MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH AND THE MEDITATION OF MY HEART BE ALWAYS ACCEPTABLE IN THY SIGHT OH LORD MY STRENGH AND MY REDEEMER
Where Fore Art Thou O Lord
"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” St. Like xxi. 27. In the Gospel reading this morning St. Luke talks about the second coming of Jesus Christ. There has always been much useless argument and speculation about the second coming. When it will be and what it will be like are not ours to know. But the one great truth it enshrines is that history is going somewhere. The Stoics regarded history as circular. They held that every 3,000 years or so the world was consumed by a great conflagration, then it started all over again and history repeated itself. That of course meant that history was going nowhere and human beings were tramping around on a kind of eternal treadmill. The Christian conception of history is that it has a goal and when that goal is reached Jesus Christ will be Lord of all. If we look at our world today where do we think we are going and what will history say about our time in this world. When our parents were growing up they learned from two world wars that when you shoot someone they die. Kids today play a video game where they kill their opponents or get killed themselves and when that happens, they just restart the game and try again to get to a different level or find the secret weapon. These are two very different realities. Is it any wonder that now we have kids going to school and shooting classmates and teachers. These are not terrorists like those who attacked the night club in Paris a few weeks ago. They are kids who for one reason or another feel the only solution to their problem is to take a gun to school. There is a clear pattern of mass shootings in our society today.
There have been more than 300 mass shootings in the USA in 2015 and Wednesday’s mass shooting in California was not the only mass shooting that day. Forty one people were shot across America on Wednesday and thirty two were killed. We now know that the couple in California had been radicalized. They took their six month old child to the grandparent’s house and went on to kill fourteen people. Killing innocent people was more important than being good parents to their child. In the 1930’s through the 1980’s unions were powerful groups who brought about needed social changes to the workplace. As time passed and employers improved working conditions labor unions largely focused on wage and benefit growth. Today labor unions are much smaller because civil authorities have implements workplace laws and businesses in manufacturing and other industry sectors where unions were prominent have closed because they were uncompetitive or the work was moved off shore in order to lower costs.
Now social change in this country is brought about by special interest groups. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a fairly new group who go around the county organizing rallies to protest police treatment of African American people. The group is not ‘Lives Matter’ but only ‘Black Lives Matter’ and it is run by professional organizers. And if a member of the mob they inspire should kill a police officer like in New York the special interest group leaders claim to have no responsibility. Other special interest groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have brought about changes to laws and penalties for driving while impaired that have had positive impacts on society. There are so many special interest groups that there is literally a group for everyone’s interest. Many of these groups have powerful lobbyists in Washington to influence government officials. So what will the history books say about us in 500 years? Of course we can’t know exactly what they will say but what they won’t say is that we were a society that lived by God’s law to love thy neighbor as thy self. They won’t say we were a society that was swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. They won’t say that we were a society that included God in every aspect of our lives. In the letter from St. Paul to the Roman’s that we heard this morning Paul describes the infighting going on between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. He tells them all to study the Scriptures, to learn that in Christ both Jew and Gentile have the same hopes. Thus, there should be unity, joy, and peace among the members of the church whether Jews or Gentiles through the power of the Holy Spirit which had been given to them all. Perhaps our society would be on a different course if we all read and studied the Scriptures more. Perhaps the children of today would live by different values if they were taught the Scriptures at home or in school. St. Luke records in today’s Gospel reading the words of Jesus and his parable of the fig tree. The parable is a warning of our Lord to his disciples about discerning the signs of the times. We can easily discern the natural signs, such as the budding fig tree or blossoming flowers in spring. But we are less ready to or able to discern signs of the judgment of God upon the sins of mankind in the wars, mass shootings and special interest groups which afflict us.
We are prone to be led astray by quick remedies and panaceas rather than guided by our Lord’s words of abiding truth. As Christians we must never come to think that we are living in a settled situation. We must live our lives in a permanent state of expectation. We must live in the certainty that our actions will determine our fitness to appear in the presence of God. It is recorded in the gospel of St. Mark chapter 13 verses 35 and 36 “Watch ye, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” When our judgment day comes whether it be the second coming of Christ or the day God calls us home, we must repent our sins and accept that God’s will be done just a Jesus did when he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane ‘My Father, … not as I will, but as you will.” Amen And now unto God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost be ascribed all might, majesty, power and dominion as is most justly due this day; world without end. AMEN'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.