Thursday, November 6, 2014

Two Quotes for Sunday

"Last Day of Moses" by Phillip Ratner
Our texts for this coming Sunday are Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Psalm 90 (which will be our Call to Worship),
and Matthew 25:1-13. Give them a read here.

Two quotes for your reflection before Sunday. The first has to do with our Old Testament reading, which most famously was cited by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a sermon delivered in Memphis the night before he died. Read the Deuteronomy passage, then read the words from Dr. King below.

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people will get to the promised land.

How do these words challenge you to consider the way you use your time? Have your feelings and attitudes towards time changed over the course of your life?

Our second quote is less focused on the readings for this week and more on the overall theme of our October and November worship: the question of what it means to be a community living in covenant with one another and with God. A colleague passed on to me the description of covenant that I share below, from Lisa Nichols Hickman, which I think is one of the best I've ever read. Just let these words work on you as we continue on this journey of considering covenant together!

Connected change is really what a covenant is. We will change. Circumstances will change. We might even argue that God appears to change, at least as we grow in our understanding over the course of our lives. All that change is hard and scary. That change could appear haphazard and uprooted. But, by the grace of covenant, we are always connected by that thin tendril. This is what allows the wind to blow and the leaves to dance. This is what allows our lives to change and yet our deep connection to God, self, and others to create a space for airy beauty.
Celia Brewer Marshall says we are "led through time and space in a dynamic relationship knows as the covenant." In other words, a covenant is connected change. I'm so grateful for her insight because covenantcan be a slippery term. It's not a contract. It's not conditional. Yet it binds us together, with one another and with God, in a monumental way. That binding, Marshall reminds us, is never static. This covenant is dynamic and changing. Its fluidity transcends time and space.

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