GM: LENT AND ELECTIONS
Donald Trump has one message – he wants to make America great again. So does Bernie Sanders – Wall Street, which represents the super rich and the greedy, is responsible for most of the trials of the ordinary middle working class Americans.
Locally, the ruling People’s National Party has one message – Step up the Progress. While the Opposition’s Jamaica Labour Party’s single message is that they are only party than can bring Prosperity to the ordinary Jamaican.
But more importantly, Christians have one central message; The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all Sin and grants us New and Unending Life. And is the full manifestation of the Love of God, that is beyond all human understanding, for ‘Adam’s Helplessness Race, viz, all humanity
A message for Advent; for Christmas, for Pentecost; for all the seasons of the Church. But especially for Lent which leads us into our Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. And His Glorious Resurrection on Easter; the Climax of the Liturgical Calendar.
A message which supersedes by far, the debate about the Debates in Jamaica, and the debate about how we should conduct ourselves in a political campaign. But which central message is deeply relevant to all debates about human behaviour! For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
A message which is more important that warnings about Zik V, the dreaded H1N1 Virus, and other potentially dangerous illnesses. But which central message is a ‘ refuge’ for all mankind, in times of danger.
A message which is more important than ‘ making America great again’; or ‘ Prosperity’, or ‘ Progress’ in any nation. But which understanding of the central message, ‘ that man shall not live by bread alone’, is of deep relevance to any call for Prosperity, Progress or Greatness. And the ‘Overthrow of Greed’!
A message which calls for
perseverance in times of persecution, temptation and trials, all of which, in varying degrees, according to God’s will and purpose, will, not might, attend the journey of all who believe in Jesus.
A message which began last night as I read the Word of God before retiring to bed, on a particularly cold night #hugupweather in my country.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ……
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
And continues this morning as I, looking for another hymn, ‘happened’, upon one of the all time great, in my view, teaching hymns of the Church.
Words which are emblazoned on my heart after years of receiving, Sunday after Sunday, the Blessed Sacrament of Our Lord’s ‘Blood and Body’, in Holy Communion.
Words which point to the Blood of Jesus, set as a shield ‘ Between our Sins and their reward ‘ ( Death).
Words which lament our ‘ dim faith’ and ‘ languid prayers’.
Words which appeal for mercy, through the Blood of Jesus, for ‘ our dearest and our best’; which should not only be our relatives and friends, but all who meet and are in need of God’s mercy. And words which pray for ‘ strength to persevere’, and grace to ‘ never more live part from God’
So as we persevere my friends, let us fulfill our democratic rights, and national responsibilities and get involved in the elections in our respective countries. But let us not become distracted from observing a Holy Lent, and engaging in well needed spiritual disciplines.
For whichever Party wins, whether Portia or Andrew, Trump or Clinton ( not calling it, just speculating) at the end of the day, for true prosperity, true progress, and true greatness to become a reality, The Light of God in and through Jesus Christ will have to reign in the hearts of mankind.
A message for all times. And in all countries!
And now, O Father, mindful of the love
And now, O Father, mindful of the love
that bought us, once for all, on Calvary’s Tree,
and having with us him that pleads above,
we here present, we spread forth to thee
that only Offering perfect in thine eyes,
the one, true, pure, immortal Sacrifice.
Look, Father, look on his anointed face,
and only look on us as found in him;
look not on our misusings of thy grace,
our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim:
for lo, between our sins and their reward
we set the Passion of thy Son our Lord.
And then for those, our dearest and our best,
by this prevailing Presence we appeal:
O fold them closer to thy mercy’s breast,
O do thine utmost for their souls’ true weal;
from tainting mischief keep them white and clear,
and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere.
And so we come: O draw us to thy feet,
most patient Savior, who canst love us still;
and by this food, so aweful and so sweet,
deliver us from every touch of ill:
in thine own service make us glad and free,
and grant us never more to part with thee.
Words: William Bright, 1874