Sermon for June 7, 2020 by Dave Robinson
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.James 1:26
Oh we know this, but still, we insist on chattering. Gossip is never the work of God. Backbiting is never the work of God. What we call righteous indignation is too often self-righteous justification. There is a time to call evildoers to justice. It is our own pettiness that is even more dangerous. Telling a panhanldler to “get a job”, calling prisoners of war “losers”, saying that something is fake just because it is inconvenient. These are all ways to practice ungodliness.
Shadows are interesting things. As christians, we like to think we live in the light and avoid darkness. Then along comes a hot day, a place with no water, lots of concrete and every bit of sky is cloudless. No, this is not heaven, but an abandoned industrial area.
I thanked God for the shadows of the building, and the livingness of the plum tree, completely forsaken by gardeners, yet growing in the heat.
Job, says a lot of things. One of the things he mentions is that a servant longs for a shadow. As a servant earnestly desires the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work, so am I made to possess months of vanity and wearisome nights are appointed to me. (Job 7:2,3)
Kind of glum, this reference, but it does fit the way I was feeling at the moment, and even so, in spite of the fact that I was tired and wanted to do nothing but nothing, there were these glorious shadows.
Psalm 84 says:
My soul longs, yes, I am fainting for the courts where God lives. My heart and all my being cry out for the God who is alive. But look! the little bird has found a hous. The tiny bird has found a home for herself and her young. There they are! They live at your altar, O Ruler of all creatures. (paraphrased)
This little warbler was living in Ruby Valley Nevada when I took this picture several years ago. Their lives are short, but I cannot see a bird without praising God.