Saturday, February 12, 2011


Part of the prayer from this morning’s Liturgy says:

Our lives are surrounded with passing things; set our hearts on things of heaven, so that through faith, hope and charity we may come to enjoy the vision of your glory.

Earlier this week we hosted a couple from the former congregation where I served as pastor. In the course of conversation the recently-retired husband said he spent some of his time trying to discern when the Lord would return. Quite quickly I responded, “You’re wasting your time.” Of course, my point was that Jesus said no one can know, and in that context trying to anticipate a certain day is fruitless.

Yet, there is a great benefit to such a general orientation. We too easily get consumed with this present world. It is good –– even essential –– that Christians regularly think about the coming of Jesus and the end of this-world-as-we-now-know-it.

Having just come through the Super Bowl season I was reminded of just how much our culture is consumed with passing things. Like millions of others, I watched the game.... and the commercials. I saw more TV commercials in a few hours than I usually see in several weeks. My overall sense was: I am not at home in this world.

I’ve been thinking about the orientation of the New Testament and the early Church. It is eschatological –– totally shaped by a focus of what is to come beyond this life and this-world-as-we-now-know-it. Over the next few days I will post some explicit Scriptures (and possibly a few hymns) that reinforce this perspective to help, I hope, our own orientation.

One of the preachers from my formative years would sometimes refer to the criticism of “being so heavenly-minded that you’re of no earthly use.” His retort was that the Church today needs to worry more about “being so earthly-minded that we’re of no heavenly use.”

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

No comments:

Site Meter