"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)
How long does it take you to get ready for something? It kind of depends on what you are getting ready for - right? If it is a big occasion you could start planning way ahead. Or, if it is unexpected or "spur of the moment," you tend to "go with the flow." I was asked, a couple of days before this vacation, if I was all packed. I laughted. I had a few clothes laid out but actual packing - no. I had, however, been working for over a year, to get the strength back in my ankle so I could snorkel at one of the stops of the cruise. I can also tell you there were two "spur of the moment" stops at quilt stores because we saw their signs on the Interstate.
The readings are about getting ready. Isaiah, and the other prophets, are all calling the people to pay attention, to come back to a relationship with God, be ready because the Messiah is coming. The reading, in Romans 13, is calling to each of uls to remember the "already" - "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ" because "our salvation is near." At the same time Jesus is reminding us of the "not yet." He is pointing out "no one knows" the day or the hour. So we are to be ready because of the "already" - God with us, Emmanuel. We are also supposed to be getting ready, being prepared, for the "not yet." Jesus WILL come again.
The Hebrew people waited a LONG time for the Messiah to come. We have been waiting over 2,000 years for His return. As Caregivers we are prepared for almost anything AND can work with the "spur of the moment." We even understand disappointment (at least eventually) like NOT being able to snorkel on this cruise. We can do this because we do "clothe" ourselves with Emmanuel - the "already" as we prepare for the "not yet." Are we ready? Can we be prepared for not knowing the "day or hour"? Something to think about.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Taking time for ourselves is difficult to do, especially as Caregivers, when the schedules get hectic and the weather starts to change......... How do you make sure to have time for you? Do you make sure you have time daily with God? Are you getting time to STOP and listen for what God is saying to you? As we are continuing to give out, to help others, to do our jobs AND to take care of "our people" it is important to remember God's strength in and through us.
How do we do this? How do we make sure to get time for ourselves? One thing is certain - each of us has to work it our for ourselves. Each of us also needs to support how others find, and do, each of these things. Some of us make sure to have some time with God AT LEAST first thing in the morning and try to get another time in - usually at bed time. I know this is how I do God time each day - first thing in the morning and last thing before I turn out the light. I know on SOME days I also get "extra" God time in.
And, there are times, like now, that I can actually "get away" from the "caregiving" I am doing right now "only" caring for 3 small churches. When I was the primary caregiver for our Dad he and I would take vacations so I "only" had Dad to take care of instead of Dad and up to 4 small churches. The time "away" gave a break in the responsibilities, yes, but it also gave more time to be able to stop and listen for what God was saying to ME.
So..... Yes, we can celebrate God with us - Emmanuel. Because God keeps God's promises. We are told "God goes with you; he will never leaveyou nor forsake you." Even when we are "too busy" to stop and listen God IS with us. Taking time to s-t-o-p, listen for God AND re-create as God is directing is also important. Something to think about........
"This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear." (Haggai 2:5)
"Do you remember ______?" Fill in the blank.... It could be songs, special days, special events or how fast the kids grew. It could be the time you "blew it" like when I complimented my mother-in-law on the beautiful dress she was wearing. She asked if I didn't recognize the dress.... Nope, I didn't. She had worn it at our wedding less than a year before. Conversations can frequently be "do you remember _____" with the person your talking to saying "No. It was ______." Aren't they fun!?
Scrptures, and the special day, are for remembering. Scriptures are pointing out God "remains among you." (Haggai 2:5) And Paul is reminding the Ephesians of their, and our, faith. (Ephesians 1:15) Jesus is pointing out "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh." (Luke 6:21b) Two very important points here -- it is good to have a gentle reminder of the "good" things. AND our faith, our sure knowledge that our loved ones are now a part of the Commuion of Saints helps our faith so we can laugh. One of the memories I have, of after our mother died, is Dad's grief group talking about SOJAG. Sudden Outbursts of Joy and Gladness -- SOJAG. Yes, there are still times we can be angry, or crying, for the loved one no longer with us, but there are also times we start laughing and are glad -- SOJAG. Jesus is showing us this gift.
So...... on this celebration of All Saints Day...... "do you remember?" Can we celebrate, with SOJAG, our loved ones who are with the Communion of the Saints? Something to think about.......
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.