I know the plans I have for you…to give you a future with hope.
Friends in Christ,
Each week I’ve tried to select pictures for Zoom worship: pictures that we run during the opening, prelude and postlude. Many of them are pieces of art or architecture from my own travels and others are our stained glass and church property. Wendy gave us those great pictures of teacups, and we’ve seen our empty sanctuary as well.
On June 28 I shared a picture from the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It is an image of Jeremiah, called The Weeping Prophet by Michelangelo.
The reason Jeremiah cried was because of social injustice and terrible rulers who ruined his country and sent it into exile. The reason that we still read him is because he was right: bad morals can destroy culture, faith and hope.
Amidst the daily changes in our own culture—revelations, injuries, mistakes, racism, and more—we also find daily dedication to health care, child care, education, science, community improvement, and more. Amidst these moments of pandemic and essential self-examination, people of prophetic faith build hope. And we need to keep it up. And we can.
In one sermon I said that prophecy rhymes with mystery but it is more like science (even Heisenberg’s science). It is biased observation of current conditions. And the bias is that God is in the mix. That entropy or inertia or evil doesn’t get the last word. We may not always perceive God’s plans with precision, but however they come to us they involve a future with hope.
So often these days I find myself close to weeping, along with you. But weeping lasts for a night, we hear, and God is with us finding the future.
It will be a while yet. Please hang on. Please reach out. Please pray and talk on the phone and come to Zoom. Please keep the faith. And we will enter God’s future. And know how God pictures us together.
Peace to you,
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.