Posted on Nov 14, 2018 by Pastor Dave Whetter
It has been a busy couple of weeks around Salem. This past Sunday, we voted to sell our sanctuary and Luther Hall to Narthex and then lease it back. And then this coming Sunday is Commitment Sunday here at Salem. I know for some of you this is all very exciting; yet, for others, this is all very disturbing. So maybe we need to once again take a deep breath and try to listen to what God might be saying to us.
Our texts for this coming Sunday are Daniel 12:1-3 and Mark 13:1-8. Both texts talk about what is to come. Like those who first heard the words of Daniel and Jesus thousands of years ago, we, too, live in times filled with turmoil and fear. Even looking past such cultural issues as racism, poverty, and homelessness in our local and wider communities, we have much turmoil in our own faith community. We continue to face financial issues and we are struggling to grow our membership so that we might be able to continue to offer the ministries God has called us to offer. As I think about these and other concerns of our community, I often tend to get down, and I even sometimes think all looks hopeless.
When I read the texts for this week, though, I tend to gain hope. Daniel says, “But at that time your people shall be delivered…” (Daniel 12:1). And in the Gospel of Mark, in the midst of identifying all the turmoil that the world will experience, Jesus says, “Do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7).
Our message this week is one of hope and promise in the midst of doom and gloom. We live each day in the “already/but not yet.” God’s promise and our hope for God’s new kingdom of love and grace is already here, but it is not yet fulfilled. Our scriptures this week call us back to a fundamental trust in and reliance upon God as the cornerstone of our life and our life together. We are reminded this week that we can trust God and that God is faithful. God’s promise of a better future is real, but that future will not come without work and commitment on our part. We have to be committed to God’s future, not ours. Too often, we cling to our hopes and dreams and fail to realize that the future we are being called into is not our future, but God’s promised future for us and all God’s creation.
So today, in the midst of all that is going on in our lives, I hope and pray that each of us remembers that God is working in, with, and through us to bring about this promised future. We are the very hands and feet of Christ, and we are called give our life to Christ so that God’s promised future will be a reality, because the best is yet to come.