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Daily Encouragement - May 23

Hebrews 6:1-2

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Every spring a barn swallow comes and builds her nest on our front porch.  It’s made of mud.  She lays her eggs, hatches them, feeds her young until they can fly from the nest and they leave.  I then power wash it away; not only the nest but know...stuff under it.  And it takes a power wash, too!  Right now the baby birds are feeding.  Their eyes are closed and they wait for the adult birds to bring them food.  Any sound immediately makes them open their mouths for food.  They are totally at the mercy of their most basic instincts; getting fed.

I think this pandemic along with its regulations and fears and opinions and experts and guidelines have put us at the mercy of one of our most basic instincts:  anger.  We do all we can to feed it, too.  We rail at the experts and curse the government.  And aren’t we lucky?  If you’re on one side you can curse the federal government leader of one party.  If you’re on the other side you can curse the state government leader of the other party.  Woo...hoo (and that is so close to Wu...Han).  We are angry that we are being regulated.  Angry that others won’t comply.  Angry that we can’t get back to normal.  Angry that people are still fearful or angry that they’re not fearful enough.  And this anger gets us...nowhere.

The book of Hebrews reveals some of the latest Christology that evolved in the first century...the high priesthood of Christ.  But the author talks about moving on to maturity in faith.  This metaphor is rife with opportunities to be ridiculous (and I have one fabulously funny story which I cannot share here) but I like the intent.  There comes a time (there HAS to come a time) when we move beyond “Jesus Loves Me” to “Make Me a Servant.”  There has to come a time when we move from anger to wisdom.  True faith in Christ moves us from being the little birds with our eyes closed waiting for nourishment to the adult bird who does the nourishing.  (What a metaphor!)  Unfortunately, so many want to remain in the nest.  Hebrews intimates that that’s not quite the way it’s supposed to be.  

So we wait.  We watch.  We think.  We believe.  A father walks by the house many mornings holding the hand of his son.  If he doesn’t, the son (who has some developmental disabilities) will wander away.  The father’s work is so much more difficult.  It requires wisdom.  It requires patience.  It requires energy.  But what would you rather be; the child or the parent?  Many would choose to be the child.  The ones who embrace the words of Hebrew would choose to be...the parent.

In the midst of tribulation, stand by me.  

In the midst of tribulation, stand by me.

When the hosts of hell assail and my strength begins to fail,

Thou, who never lost a battle, stand by me.

O God, help us to continue to mature in faith and in hope and in love.  Amen.

By the way...that yellow thing in the sky?  It’s the sun.  This is a public service announcement.

Pastor Rick Moser

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