I sat outside again this morning to enjoy my toast and coffee, although I was beneath shelter. It was raining. Baptismal waters bringing new life to our parched ground? Thanks be to God for everything he provides as our daily bread.
I find it difficult to spend time in silent contemplation at the moment without thinking about what our future might look like. I find it
consuming much of my time as I pray for and think of, the Saints of Elizabeth - my wonderful congregation, and how I can best serve them with Christ’s love and promises.
As I meditated this morning, listening for the still small voice of God, I was interrupted by a “pandemonium” of parrots screeching their way through the raindrops. Then the connections began linking together – birds – St Francis of Assisi - a devotion I once read written by Pastor Herman W. Gockel, which I reproduce here for the consolation of the Saints: [my additions]
Read 2 Peter 3:10-14
Do Your Best – Today
Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10).St Francis of Assisi, while hoeing his garden one day, was asked what he would do if he were told that he was going to die at sundown. He replied: “I would finish hoeing my garden.”
Significantly, a similar story is told about Martin Luther. One morning, while discussing points of theology with a group of friends,
he was asked: “Father Luther, what would you do if you knew for sure that the Lord was coming tonight?” In his usual quick and
impetuous manner, Luther replied: “I’d go out into my garden and plant an apple tree” – meaning he’d go about his ordinary business.
If only all of us in these unsettled days could emulate the attitude of these heroes of the faith! Because of the insecurity and
uncertainty of our times, too many of us are inclined to stop “hoeing our gardens”. Many a young man asks: “Why go to college when an atomic war will soon be upon us?” Many a young woman wonders:
“Why have a family when there’s no guarantee of future happiness?”
Why plan and work for a future which may never come?
The Christian has an answer to that question. God has given him a life to live. God has given him a task to do. As long as God gives him life and health and talent, he will go on “hoeing his garden” to the best of his ability.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might” the Scriptures tell us. The very certainty of his earthly death prompted the
Christ to work with unflagging zeal and unabated diligence. “I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” [John 9:4]
God has asked us to make the best of the present [that is why it is called a gift]. We can be sure that he will make the best of the
Lord, keep me faithful to my present tasks. Amen.
Copyright 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St Louis, USA
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present. Author unknown.
Dear Saints, I leave you with this exhortation and reassurance from Jesus himself: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today”
(Matthew 6:34). And: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
With love in Christ’s service,
Sunday morning, 29th March 2020.