Creator also said our farewells to Toni and Rick as they move to Minnesota to be with family. Quilts from the Creator Piecemakers, Creator's Quilting Group, were given to both the Corbans and the Hartungs to remember the day.
When we talk about God's presence in today's world, at least in my circle of friends, there will likely trigger an uncomfortable suspicion. I mentioned it recently at a meeting and asked if anyone else was feeling God's presence and the response was "Do you mean if God has talked to me recently?" No, that was not what I was talking about. I meant the odd-or-God coincidences or the meaningful moments that don't come with easy explanations of what they meant.
We don't live in a time and place where someone hears the God's voice like a prophet and can become God's mouthpiece. When I feel God's presence, in fact, I can barely acknowledge the moment, much less interpret what it means or how I should respond. How can we recognize how God often operates in our lives?
This fits in with today's Gospel which says "be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that they may open the door for him as soon as comes an knocks.". There is a potential inversion of roles when Jesus assures us to make purses that does not wear out where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Later the Gospel states, "if the owner of the house had know what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into." This suggests that God is the thief in the story. This, in turn, changes our perspective of how the house being broken into changes the owner.
Besides the inversion there is an interesting contrasting story to the Parable of The Ten Bridesmaids where the bridesmaid are waiting for the groom to arrive. Oddly this parable has been coming up in one of my odd-or-God experiences.
Let me give you an example of an odd-or-God experience that happened to me last night. I watched the film Splendor in the Grass. Directed by Elia Kazan I had not seen it before, The title comes from this Wordsworth's quote from the poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality:
That though the radiance / which was once so bright / be now forever taken from my sight. / Though nothing can bring back the hour / of splendor in the grass, / glory in the flower. / We will grieve not, rather find / strength in what remains behind.
This may appear to contain a strange perspective to reflect on this morning's events. It works for me and deepens my understanding of the film, poem and what I felt today. There is a past radiance Wordsworth writes about that nothing can bring back. This is also alluded to in the phrase that Thomas Wolfe named his novel You Can't Go Home Again.
The question, however, is not what will, or can, be brought back. The question is about how will we prepare for the future return of the master? Perhaps we long for a restoration of the past when we might set our sights on those opportunities to transform our present into what will be our future. What does that kind of waiting look like? A transformational waiting we have not experienced, or prepared for, before.
Promises and Godspeeds can be parts of what fills what Pastor Christian called "the blessed life" in his sermon last week. They happened today. 🙏