Good morning, Friends!
I had a message all prepared for this morning, but I decided at the last minute to save it for another time.
Yesterday evening my wife and I were driving home. It had been a brutal week for our family. We were tired, worn out, filled with grief, beyond exhausted. A heavy rain shower had filled the streets on our way home.
But then we looked up, and we saw the most amazing rainbow hanging right over the house where we live.
The picture doesn’t show it very well, but it was a double rainbow — even, faintly, a triple rainbow.
It felt like the biggest blessing we had received in a long time, and we had to stop for 15 or 20 minutes and just take it in. It felt like a blessing straight from God, and we couldn’t understand why everyone in the whole city wasn’t stopping to look at it. Guess they were all looking at other things and didn’t notice it.
I ran quickly over to the far side of the meetinghouse to see if the rainbow could be seen there and sure enough, the same rainbow was hanging right over Springfield Friends. When we first saw it, it was over the house where we live, and it felt like it was just for us, but here it was, the same blessing over the entire meetinghouse as well. Maybe blessings from God are so big that they can be shared.
It’s hard for me to describe the majesty of the moment. You almost had to be there to experience it. Both my wife and I turned to each other and said the same thing — it felt to both of us like the words from Psalm 24:7:
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
It felt like the doors of Heaven had opened up, just for a few moments, and we were being shown how beautiful it could all be.
Finally the sun went down, and the rainbow faded from sight. We had been standing there for almost half an hour, and we didn’t want to go back indoors. We didn’t know what to do.
How do you recover from such a time of glory? What do you go on and do, when God has shown you so much beauty?
This morning I was asking myself again how true this is, and how many times in the Bible people have had a similar experience.
- When you’ve been forgiven everything, when God has wiped away all your mistakes and given you a fresh start, how do you go back to living in an unforgiven way?
- When God has set you free from slavery, how do you go back to living as prisoner or as a slave?
- When God has healed you from a deadly illness, how do you go back to living as an unhealed person?
- When God has called you back from a way of life which leads to death, how can you turn around and return to the same old direction?
Once you have been blessed, how could you ever forget your blessing, and live as though it had never happened, as though you had never received it?
Yet this is our own story, and it’s the story which countless generations of people in the Bible, and countless generations of Christians have somehow forgotten.
The people of Israel were greatly blessed, yet over and over they forgot their blessings, and even forgot God.
Jesus’ friends were blessed, yet they often forgot, and quarreled among themselves, or denied Jesus, or forgot the things he taught them.
We’re all just the same way, aren’t we?
But God keeps showing us his glory. God keeps blessing us. God keeps forgiving us.
Maybe we should all be living differently. Maybe we should stop and take time when God is blessing us, to feel the blessing and fully receive it. Maybe we should share our blessings, and not clutch them to ourselves. Maybe we should tell people about our blessings, and not be shy or embarrassed. It’s OK to be shy about our own achievements, but it’s not OK to be shy about what God has done.
Anyway, that’s what I want to say this morning.
Look up and see your blessings, and stop and receive them. Don’t be too busy to be blessed.