Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost
November 17, 2013
Grace for all our moments
At the beginning of the first century, Judea was grafted into the Roman Empire. It no longer was permitted to govern itself, but had become subject to the whims and visions of the Roman emperor and his appointed puppet kings. The temple in Jerusalem had always marked God’s presence and blessing among the people of God. It was the centerpiece of Jewish social, cultural, and religious identity. Thus, it was no small matter for Jesus to speak of the temple’s destruction under Roman rule: a time of war and revolution, when family ties would be bent and broken. This indeed would be a perilous time. Yet Jesus tells the crowd not to prepare themselves in advance for the age to come. Instead, he encourages them to look deep within themselves and trust that a word of wisdom would be given to them when they needed it most.
Prayer is an act of searching, deep within ourselves and in conversation with the world around us. And prayer is an offering unto God, of all that we are and all that we hope for. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are asking that God would bring about the fullness of all things, while also understanding that it will come to pass in its own time.
Meanwhile, we request for God to give us “daily bread,” the provision that we need for the day, and nothing more. We believe that our God is a keeper of promises, and we trust that the living Christ will meet us wherever we are. When we look deep within ourselves, we will discover the truth of Jesus’ message: that there is a word of wisdom to be given, and there is a measure of grace for all our moments and days.
Andrew L. Heil, pastor, Hope Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, N.C.