Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 15: Year 1
“When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13: 11)
Mark 13 is the Eschaton or “Last Days” chapter of the Gospel according to Mark. Each Gospel has its own version of the signs of the end of days. I am often asked the question, “when we die, do we go immediately to heaven or do we wait for the last day?” To which I answer “when a person sleeps or even is hospitalized for several days, perhaps the first thing they want to know when they awake is the current time (or date if in the hospital).” This is why we see the current date on a board in most hospital rooms. The point is, once they come to, the time away makes little difference. We resume where, and when, we are. Being brought before God is the same way. We will see the next and final presence of our selves.
Maybe the more important words for me in our reading for today are the words for not worrying about what to say when it is time to preach. Nowadays I just outline the points that I think need to be made from the scripture we have for the day, or the designated scripture for the purpose of the gathering, and then really “Let go and let God.” I depend on the Holy Spirit to use my voice for the spiritual benefit of the listeners. It is voice to ear, and ear to soul, and soul to action in love and service.
The Holy Spirit, at some level, depends on us to have some language skills whereby we can talk or write to our neighbors. Many of the early followers did both. Luke, Paul and the Apostles, both talked (preached), and wrote to the various churches about the love of God in Christ Jesus. And there was that time in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit gifted the apostles with the languages necessary to give understanding to the people. This was the Day of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit among us, our Church.
This still happens today. We only need to be still and give God the time to be with us. God wants every soul to be with God in eternity. Heaven is not a scarce resource. There is space for all. Our Lord Jesus still says to us today, “Follow Me.” To this I say, “Lead Lord Lead.”
Let us live to love, serve and teach, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying through the saints and to us, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John