Saturday, August 13, 2016

What do you treasure?


We live in difficult times. I don’t believe we have ever lived through an election like this before that despite the trappings of normal, is anything BUT normal. I am still sorting out what that will require of us over time…I’m learning new songs, well, some old like Hard Rain, but also a new one like Mary Gautier’s Mercy Now…:
My church and my country could use a little mercy now
As they sink into a poisoned pit that's going to take forever to climb out
They carry the weight of the faithful who follow them down I love my church and country, and they could use some mercy now

In a moment like this, Jesus says:
Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Uh, that’s us….the little flock..and as always…the message begins with do not be afraid..and this
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

On Friday, I went to my Aunt’s funeral. It was good to be with family.This set of  cousins was especially close. Our fathers were two brothers of their mom’s second marriage so they were especially close. We were well matched in age and vacationed together every summer.  My mom, still adjusting to life post stroke was there. In a reserved family, my aunt was operatic in personality. She and my mom were of a generation of women, that post war ‘50’s suburban world, in which defined roles were given to them, and they dutifully sought to fulfill them regardless of the cost. I opened up a conversation along those lines and my mom agreed.
I remember her teaching…her first full time teaching job at age 50…She said that part from family things, walking into that classroom was the happiest day of her life.
My mom, my aunt, they treasured their families, their children…my generation has similar commitments but has lived them out differently. I wonder what I truly treasured…my family, or my work? There are decisions I would make differently. ….
So what do you treasure?  What if you’re only biography were your checkbook?
As we talk about this, for most of us, family is pretty much at the top. And close friends. People.
Jesus says: Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; the image is of a master returning from wedding, ok…but about this thief in the night image?!!!  Does Jesus really want us to go there?
There’s a story about a rabbi. A student asks, Do you have to seek forgiveness every day? Oh no, the rabbi responds, ..only on the day before you die…The student says, but how do you know when that is? And the rabbi just smiles.
I’m reminded again of my mom and her stroke..It’s not like you wake up thinking, oh later today I’ll have a stroke….or get hit by a car (like me) or… it’s 9/11.  You never know. Don’t be afraid…invest your time energy and money in what you value…and you will be ready,you will be ready…

The songs I sung for the day were Mary Gautier’s Mercy Now. And Rock of Ages. We gathered close together  in the front. And we shared communion. And the peace. And went on our way.

Thank you Leila

Watchful Slaves
35 36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he[a] would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

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