Brother Paul’s Thoughts and Musings Regarding the “Signs of the Times”

Sunday, May 22, 2022
Sixth Sunday of Easter

As the majority of you are aware of, my mother passed from this life to eternal life on Thursday, May 5. I again want to extend my sincere gratitude to all who offered kind words and actions of sympathy to me and my family over the course of the past weeks. Those actions are so greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

As I have moved through this experience of loosing my second parent, my reflection and faith response has had its conflicts, and as I like to say, its “pushes and pulls.” On one side there is the promise of resurrection and new life which Christ promised and gives us. Death does not win, and the love and protection of God prevails. The passing of my Mom, or anyone, should be a cause of celebration. If it is truly a time of celebration. Our excitement should be at a fever pitch. I/we should be “popping the cork,” singing and dancing, having a great feast, and perhaps the women, if I dare say, should be wearing their best Easter wear with large Kentucky Derby-style hats. But that is not the case. We dress in black, we mourn, shed tears, the separation caused death and the apparent finality can be extremely overwhelming. It can be a dark and sober time. Considering these two approaches – is there something wrong with this picture? The question could be posed: in the face of death, do I really believe that God wins? Often our actions give evidence of a contradictory message. So, where does our faith come in?

I say my following words with caution, understanding that they could be debunked – but I offer them anyway. I do believe that we believers do embrace the resurrection insured for us through Christ. It is an accepted article of our faith. I also believe our human condition and the limitations it imposes on us, which are God-given, since we are creations of God, do hinder us in our faith response. I do wonder if the limitations of being human, which can create doubt, are there perhaps intentionally to invite us to depend on God and as I like to say, “lean on God” in times of dealing with the unknown and questioning.

As I have made clear through past reflections, I like to promote the “D” word – discernment. Allow me to now offer a new one that you may begin to hear more, and that term is-LOG. LOG means to lean on God in our times of questioning and seeking understanding, wisdom, comfort, etc. Allow me to introduce still another one of mine, please bear with me, which we must avoid, “The Babel Syndrome.” We know the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9). God was displeased with the people and scattered them speaking many languages. As one commentator writes, this “narrative suggest that the sin [of the people] was of overwhelming human pride and self-sufficiency.” The people thought they knew all answers had no need for God. That sounds like us at times. It is not the practice of LOG.

As we face our challenges, losses, questions, and disappointments, let us take the disposition of LOG, or even better said by Simon Peter, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)