Woe to Me

Life Notes—November 4, 2010

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.  Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.”  Luke 6:24-25. 

Based upon the quote above I have much woe coming my way.  Compared to most people on this planet I am rich, I am well-fed and I laugh a lot.  Whoa!  Woe to me?  These lines come from a section in the Gospel of Luke which is similar to the Beatitudes, found in the Gospel of Matthew.  It makes it sound as if God wants us to be poor, hungry and sad.  That doesn’t sound like the loving creator I believe God to be. 

This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day, where we remember the church members who have passed in the last year.  There is an incredible amount of experience and wisdom in these souls who have passed from our presence.  And yet, thanks to their active influence upon us and our church, their presence remains.  Most of those members had been alive for quite some time, at least in people-years.  I believe many, if not all of the Saints we recognize this Sunday understood what Jesus was saying in the passage above.  Sometimes a person must simply live long enough to endure the waxing and waning of life-cycles a number of times to understand the grace in these lines. 

It’s not that God wants us to be poor, hungry and sad.  But God knows the source of our life does not spring from bank accounts, pantries or happiness.  The balance of those items was zero at our birth, and they will be zero when we die.  In between, they increase and they decrease.  An undeniable reality of life on earth is there is never enough money to be assured of always having enough for any circumstance.  Ditto for food and happiness.  Like the seasons, they come and go and come and go.  If that is where we look for security, we will feel secure one day and insecure the next. 

Like the Saints of our church family, those of us who have been around the block a time or two understand there are times of plenty and want, of fullness and hunger, of happiness and sadness.  Still, God remains, steadfast and present.  If we are to live joyful and fulfilling lives, they must be built on that which does not wax and wane.  They must be built on something eternal, something unchanging, something unearthly.  Something like the grace of God.  When our lives grow from a solid foundation we truly understand what goes around, comes around. 

Mitch’s sermon downtown this week is, “Do Saints March?” based on Luke 6:20-31.  Life worship begins at 9:40 in Brady Hall.  Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Tom is preaching at the west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon is “Follow Your Saints,” based on Matthew 5:1-16. 

Come home to worship this Sunday.  Strugglers welcome!

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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