Kent Bohls, a retired Lutheran pastor, who lives in Texas and who is an acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook this week “Just to remember our better selves, where have you seen compassion lately?”
The spirit spoke to me through those words. “Our better selves”, is a phrase that acknowledges that we do have other sides, dark sides. But Kent invited his friends to look at the better side of humanity that we are seeing in Texas. Let’s look for it again in the aftermath of the impending storms predicted to affect Florida and South Georgia.
We seem like a divided nation, but tragedies like these show people helping each other no matter what the color of their skin, origin of birth, spoken language, religion, political party, or income level. Neighbor to neighbor, and stranger to stranger, people respond to people in dire need. Nature has brought us to our knees.
This is a vision spelled out at the end of the Book of Revelation. The Lord descends to earth to a city of God where all will bow and worship him. The worries and the pains of the past are over and people of all ages and make ups praise Him.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians that we see God through a mirror dimly but then we shall see him face to face. On occasions we get a fuzzy glimpse of what life with him will be like. Until then we live with the hope and promise that He will return.
On Sunday mornings, we get a vision of what this looks like especially when we partake in the sacrament of communion. When people worship God, Jesus Christ offers this gift to all people. It isn’t a re-sacrifice of Jesus but an announcement of his glorious resurrection and his offer of forgiveness to all who come and partake. It is a foretaste of the feast to come.
On Sunday mornings, when we celebrate this meal together, I look into the eyes of many people and see pains and struggles of all types. I am also aware that I do not see everything in their hearts. My prayer is that as they eat of this bread and drink of this cup they will find hope and forgiveness in their hearts.
We do live in a broken and divided world, but as Christians we have someone who rises above all this. He is Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ asks us to follow Him. In other words, he calls us to love the world through our acts and words just as He did. Lay aside all things that divide us and use our time to mend the world around us.
This vision of what that love looks like comes about every once in a while. Hurricane Harvey has shown us horrible destruction and sad devastation, but it has also, at least, let us see our better selves. Let us take this opportunity to build upon it. Let us take this vague vision of true love and live it, until we shall see Him face to face. See you Sunday!
In His Service