Sermon preached via Zoom at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Bath on the 24th Sunday after Pentecost: Psalm 123, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
You can listen to this sermon here.
Sometimes when you read or listen to Scripture, a single word will pop out and strike you. Often it fades quickly, but sometimes it attaches itself to you and becomes like an itch that no amount of scratching will get rid of.
To you I lift up my eyes,
to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he show us his mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,
and of the derision of the proud.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
for I have taken refuge in you;
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge,
until this time of trouble has gone by.
As I said before, we can live in the until because we have the promise and we have a Companion, and furthermore, in that Companion, we have companions, fellow encouragers, because Christ’s body on earth is us, which means we are all in this together, all in the time of “until.”
The Catechism in the Prayer Book says the primary mission of the church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” (p. 855) I wish there was another clause that said, “and then to encourage one another to live in faith, hope and love until the day of peace, the day when God fulfills God’s promises.”
Until that day comes when all is put right under the merciful and gracious will of God, let us do nothing but encourage one another to live in love, to live in faith, and to live in hope.
The question is always not, “How can I get through this until?” but, “How can we get through this until together as the people of God?”