In the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Amen. The Rev. Albert Aymer, who was academic dean of Drew Theological School when I attended seminary there, was fond of opening his classes with the question: “SO – WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?” “What IS the good news?” How would YOU answer that question?
As I was doing the thinking part of my sermon preparation this week, as one of my apparently necessary times of procrastination and intentional distraction making, I checked my Facebook account. I saw a post from one of you which said, “One day, God will make all things right.” My immediate response was, yes that’s true, One day, God will make all things right, because God is making all things right right now. The baton passing between John and Jesus, when John is confined and Jesus is set free to proclaim the reign of God, as being now, is what makes that statement true.
The work, I believe, we bring to scripture texts is to find within the spoken or written words, that which both comforts and that which challenges us. We want our relationship with God to be rooted in God’s everlasting and intimate love of us, which we search for and find in our scriptures, and we want our lives: our actions, beliefs, and feelings, to be challenged, so we can live the gospel faithfully within community.
Okay, here we are two major themes: Beginnings and Secrecy. Also, here we are at the beginning of a new year and the reality that we do not know what this next year is going to bring, it is a form of secrecy, particularly if we hold maintain the theological idea that God is all- knowing. I want to push this a little bit further by saying that the divine secrets we are now privy to, throughout all of scripture, point to hope, whether that hope begins with creation or whether that hope begins with salvation. Perhaps we, whether we doubt or are certain, are gifted glimpses of these divine secrets to prod us forward in trust, obedience, and love.