From the Pulpit: The best days are yet to come

By: 
Pastor Greg Johnson, Beaver Valley Lutheran Church

“…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14)

Shopping for some groceries the other day, I overheard a woman say to another, “this world will never be normal again. The best days are behind us.” I was saddened to hear such a definite rejection of the future and really, a rejection of what God might just make happen out of the chaos of the day. To give up on the future is to reject one’s God-given ability to be in this world for good.  

In his loving letter to his home church in Philippi, St. Paul (from his prison cell no less) called his faithful few to press on, to do the hard work of creating something new and heavenly inspired. With this teaching in mind, Christianity would have us look forward with optimism. Not that the current day isn’t disheartening. Not that the fear that surrounds us and is in many of us isn’t real. Not that we can’t look back and find great wisdom and beauty that we might now seek to restore. But that God has promised to give us the strength we need to live and serve in the middle of this day is enough for us to keep facing forward knowing, in Saint Paul’s words, a “prize” awaits.

To pray that God will give us vision is an ancient prayer for sure (for instance, 13 times in the book of Acts the word “vision” is used to describe the Holy Spirits work in forming the first church into a forward looking, expectant people). So, why not be captured by this possibility ourselves? Let us pray that God will give us a vision of a peace-filled nation where all colors are perfectly admired for their complimenting beauty. Let us pray for a day when sickness and pandemic will be no more. Let us join the faithful in praying, what may seem an audacious prayer to many, that we will be given a vision of what a better world would look like and how we can be a part of getting there.

Maybe it’s that simple: We must ask God to help us remember the good from our past all the while we turn forward and discover that the hard work of pressing on will be blessed and we will come to discover what kind of a prize awaits those who simply don’t and won’t give up on the vision of better days to come.

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The Brandon Valley Journal

 

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