Rev. Peter J. Haugen
St. Paul Evangelical
“‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the Glory to Him, for the Marriage of the Lamb has come and His Bride has made Herself ready. And it was given to Her to clothe Herself in fine linen, bright and clean, for the fine linen is the Righteous Acts of the Saints.” (Revelation 19:6b-8).
We are prone to getting so caught up in the minutiae (or sometimes in the not-so-minutiae) of this life that we lose sight of the end. Even more, we neither understand nor believe how devastating that sort of distraction is to our faith. The cares and concerns of this world, as important as they are, grow to consume us, choking our faith so slowly that we don’t realize the danger in which we are walking. It is exactly this of which our Lord warns us in the Parable of the Sower.
This is not to say that we should not be concerned to fulfill our vocational responsibilities here on Earth. Far from it. God has placed us into our vocations of father, mother, child, citizen, and the like precisely so that we might be His hands and feet in loving service to our neighbor. Nevertheless, our life here on earth is shaped and defined not by the minutiae, not by the not-so-minutiae, but rather by the word and promise of God given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, by the final consummation of our faith in the marriage feast of the lamb.
It is only as we are oriented even here on earth by this ultimate reality of the end that we are able to keep everything else in proper perspective. The trials and troubles and tribulations that beset us are not the end, but are merely the labour pangs through which we must pass to arrive at our joy. The failures and foibles and faults of our neighbors do not destroy us or drive us to hate or despise them, but lead us to love them all the more, to pray for them, to bring them the love of God as we live our vocations among them. We are not beholden to their whims and fancies, but rather to the will of the Lord as revealed in His holy word.
It is precisely as we keep the end in view, as we orient our life here on earth according to the hope of our faith, that we are able to seek the best interests of our neighbor no matter the consequences to us. We do not need to be worried for ourselves or for our own good; our Lord has already established for us our own best interest in himself, in the consummation of our faith, in the marriage of the lamb. So “let us rejoice and be glad and give the Glory to Him.” Why? “For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns,” and He has invited us to the feast. Amen.