Monday, October 31, 2016

Grass and Flowers

Dear Christa--
Grass and Flowers: thoughts on Isaiah 40:6-8
“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.”
As winter approaches, the trees shed their leaves. The grass turns brown, and the flowers have spent their last blossoms. After a beautiful, lingering fall, winter in Colorado will come like summer. We’ll awake one morning and it will be here. 
Saturday we raked leaves with the boys and let them (ages 3 and 5), jump in them before Jay sucked them up in the trash can. It is a sign that summer has ended. Winter comes. And, such is life, brief and fleeting as a leaf falling from a tree.
One man, one woman, live their days as prescribed by the Lord. Yet, as a blanket of soft winter snow, the grave eventually covers it all. It may seem futile, but it isn’t. It’s the comparison that is emphasized in these verses.
The brevity of each life, even in the culmination of all peoples, stands in stark contrast to the eternal Word of God. So, if the Word is enduring, should we not seek it out?
To know the Words of the Lord, the One who has always been and always will be—the One who has brought salvation to all peoples in all times—to hear His words should be a regular practice for us.
To hear His voice is to know Him better—to experience His love and compassion for us who are as weak and fleeting as grass and flowers. Let us give Him praise.
“But the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.”
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Thoughts on Isaiah

Dear Christa,

Thoughts on Isaiah

Thomas Paine, the Deist and great proponent of the Revolutionary War, used Hezekiah’s very words to rebuke and shame those who wanted to avoid war with England, the great world power of his day. He shames them for seeking only “peace and safety” in their day.

During Hezekiah’s reign, after envoys from Babylon sent flattering letters and gifts, Hezekiah shows them all of his treasures; he left nothing out.

When Isaiah the prophet tells him that all would be carried off to Babylon, including some of his own descendants, Hezekiah’s response was “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”

How shortsighted and self-focused to only see our own fleeting life. We might expect more from a king, yet Jesus Himself is the only true righteous King. And that thought should make us realize that our concern for those we touch today—for those who will follow behind us tomorrow—is to leave a legacy of faithfulness, which they can follow and therein take hope regardless of their struggles.

Life brings individual pain to each of us. After Hezekiah’s recovery from grave illness, he states “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish” (Is. 38:17). Perhaps, after such an ordeal, Hezekiah is too spent to seek the Lord to bring about change once again. Sometimes age brings weariness. Yet, we must pursue to the end. In the strength of God’s great mercy, we carry on.

In the overshadowing of our own Babylon, we must walk upright in prayer to the only King who controls all things from creation to Hezekiah’s life to now and the days to come.

—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

Friday, October 7, 2016

When the Magic Blows Away

October 7, 2016
Dear Christa—

As Joy and Shane sit in a Disney hotel room, I think the magic has blown away with the hurricane. Last night Shane waited hours in line to purchase 4 food boxes that contained 3 meals to sustain them through today. As Shane waited in line, Joy wasn’t sure how much food the boxes would contain. Thinking it might just be supper last night, they had decided they’d ration out the food for the boys and fast for a day. As Joy said, “There are plenty of people around the world who go more than a day without food.”

Her comment reminded me of something a parent who’d been to Haiti (where a hundred people died in this storm) said to Jay. She told him that while there on a missions trip this summer, a little girl said to her, “You mean you get to eat every day?” It’s been a question that’s kind of haunted me since he told me about it at the beginning of the school year.

I don’t know what today will hold for our family in Orlando. (I think it will be long.) I don’t know why such a special vacation has turned out this way. But, even in the midst of the storm, there is magic all around. It’s seen in the frost on the pumpkin and snow on Pikes Peak. The strength of an omnipotent God is revealed both literally and metaphorically as He rages up a mighty sea, and calms it down again.

There is shelter; there is food; and they are together. It might turn in to a magical day after all.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything