August 8, 2020: 12th Sunday after Pentecost

Let us pray: Dear Savior, right now we all lament that we didn’t appreciate the months of blessings that You showered upon us in the past.  We took them for granted and thought they would just roll along in sameness as before.  All that has changed.  Now we long for just a day to go by without worldwide upset.  Lord, focus our gaze upon You now and forever.  Move us to praise You, now and forever.  And let us realize that we always rest in Your secure embrace through faith.  Amen


TEXT:  Ephesians 5: 15-20

Dearly Beloved By Christ: 

          Most of us know that when the railroad signal starts the flash and the gates descend, it’s time to stop and wait.  The roaring train hurdling by shortly thereafter is a graphic reinforcement of that decision.  Likewise a tornado siren.  The moments before any  of that occurs would be described in the Greek language  of the NT with the word: Kairos.  As my sainted Greek prof once described it: Kairos doesn’t just mean “time” it means “critical time.”  A time to act and not sit on your hands.  Our text has that word used in it, although here they translate it: ”opportunity.”  That translation casts a positive slant to a negative situation.

          Right now we live in “Kairos” time.  In fact, we have for a while.  But the train feels like it’s bearing down on us, doesn’t it?  Virus variants, shots that just “sort of” work and then lose efficacy, leaders that flounder, food shortages worldwide getting more and more severe, and the whole house of cards funded by printing presses alone, well, you can add your own details. This topsy-turvey world is spinning of our control.  Critical time, indeed!    


          I’m just like all of you.  I don’t enjoy wearing out my adrenal glands with constant rushes of adrenaline (the fear and flight hormone).  It’s physically and emotionally exhausting.  I just want to preach and teach God’s Word and “pass my time in rest and quietness” as the old prayer says.  But, I don’t control Kairos times, God does. 

          “Be very careful, then, now you live—not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine (or anything else to dull your senses), which leads to debauchery.”

          Is this occurring?  I recently saw a news blurb that liquor sales are at an all-time high!  Are we surprised?  Likewise,  those little booze “nips” are getting hard to find in  places.  I would agree since I find them along the lawn on Rt. 62 each week!  People are looking for escapism.  They are all trying in various ways to run away from their troubles.  It’s sad and it’s scary.  It’s also unwise, akin to running the crossing gates thinking that somehow you’ll beat the train. 


          None of us can escape life.  None of us can run away and hide from worldwide troubles. Just like none of us can run away from the sin we bring into our lives and God’s judgment upon it.  So, what CAN we do?  “Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

          I was pretty little when I first heard this passage read at church.  My initial response was: that sounds kind of boring.  Quote Psalms?  Speak hymn verses?  Quote passages to others?  What about the rest of life?  Doesn’t any of that matter?  Actually, most human speech doesn’t matter, really matter, when you’re facing a Kairos time.  Only God’s truth, God’s wisdom, matters because it feeds the inner soul and is life sustaining.  The real Bread and Water of life is Christ and His Gospel message.  It is knowing those words: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  It is knowing in your inner depths that: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  It is the truth of the cross and the resurrection.  It is also knowing, because of all this, that when Jesus said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” He was especially thinking of such Kairos times. 

          Complaining and living in fear doesn’t uplift and doesn’t make anything better.  But seeing even small blessings and giving thanks to God for them does.  The Venerable Bede was a monk in Jarrow, England who lived around 700 A.D.  When he was young they had a nasty plague that killed everyone there except he and the abbot.  I think of him having to help bury 100’s of bodies.  That was his Kairos time.  And yet he kept his faith fixed on Christ.  Our Lord got him through it all, too.  And he went on to an illustrious life and penned that famous hymn: “A Hymn of Glory, Let Us Sing, new songs throughout the world shall ring.”  Yes, Jesus will never let us down.  And He won’t let us down either…. Amen

THE peace of God which…..

Pastor Thomas H. Fox

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