I’m writing this during the pandemic of 2020. There are plenty of predictions about what is going to happen, but you readers will have a much better perspective on all of this from where you are. I just want to talk about one aspect for a moment: This work-from-home thing. This shelter in place. This being here with whoever is in the house all day long.
In my case, it is just two of us, my wife and I. Well, there’s also a three-legged dog and two cats with personality to spare. But, people-wise, for months it’s just been the two of us. Our kids are gone and on their own, trying to make it in a difficult economy. It is just us, all day.
It’s been great, really. We get along well and have enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve learned even more how to anticipate each other, how to serve and care for each other, and how to love.
That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? That’s why the psalmist talks about the very nature of God so confidently. It is because God is close, all day. From that closeness comes a knowing and trusting and hoping. From that closeness comes a certainty. Of course it is still faith; we don’t know for sure. Just like I don’t always know what my wife will say or do, but I can guess. Out of love, I can guess really well.
Be near, loving God, all day long, that I may know and love you more. Be near, loving God, all day long. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will tell the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you relied on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How can you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the unexpected ways God will answer your questions?
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