21 Mar 2020
A Sermon For Today... A Time of Crisis
Posted on each page of ACW's-website are the words of the Rev John Fawcett as he prepared to leave his parish to go to another, “Blest be the tie that binds.” While considering leaving his parish, he did not. There was love, hope and commitment in his heart. In this extraordinary time when darkness looms over us we look to find the bond that Rev. Fawcett presents. More-than-ever we need to hold on to each other. We have closed our churches but we must not close our hearts. We must reach-out to each other praying that whatever is among us we will bond together in love and fellowship strengthened by faith. We must NOT lose our zeal for life.
In this undetermined life I live, I have seen one disaster-after-another from the misguided words of Jim Jones in the jungles-of-Guyana to a family-of-5 plunging over a ravine; but along the journey I have seen the miracles of God presented by his word. St-Paul to the Romans echoes this theme as he reminds us to present our bodies as living sacrifice unto him. He reminds us not to live in fear or cast fear upon others because whatever the tide God hovers over us like a father protecting his children .
Most of life disasters are man-made, explained by pundits and TV's I-wantta-get-paid people, but the word of God continues to give assurance, as describe by Rev-James-Kirk, “Blessed Quietness, What assurance in my soul, On the stormy seas, he speaks peace to me.”
Again St-Paul heed us, do not be afraid but allow the countenance of God to dwell within us. Corono-19 is with us now, it’s real, we must respect our leaders advice and ignore the TV ratings. Our God is constant. He will keep us in the fold until the storm has passed. Hear 19th century hymn writer Ray Palmer, “My faith looks up to thee, Thou lamb of Calvary, Now hear me while I pray, While life’s dark maze I tread, And grief around me spread Be thou my guide, Bid darkness turn to day, Wipe sorrow’s tears away, Never let me ever stay from thee.‘’
Our hope must rest with each-other, our hearts must bind together. Hear St-Paul again “sow generously to each other, let us not shun each other with carelessness” but take as Rev-Fawcett bids us, “Blest be the tie that binds, our hearts in Christian love, The fellowship of kindred minds, Is like that from above.” He strides with us not on some intellectual basis but a constant, “We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, let us share a sympathizing tear.”
As we ponder this unknown virus, it will pass but I pray you hold on to your faith and each other, hear Fawcett one last time...
When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain, But we shall still be join in heart, and hope to meet agian.
Hartley, Presiding Bishop ACW