The Earth rotates at 1,000 miles per hour at the equator. Our world seems to change even faster than that, and such rapid change affects us. Technology and mass media, relatively easy long-distance travel, advances in health, and the easing of barriers to global relationships have brought changes for which we do not always feel prepared.
We encounter various races and faith traditions, diverse ethnic and gender expressions, and fluctuating information about nutrition, health, and relationships. Some jobs disappear and others emerge with different qualifications required. No place is a complete refuge from all this change. Wow! What a strange land!
How do we sing the Lord’s song in our strange land? Psalm 137 expresses blame and anger toward those accused of causing the changes, but, as the prophets proclaim, we have our part in these changes and how we relate to them.
Attachment to the way things once were causes us to suffer. If we focus only on the way we lived and worshiped in the past and feel that changes have destroyed these old ways, we cannot move with courage and adventure into the future. Throughout the scriptural record of God’s activity amongst us, God is out ahead of us, leading us out of Ur, out of Egypt, out of Israel, out of the Roman Empire, and dispersing us into the world.
When we see the hand of God in the changes in our world, we can celebrate the continuing creativity of God. Jesus proclaims that the movement of God’s Spirit is toward a grand feast of abundant life and community for all people. So we sing praises to God’s creating Spirit for this creation, even when it is not yet fully revealed.
Creator of continual change, help us to perceive your hand in our evolving world, and give us courage to open ourselves to your will. Amen.
Lamentations opens with a description of the plight of the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. The people have been taken into exile as part of God’s judgment for their idolatry. The psalmist struggles to sing the songs of the Lord. In fact, those who overthrew Jerusalem have forced them to sing for their amusement, so the joy is gone. The psalmist prays that one day God will repay the invaders. In Second Timothy Paul praises God for Timothy’s faith and for the legacy of faith that comes through his family. He charges him to preach boldly and without hesitation the gospel of Christ. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the disciples to show greater faith and to understand that we are all servants in God’s kingdom.
Read Lamentations 1:1-6. How do you allow your imperfections and failings to transform you?
Read Psalm 137. How do you remember your spiritual traditions and sacred places without clinging to them in the rapid changes of our world? How do you look for God’s work in change?
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What spiritual practices help you to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you”?
Read Luke 17:5-10. How might a posture of cyclical servanthood to and with all creation transform or increase your faith?
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