August 6, 2020by Reverend Dan on August 6, 2020
"This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
A church member recently said to me, “I miss looking forward to things. I’m finding it hard to look forward anymore because we don’t know what bad news tomorrow’s going to bring and there’s nothing to do so what’s there to look forward to?”
I hear you. Every day the pandemic numbers surge and the riots intensify, and all kind of events and sports and everything else are getting cancelled. But as I prayed about what that person said, I began to think, “Do we really not have anything to look forward to?” So, I started a list.
First, beginning August 24 and going each Mon-Wed-Fri through September 4, there’ll be another online Bible Study. The topic is one near and dear to my heart: Hymnology. We’ll be taking look at the history of music in worship, the people who wrote our favorite hymns, and the story behind those hymns. We’ll also spend a couple days looking at “spirituals” that were a combination of African heritage and religions, and European religion passed down to the slaves. We’ll talk about the songs, the meaning of them, and the secret codes found in them that the slaves used to communicate from one plantation to another. I’m really looking forward to that!
Next up will be the fall sermon series about Joseph. (Not Mary’s husband, Joseph . . . the one in Genesis the Old Testament). Joseph is such a well-known story from the Bible it’s all over our culture. First, Dolly Parton wrote a song called “Coat of Many Colors” loosely based on the story, and then there was a Broadway show called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” that is still playing today. And all of it centers around a coat Joseph’s dad, Jacob, gave him that started a whole series of events.
But the story runs much deeper than that coat. Joseph’s brothers get jealous because Jacob loves him more than he does them, so they sold him into slavery. He endured being a slave and quickly worked his way up in Potiphar’s palace until he was second in command. Then he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and went to prison. After a while there he interpreted some dreams for Pharaoh (the king) and that got him out of prison and before long he worked his way up to second in command in all of Egypt. Well, along about that time there’s a famine in the land and guess who shows up looking for food? His brothers! It’s a fascinating story with lots of twists and turns. I’m looking forward to sharing that story.
Most of all, however, what I realized we all have to look forward to is opening our eyes to the gift of life God has given us. In the long history of the world, there has never been a day like this one (even though they all seem eerily similar these days), and there will never be another one like it. Each day is a unique and precious gift from God, and therefore we can look forward to the joy of living each new day and be excited for whatever it holds for us.
Finally, we can all look forward to the dawn of a new day when we have overcome the ills and hate of this world, and can live free and no longer take for granted all the simple things we used to before this all began. Until that day, we simply need to give thanks to God for all that this day holds and know that He is near.
“Father God, thank you for each day we are given. Help us to never take it for granted or lose it in worrying about tomorrow. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN."