I am constantly reminded of my need for reminders. Is it picture day at my daughters school? There are field trips, events and concerts she is performing in… The list is long. My wife keeps a dry erase calendar to track them each month. However the beginning of each month we are slow to update the next month. Things early in the month are often forgotten. I need to be more intentional in my own organization of these events. I have learned to put them on my phone calendar with reminders. The alarm reminds with an alert and gives me time to respond properly. Each day Monday Through Friday at 2:20 p.m. I am reminded – I need to pick up my daughter at school.
If I am not great at these important things above. I am even less able to remember that I need to remember that God is in control. Not of my daily schedule perhaps. But of all that is in the world. I refuse to live in a state of fear I see so much of these days. The rhetoric in the ether today keeps telling us we need to build walls. We need to keep “others” out. It seems “We” have it figured out and the rest of the world needs to be kept at bay. The other end of the spectrum say “We” need “open doors,” we are a country of former others and we cannot simply slam that door shut. Is there a way to both protect and be hospitable?
If I truly have faith in the triune God – The Father, Son and Holy Spirit – I need to walk that faith. Faith that he is control of everything. That he is the master of all. God is a “Mighty Fortress… a bulwark never-failing; our helper he, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” This old hymnal based on Psalm 46 written by Martin Luther should be a reminder that I need to look to God, not people, nor walls for the answers and to give up to him all my fears. I need to learn to walk like Jesus and welcome the foreigner and show them the grace and freedom of expression, just as I want for my community.
A tall order. Yet, did Jesus not do the same as he was arrested. As Peter cut an ear off the man who came to arrest Jesus. Jesus picked up the ear, healed him and rebuked Peter and expressed the oft-repeated, live by the sword, die by the sword. Do I have that right? I believe I do, more or less.
I don’t need to look fearful at my neighbor wearing garments of their faith. I do not need to fear faiths other than mine. Because I have a faith in the God, “That Word above all earthly powers.” I need not fear an administration or Government. I am between the ages of youthful indiscretion and the pine box. Over the years between I have learned that Governments and administrations come and go. The people remain. God is in control.
If I truly have faith, I need remind myself of this, in the morning and before I sleep. I want to be reminded. I need to be reminded, “Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!”
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:34 NASB
- all words italicised and in quotes are from the lyric “A Mighty Fortress” Psalter Hymnal, (Gray), 1987