November Journal in a Pandemic Year, Trinity 22

RESOURCE_TemplateDark clouds rolled in shortly after noon today and soon filled the big sky over and around our portion of Planet Earth. Then thunder roared and rain poured, as though the skies opened  to pour their tears on our land. It was cold last night, and I gazed up to Angel Mountain (Mount Diablo) wondering if it might snow. An American flag flew in the distance in the brown grass, and, farther up the horse trail, the white cross stood sturdy, weathering the weather. We are nearing Veterans Day, the day in which my novel’s story opens, closing on Thanksgiving. In Angel Mountain, the skies are filled with thunder and lightning. The leaves are turning gold and bronze and russet, as they fall into Fall. Earth is preparing for winter.

Thunder shatters the air, rumbling through the canyons. But I fear no evil. I was reminded this last week to be not afraid, that God is the God of all history, and there will come a time when there are no more tears. Christ will come again to judge the peoples of the Earth, and those who desire justice among men will have their fervent and patient wish granted.

Christ PantokratorBut beware. This means a personal judgment as well as a general one. Wheat will be separated from chaff (weeds), sheep from goats. For if there will be no more tears in the new Heaven and Earth, those who did not keep (and do not desire to keep) the Ten Commandments, the Law given to Moses and the Prophets, those who did not bear good fruit, will be cast into outer darkness. This is God’s justice, justly severe, as written in Holy Scripture.

This last week the Book of Common Prayer daily Gospel readings included Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees. They are harsh words, hellfire and brimstone words, and he is clear in his intention. So if we believe Jesus is the Son of God, if we believe the Scriptures are a fair account of his works and words, then we might pause and take stock of our own lives.

Second Coming of ChristAnd so it was also good to hear the Gospel for today in which Christ explains forgiveness. We are to forgive our enemies, those who harm us or seek to do us harm. Forgiveness must come from deep within our hearts, through prayer and patience. We are told to love our enemies. Do good to those who persecute us. This does not mean that we embrace words and deeds of the lawless and the dishonest. We must be wise and not throw pearls before swine. But we prepare our hearts to forgive them when they repent. We do not hold grudges. With forgiveness we are free from this darkness. When we forgive, as seen in the prayer Our Lord taught us to pray, the “Our Father,” we will be forgiven in like measure.

lady-justiceI ponder these holy mysteries – a soothing symmetry – as I watch history unfold on our national stage, today an international stage, watched by the peoples of the world with fear and trembling. America, for now, shines her light on the hill, a beacon lighting up the darkness, a promise of hope to all those escaping the terror of socialist regimes. For as long as honest debate is allowed, freedom thrives. For as long as free and honest elections are held, liberty is lauded. As long as we can speak without fear, live without fear, America will continue to shine her light from the mountaintop.

And so I am pleased that our President is shining light on the allegations of fraudulent practices in the recent election. Such light will strengthen our republic. Such transparency will show the world that we are still a place of refuge, a place of justice. Our constitutional procedures wisely give us time to examine these charges, and, as we await the final results, we can pause and give thanks that we have such a process. I pray that all Americans accept peacefully the results, having waited patiently for every legal vote to be certified, trusting that the electors, in mid-December, will represent the true and honest will of the American people. For this is America. This is how we protect our freedoms.

flag.nationThe projections made by the media are projections, not elections. Let us pause and breathe deeply and pray for our country, for all her wonderful peoples of every race, creed, and background, born and unborn. She is a glorious melting pot, just like each one of us, a rainbow of colorful traits, treasures, and talents. She is the hope of the world.

The sun just came out on Angel Mountain, the sky now a dome of blue, the colors of the earth singing their song of hope.

May God bless America.

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