From Rev. Pat Kriss: What Is Most Important?
(Posted January 18, 2018)
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” - Albert Einstein, 20th Century
While I was home last Saturday writing the past week’s sermon, I had quite a shock when news pop-ups started appearing on my computer, telling me that a ballistic missile attack on Hawaii had been announced. There are two dear friends of mine who live in the Islands, one on Maui and the other on the Big Island. “This is not a drill,” the announcement had told them. Not a drill, indeed. You can imagine my fear and then relief – and theirs – when the alert was cancelled as a mistake some 30+ minutes later.
In the meantime, however, this colossal mistake did a couple of positive things. It exposed the weaknesses in the communications system for statewide defense. And it also showed the people of Hawaii what was personally most important to them in those minutes of pandemonium. In a twist of irony, this week’s Scripture is centered all around the concept that “Time is up.” From the Gospel to the epistle, the message is that that we must make a choice,now, whether we are willing to give up everything else and follow Jesus, or whether we’ll continue to delude ourselves that we can just continue embracing the way of power and domination.
This Sunday we’ll be asking ourselves some thought provoking questions. In Paul’s letter called First Corinthians, he tells his fledgling church members that the present form of this world is passing away, and little matters, not even personal relationships, as they wait for Jesus to arrive. Did he REALLY mean that? What relevance does it have for us today? In the Gospel when Jesus calls the first of the apostles away from their fishing nets to follow him, it makes us wonder what we would be willing to leave behind of our current lives to really live a Christian life. When there is no more time left, what is it that really matters to us? Some of us who have already faced a possibly terminal illness know what it’s like to contemplate the end of time. I will share with you the rest of the stories from my Hawaiian friends when it appeared that their world was ending. Please join me for a new outlook on our life and challenges we face when we learn: This is not a drill. --Pastor Pat Kriss