Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
In the Romans 8 passage from this past Sunday, there is a phrase in there that I come back to regularly, especially when I find myself in the midst of something difficult. The phrase from Paul is:
"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. " Romans 8:18
Now Paul knew suffering and the people he was writing to knew suffering.
If we were to compare our lives with theirs, we would be embarrassed by how good we actually have it. That being said, we cannot minimize our experiences currently no matter what we compare it to. 2020 has been interesting.
And the suffering for most has been the inability to visit those we love. Further, for the Church, our suffering is the things that we are not allowed to do that are an integral part of our being community.
- exchanging the peace
- seeing someone’s full face
- taking the cup at communion
- embracing our friends
But, I think the suffering also includes other things like fear, anxiety and worry.
And we might not be paying attention to these things.
Fear that I could get sick and die.
Fear that someone I love could get sick and die.
Anxiety over how long this thing might creep along.
Anxiety about job security.
Worry about finances.
Worry about the mental well-being of those around you.
These things are a kind of suffering too.
But, Paul says that these things can’t compete with God’s plan of complete restoration.
It is our hope.
It is God’s gift to us.
As His children.
And the Spirit is His promissory note to validate the hope of things to come.
This goes with the point of the sermon last Sunday.
We can regret the Yesterdays. We can worry about the tomorrows. But we have been given today.
A today that is blessed with the assurance of a complete restoration.
A today cleaned of the regrets of yesterday.
A today that is full of promise in the midst of the uncertain.
A today with an opportunity to be thankful for the many blessings that we have.
A today with an opportunity to lift up those around us who might be struggling.