Never the Last Word

You can tell by the day of the week. You can just tell how things are goin’. And maybe how they’re gonna go. Who here just pines to get up on “Blue Monday”? But by Wednesday, well that’s somethin’ else. “Hump Day” some call it… almost over the hump ‘til the end of the week. By noonday, ½ way home. We’ve even named a restaurant chain TGI… FRIDAY. That’s for… (All) Thank God it’s Friday. O, you can tell by the day of the week. Now, I think it important we consider that this very week. That’s 'cause we got a certain Tuesday comin’ up this week that most of us folks are pretty psyched about. At least 18 months have been lavished on getting us to Tuesday. From all sources, over a billion dollars have been spent. The TV ads have “ad-ed”, the blogs blogged, the editors editorialized and the pundants have punded. The lawns have traded dandelions for placards and everybody’s holding their breath, at least a little. From local mayors to judges to school boards to state legislators to congressmen/women to the White House here’s the thing: Tuesday. And good souls who know and love each other well, from synagogues to churches to fire halls to pool halls (with an occasional bar thrown in), are hopin’ and prayin’, just on opposite sides. “Lord, let this be the One. And the One we elect. And God forbid it should be the OTHER one.” Herein is saving. Therein lies disaster.” Well now. I’m not here to say how you vote in any of these races. ‘No idea who will win. I would say it’s truly important that you vote and how. Lots (and much more than the fraudulent promises of slots… oops, we’ve already talked about that) depends on you and me in this. But here’s what I believe God calls me to say to you today, no matter the week’s winners and losers. NEVER THE LAST WORD. That’s right. Tuesdays never get the last word. You can tell by the day of the week. Only two days get the last word. Friday. (And Friday only thinks it gets the last word. And Sunday. Sunday gets the last word for last week and the first and the last word for next, even to eternity! So vote Tuesday. Get fired up and tuned in. But don’t get too jubilant or too bereft. ‘Cause the last word won’t be in ‘til Friday. And Sunday will cancel even that!

Let’s look at Matthew 24. We’re just two chapters and a few days from the first communion and the fatal cross. The “boys” are with Jesus ogling the Temple, a human attempt to show God in all glory. And Jesus puts the whole human enterprise in perspective. (Kind of like all the promises of all the political folk of every land and time). Jesus says [paraphrased], “You see all this? Truthfully, there won’t be a stone of it left, by and by.” Later, alone, the 12 ask him directly, “Tell us, when/how can this be? How will we know when it’s really God’s time? Says Jesus, “Don’t let anybody fool you. Many will come saying, ‘I’m your Savior.’ And they’ll lead lots astray. You’ll always have fears and fighting…. Don’t let it fool you. It just has to be [Monday through Friday]. But all of it’s just birth-pangs. God will decide when to do what God is determined to do.” And then Jesus proceeds to show his own, from that day to this, which are the days and ways when Heaven itself claims the last word. That would be FRIDAY… and SUNDAY!

Every campaign that leads to election promises in effect, I’ll end the suffering. I’ll take away the sting of life. I’ll bring security and a whiff of sweet contentment. Even, dare I say, SAVING grace. (Whatever the office.) True believers know better. Only Jesus saves. It’s Calvary not the corner voting place that holds our true hope. Jesus goes to the cross, nobody else. He chooses it. ‘Not because he wants it but because he wants something else above all. He wants to take on all the sin and sorrow. ‘All the brokenness and pain. Only he has the strength to suffer the literal Hell out of all the powers that be or want-to-be in our lives. His is the only social security, the only peace plan, the only debt-relief that works for us and for all forever! His only tax plan is to pay the price for all our silliness and sin… personally, once and for all. He tells the disciples and he tells us. Build all the Temples you want. Place palaces all around. Build Mc Mansions for yourselves if you must. But mine is the only Body that will save, and it is broken for you. So whenever you can, take it in. I’ll even set a place at table for you. I’m the only one who willingly is poured out for you (and for many, for all) for forgiveness’ sake. So drink up this love, all of you. It’s a new covenant, a new deal between Heaven and Earth. And it’s yours for the taking. So take and drink!
Let’s take a look at Matthew If you’re still looking for a standard by which to cast your ballot, in the upcoming election, or for your whole life, try this. Vote for the One who truly turns everything around. ‘Who turns every earthly expectation upside down, and every one around. Our public servants want to come close, most of them of every stripe and party. But close doesn’t get it done. Nope. Here’s what you’re lookin’ for. Here’s the WAY to choose. Pick the One who can make it be that…

The poor are blessed,

even with a piece/ the peace of heaven.

The mourners (for whatever wounds the soul) get comfort.

The meek get their full inheritance: the earth.

The hungry and the thirsty finally get their fill.

The merciful get mercy at last.

The pure in heart catch more than a glimpse of God.

The peacemakers get their due: peace!

(These are surely the children God loves, after all.)

Those put down for God’s sake, Jesus’ sake, get lifted up.

(Remember, God’s got the last Word.)

The last Word. It is God’s to speak. And he does. He says it on Sunday. And at the crack of dawn. That’s so we’ll have all day to walk in the light, as he is in the light, having fellowship with him and with one another.

Dear friends, do Tuesday: well, enthusiastically, faithfully.

But don’t get too happy in winning, or bereft in losing.

It’s only Friday that has the power to save.

And only Sunday that has the last Word!

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