Monday, October 13, 2008

Yesterday's Readings

I found yesterday's readings in church, particularly the first two, to be really inspiring in these times. The first was from Isaiah and was about the coming of the kingdom-- a really beautiful view of God's kingdom. The second was from Paul's letter to the Philippians, and was about living in times of abundance and times of need equally, because of the strength that comes from God. They're brief, so here they are if you want to read them.

Is 25:6-10a
On this mountain the LORD of hostswill provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe awaythe tears from every face; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!" For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Phil 4:12-14, 19-20
Brothers and sisters:I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all thingsI have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.

These days of changing fortunes, when we're given all these dire warnings and predictions and watching retirement funds lose 1/3 their value in a week, what a good thing to be able to assert: I know how to live in humble circumstances and how to live with abundance. Both at the same time I'm hoping. Maybe it is in humble circumstances that we begin to see what is really of value, and what is really there. I feel a bit like a child, whose environment is expanding to meet my view every day. And I like what I see. I see things of value-- relationships, my same and reawakened interest in the people and world around me. I see the earth infused with meaning. It feels like becoming unveiled. And if we truly see as God sees, then doesn't that sustain us, a bit?

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