NEVER TOO LATE (Joel 2: 12-17)
Good evening this is Pastor Elivette (Elly) Mendez Angulo from Manantial de Gracia “Spring of Grace” in West Hartford, CT recording from Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, NC. And today, like every Wednesday at 7pm o’clock we are talking about “Hablando de Todo” texto/text, observaciones/observations, diario vivir/daily living & prayer.
Thank you for joining us on our Lenten Journey as we join the UCC’s Young Voices: Stepping out of the Wilderness.
Tonight we consider a word found in Joel 2: 12-17 (CEV): The Lord said: It isn’t too late. You can still return to me with all your heart. Start crying and mourning! Go without eating. 13 Don’t rip your clothes to show your sorrow. Instead, turn back to me with broken hearts. I am merciful, kind, and caring. I don’t easily lose my temper, and I don’t like to punish. 14 I am the Lord your God. Perhaps I will change my mind and treat you with mercy. Then you will be blessed with enough grain and wine for offering sacrifices to me. 15 Sound the trumpet on Zion! Call the people together. Show your sorrow by going without food. 16 Make sure that everyone is fit to worship me.[b] Bring adults, children, babies, and even bring newlyweds from their festivities. 17 Tell my servants, the priests, to cry inside the temple and to offer this prayer near the altar:[c] “Save your people, Lord God! Don’t let foreign nations make jokes about us. Don’t let them laugh and ask, ‘Where is your God?’”
And so I read Rev. Trayce L. Potter, our UCC Minister for Youth and Young Adult Engagement’s, Ash Wednesday reminder: “Never Too Late” and as I thought of this season I remembered a couple of key things. Today many begin to fast as they reconcile themselves back to God… to their Godly intentions… but only after the revelry of yesterday’s Fat Tuesday celebrations! Some will turn back full of crying and mourning, seeking redemption, salvation, mercy, kindness and care.
But others are in the midst and mindset of celebration. And the text (I think) reminds us to welcome everyone, everybody: young, old, and even those in the midst of a new love, to come up for air. To return to that place where all things are equal, PARITY, meaning equality… where we can remember that the Jesus we believe in would have walked with each of us.
With those who enjoyed the party and those who stayed home and mourned. Where those who made love and those who made war can both realign, reassess, and become fit. TO WORSHIP. Parity – equal.
But the text, I think reminds those of us who are in leadership positions (and that is each and every one of us) that we have a responsibility to pray for safety. FOR ALL. YEAH, even those who annoy us and whose political idealogy we disagree with. FOR ALL. Even for those who wish us harm. FOR ALL. Even those who think our love is wrong. FOR ALL. Because it is never too late to be reconciled to LOVE.
And so I join Rev. Potter’s prayer and invite you to join as well: “Still speaking God, we give thanks for the invitation to come to you no matter where our feet have wandered. Keep us on the path following Jesus during the season so we might experience your resurrection power and glory.” Presents. Ashé and Amen.
I am excited to join ya’ll again every Wednesday during Lent! So, as Batman’s announcer used to say: Tune in next week; same bat time, same bat channel! Blessings.