracle life really is.
And so for Owen, a prayer of blessing:
Father, grant that Owen will become
the man you have called him to be,
that he will honor and love his parents
that he will bring blessing to his grandparents
that he will come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior
that he will grow as Jesus did in wisdom, strength,
and favor with God and man, but that his dependence
will be with you and your promises forevermore.
Give him joy that he may share that joy with others
Give him peace that he may be a peacemaker
Give him hope that goes beyond this world. In Jesus name, Amen.