Fr. Howard M, Humphrey Jr
Of Central Importance
Unless the Lord builds the house,
their labor is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
in vain the watchman keeps his vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late;
vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:1-3
In our modern culture, I fear that the greatest enemy of living our new life in Christ is distraction from what is most important! Our lives are filled with many important and good things, but because of these things we are so often distracted from the most important thing, to love God above everything else.
In the Ten Commandments we are commanded by God to keep holy the Sabbath. As Christians we are to keep holy Sunday, the Day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, by gathering in community in the Holy Eucharist. In the Holy Scriptures, honoring God as God with the reverence God is due from us is central! In the Holy Eucharist on the Lord's Day, our Lord has given us a way to offer to God what God is due from us. In the Eucharist we join with our Lord Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of the Father, and offer the praise and thanksgiving God is due from us.
Archbishop William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury during the 1940's, was right, when he said that we reflect in our living what we worship. In our modern culture with our myriad distractions we so easily lose our focus on reverencing God as God in our living. This results in the many ills and evils, which fill our modern world. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans identifies the root of all the evil in the world as a failure to offer God the honor God is due from us.
As Christians there are many important things for us to be occupied with in meeting the challenges of living in the world as witnesses to Christ. The most important of these is to get back to the basics of putting God first in our lives! As the early Church understood, this begins with us keeping holy the Day of the Resurrection in the community's breaking of the bread, in Eucharist. This action is not something to be added to our already full schedules to help us get through the week. It is central to putting God first in our lives! It is the way our Lord Jesus has given us to enter into the new life of His resurrection, and to offer God the reverence God is due from us.
Remember that we reflect what we worship. If we worship the many things, which fill our daily living, because we are too busy to gather in Holy Eucharist, then that leads to the futility of living without God's sustaining life in Christ. The early martyrs were forbidden to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, but they chose to disobey this command under the penalty of death, because they new it was the medicine of immortality, which gave them life in Christ. Let us today begin again by making it a priority to gather in community each Sunday in Holy Eucharist. Let us come as the Lord has commanded us with open hearts to be received by our heavenly Father in the Holy Eucharist as we offer our lives and all our concerns of living to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ by Holy Spirit!