Pondering for Thursday, July 9, 2020

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 9: Year 2

Psalm 18:1-20; Psalm 18:21-50; Rom. 9:19-33; Matt. 24:1-14

“When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”” (Matthew 24:3)

I am leery of the question “When,” especially when it pertains to amendment of life.  As a professional procrastinator, if I get the slightest hint that I have even a day before a big event I will try to wait until the evening before.  I should be ashamed. I’m trying to change. I’m a work in progress.

Our Lord Jesus gives his listeners long cautions about all the people and situations that will try to lead them (and us) away from righteous and faithful living. Twice our Lord Jesus uses the words “led astray” and he warns about steadfast attention to right living and inclusive loving and not being led astray.  And he ends with, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

This “enduring to the end,” is particularly important during our time away from regular worship.  This time of keeping a social distance and not meeting inside for “normal” worship, can become a sad new norm if we are not mindful of the need for our coming together in Christ Jesus.  It is like the beautiful temple coming apart one stone at a time.  We can’t let that happen.  As Episcopalians we have several worship tools to keep us going like the Daily Office, the Forward Day by Day, and even this blog.  But these are just little ways to keep us steadfast as a worship community.  We need to be studying now, and not waiting for “when” the time comes that we can get back together.

Today’s message is not about waiting to begin.  Today’s message is about NOW!  It is about staying the course no matter what.  It is about everyday right living.  Yes, we might slip occasionally, but when we do, there is no time to lose sulking.  We must instantly proceed doing the right thing for the right reasons again. This means individual Christian study, daily, everyday.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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