Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Promise


Never start the day by scanning the news unless the news is so enticing as never to say never. 

The enticing news is tonight’s presidential debate, that this time The Donald has been preparing. I’m no debate person, but I was on a debate team in speech class at Bay High, and I remember finding out the importance of being prepared, and relishing the enjoyment of making a complete ass of my opponent. 

Naturally, all that was before I was a naval officer, much less a humble holy man, and that’s all the holy man is going to say about that.

Here’s our Old Testament lesson for the upcoming Sunday, the promise of future restoration after the desolating visitation of God’s raging fury:


O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain, 
the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again
be put to shame.
Then afterward
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, 
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:23-32, NRSV)


On a popular lectionary website, the art for the week is about rain, and half a dozen or so works of art are offered for liturgical use such as on worship bulletins and that. Above, the recommended one, is “A kinetic sculpture by the Venezuelan artist, Jesus Rafael Soto. Soto has created penetrables, interactive sculptures which consist of square arrays of thin, dangling tubes through which observers can walk. It has been said of Soto's art that it is inseparable from the viewer; it can only stand completed in the illusion perceived by the mind as a result of observing the piece,” which I think is bovine excretion, but what the hell do I know with my military mind, nicht wahr - - -

Of the offered works of art, to me this one (top and below) best tells the view from the window, of what lies in wait before the time of promise. Unattributed, its name is Scary, Scary Night. Sometimes that’s where we are in life:


But remember the promise. Sunday is coming.



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