Before Whose Altar
Friday, June 16, 2023
Pfarrer Dr. Robert Nandkisore aus Oestrich-Winkel
Segnet Uns Alle
(Blesses Us All)
Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn away this day from following the Lord by building an altar for burnt-offering, grain-offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle!’
… not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Words of Grace For Today
Where and Whom or What do we worship each day?
By the looks of society around us (in western Canada) people worship their ability to burn gasoline and diesel in their trucks and toys (boats, snowmobiles, quads, side by sides, and sea-does). The rationale is though climate change occurs (hard to deny that now that storms, wildfire, and smoke interfere with daily life) it has always happened. (Forgetting just a little that the speed of the change is like never before in all time. What used to take more than a million years of evolution we’ve ‘accomplished’ burning carbon – among many others like mining, technology and creation and use of new, permanent chemicals – in less than one hundred!)
And people worship the comforts of modern living, hot and cold water, vehicles for transportation, roadways, air travel around the globe, secure and temperature controlled housing, bounties of food sources and varieties, and a steady income to enjoy all those things. Not that everyone has the ability to have or enjoy all that, but nearly everyone wishes they had and enjoyed all that, so they work endless hours to achieve that (even as they earn less real income each year and costs go up each month.)
Many still gather to worship God. And their worship is oriented towards making themselves good enough for God. All that they do supposedly makes them ‘better’ than they were, and certainly ‘better’ than all the people who do not join them in ‘being better’ and ‘good’ or at least ‘good enough for God.’
Where can one worship with others, begging God for mercy, receiving forgiveness, and humbly acknowledging that Jesus came for sinners, the worst of whom is not anyone else but for each person, themselves. Receiving forgiveness and by grace, renewed life, then each and all go out to extend that same grace and renewed life to all they encounter, as many as possible, in as many ways as possible.
There are not many opportunities for such worship. They are rare indeed. Those of who seek such worship are the best of all God’s children, right!?
oppps, slipped into the pervasive sin-rut of making myself and us better than everyone else.
So, when one even fails to remain humble and fully dependent on God, where can one find an opportunity to gather and humbly worship God, begging for mercy? And how can one go out to share God’s grace with others when one does not depend on that grace each day, all day?
By Grace alone, God provides.
Such was the blessing from a Catholic priest. At the end of the televised worship service, focused on God’s mercy shown to addicts gathered as the congregation Cenacolo, founded by the Elvira nuns, in northern Italy and everywhere (Jesus comes to the sick, and calls the worst of all sinners to follow him, like the tax collector Matthew) Pfarrer Dr. Robert Nandkisore just before he exited the church, turned to look at the camera. Various people do this through the service, usually with a bit of embarrassment of being televised or to complete their part of the service. But the service is done. So what is the priest up to? He looked directly in the lens (at each of us watching) and with an intensity through his glasses, strong to corrected nearsightedness, blessed us all and each of us.
May we find opportunity to be such a blessing to others, even this day.
What else did you have in mind?
Useless worship of things, comforts, and vain efforts?