from Lucia Flaherty
Today's passages list out extreme situations where my failure/our collective failure is written into the structure. Exodus continues to give instruction for the perfection of God's temple: the altar's construction, the tabernacle court, oil lamps. As if imperfect people could somehow make something good enough to contain a perfect God. Then Matthew has those intense "left behind" end of the world passages: Jesus breaking through complete darkness, the utter unknowableness of when he'll return, a call to stay awake and be ready always.
How can I always be awake?
How can I build a perfect altar?
What happens when I fail?
I find reassurance in the Psalms:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (46.1)
Be still and know that I am God (46.10)
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (46.11)
I am called to be still. And, peaking ahead to Psalm 47, I am called to praise, to turn toward God, to let him shape me into what I cannot make myself to be. This is how to stay awake, how to build a perfect altar.
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
Lucia Flaherty spends her days cultivating patience and joy with Joan and Ursula, who exactly one year ago began reiterating the Biblical call that I stay awake. (Happy Birthday, Ursy!)