Preparing For Worship – Scott Spreier.
If you’re like me, you may be a bit cranky, a bit out of sorts, a bit tired on this Lenten Sabbath morning. Having given up an hour of sleep last night, thanks to daylight saving time, you may not be in the mood for pondering the gifts of God. (Never mind that those precious 60 minutes we lost may be the only thing many of us sacrifice for Lent.)
Face it, we can be a bit lazy. We whine at the smallest inconvenience, spoiled as we are by a sense of entitlement. Daily we dither about how culture has gone off the rails, how our country is going to the dogs and how the world may be ending.
Today’s Scripture reading reminds us how much we have been given and how much is expected of us. God created us and showed us the best route forward. But we’re expected to take it from there. Although God assures the Israelites that she will “make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,” God also implies that they have a role to play in where they’re being led: “Do not withhold; bring … everyone who is called by my name.”
God goes on to tell them to forget the past and face the future, that God is about to do a “new thing.” Good advice for those of us who worry about how things are but shy away from the heavy lifting required to change them.
As we worship today, tired though we may be, let us thank God for what she has given us, and also remind ourselves to unselfishly pay it forward. Let us turn from our divisiveness and bickering, let go of our angst about climate change, artificial intelligence and national strife, and instead lean in and do our part to make the world better.
Let’s turn our attention to helping those who still find themselves in the wilderness, be it the desolation of poverty, the wasteland of addiction or those literally crossing the desert just beyond our southern border on their dangerous journey to a better life.
Tired though we may be, it’s time we not only smelled our roses but tended them as well. As the words of our anthem today proclaim: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”