Monday, January 21, 2013

Seeing what is there

The readings for yesterday in the lectionary have as a common theme community and God's abundance. Isaiah 62:1-5 calls out for a nation to be restored through God's abundant love and mercy. Psalm 36: 5-10 also reminds us that God's love is limitless and prepares a feast for us. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 urges a community to come together in the face of the urge to divide ourselves according to honor rather than understand that unity is vital to live as the body of Christ.

The reading from John details the miracle at the wedding at Cana. As I was reminded in the wonderful sermon I heard yesterday in church, Jesus' mother notices there is no wine, and her initially hesitant son restores abundance to the feast in the face of disaster, with the help of a lot of servants who had to carry a lot of water. Jesus performs this miracle with the help of the community.

These are the readings we heard yesterday. Today, we remember the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin LUther King, Jr. And then, an even further blessing, we witness the demonstration of the blessing of living in a stable democratic republic. Today, we witnessed the second inauguration of President Obama. In his speech, he quoted the Declaration of Independence as well as referencing the Gettysburg Address, he reminded my generation's task to make these words real for every American: that we are endowed  by our Creator with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These are inalienable rights, and they belong to all. God's limitless love provides abundance for us through unmerited grace.

We have once again been reminded by several people during the ceremony, beginning with Senator Lamar Alexander, with the inaugural address from the president, with the poem by Richard Blanco, and with the closing invocation by the Rev. Luis Leon, that we are ONE people, and that we must overcome our divisions. And then, we heard this further echo from yesterday's readings in the prayer given by the Rev. Leon: 

"We pray for your blessing because without it, we will only see scarcity in the midst of abundance..." 

A few years ago, we were driving through Yosemite, and we saw this tree growing out of the living rock, right before a sheer drop. In the background was a magnificent waterfall. I thought about that seed that years ago was blown across the rock until it found a crevice, and  perhaps a little rain fell that encouraged it to sprout. It spread out its embrace into the rock, took root, and thrived.

Instead of bemoaning what is not there, let us understand that we therefore have an opportunity to act, to be the agents of change that make the miracle of abundance for all possible. Even if we may feel that "our time is not yet come." Instead of thinking that we do not have enough, that we are clinging to a precipice, instead of conflating difficulty with impossibility, let us take hold and determine to flourish by each taking responsibility for what we can do.

May Almighty God preserve us from the tendency to close our eyes to the blessings all around us. May we see what is there, and make sure that abundance is available for all. May we see God's abundant love for us even in the midst of our trials and understand that the work of all of us is required to bring about the miracle. Amen. 

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