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July 7, 2020

“For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers in the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.” James 1:11a

On this 114th day of writing these Dispatches, I’m doing something new: taking requests. Due to the high temperatures that continue in and around Chicago this week, a parishioner suggested I meditate on James 1:11a. Well, here you go! Dear readers, we are now taking your requests.

Yup, it’s hot. I’m thankful for air conditioning and mindful that not everyone has access to cooler air. I have every intention of spending as little time outside as possible, today and in the days to come. But I still have to leave my house. And I cannot escape the fact that our world is warming in troubling ways.

The scorching heat comes for everyone; this is the point James is making. The beauty of the flower can’t save it. So it is, James continues, “with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.” We spend so much of our time mounting defenses against that which we cannot stop: Death. It will come for us. We can amass wealth and privilege and central AC; we can demean and oppress and abuse others. None of it changes the simple fact that we will die. This is only undone through Christ our Lord, and he’s not that impressed with our wealth.

On hot days, we do well to remember those who need cool air and comfort (I’ll be around Grace in the middle of the day today if you need to stop in for a spell of cool air!). In this world of death, we do well to remember we’re all in this together; to use our resources not as a shield against our mortality but as blessings to make our time here on earth as good for as many people as possible. Living out our faith for our neighbor? There’s nothing cooler than that.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of life, in the resurrection of Christ you have conquered death. You gift life lavishly to all who would call upon your name, regardless or wealth or social status. Lead us to live for the sake of those around us, that all people would have basic comfort and health. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Climate change icon (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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