Saturday, November 29, 2014

Stand (Before)

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.  Revelation 22:1-2

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”  Luke 21:36

“Behold, I am coming soon.”  Revelation 22:7A

The end of a Liturgical Year.  However, you would not guess it was an ending based upon the context of the readings.  Rather than ending with victory and triumph, the year “ends” promising more.  Another chapter begins tomorrow when the sun comes up.  Are you ready for the Son to come up?

How poetic that our first selection uses the image of a river.  Rivers start someplace and empty someplace else.  However, there is no stopping them.  You cannot send the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a river.  They can build a bridge over it.  They can build a road around it.  They can try to affect its path, but stop it?  Never going to happen.

God’s grace is like the life-giving water flowing down the middle of Revelation River accessible to people on both banks by the fruit of the trees it nourishes and heals.   

Where do you stand?

One NFL player was not share his stand with the world.  And 600,000 people saw it.  New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson’s long, heartfelt reaction to a grand jury decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of a teenager has quickly gone viral.  You can read Watson’s full post here:

When we stand before the Lord, we will account for our faith and what we say and do because of it.  Let us be aware that our hearts do not become drowsy from too much television, Internet, work, play, and other diversions.  We may never all be a CNN hero, but we all can take steps to improve our community one person at a time.  In doing so, we will be nourished by God’s grace as we nourish others so we can nourish still more.  

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