Posted December 25, 2009
AFTER THE PARTY
These are the kinds of sunsets I witness on occasion in my neck of the woods.
When I see a sky like this, I'm reminded of Acts 2:20 - "The sun will be turned to
darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the
great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name
of the Lord will be saved." Here, the apostle Paul is quoting from the prophet
Joel 2:31. However, the verse in Joel adds "...for on Mt. Zion and in
Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom
the Lord calls." The "day of the Lord" refers to the second coming of Christ, the day
he comes to rule as King.
After a birthday and an arrival into this world, there is a celebration. A party. After the party,
our flesh and bone bodies immediately begin the process of dying. For we are only wayfaring
strangers on this earth for a short time. We don't know how long we have.
When Ben Franklin was passing through this world, he ended each day by asking himself,
"What good have I done this day?" A man who accomplished much during the short span of
time he was on earth, some of his inventions included bifocals, the lightning rod, Franklin stove,
carriage odometer, the flexible urinary catheter, and a glass harmonica. Not only was he a writer,
activist, politician, scientist, inventor, statesman, soldier, printer,
satirist, and a diplomat, he was the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential
in inventing the type of society America would become. Franklin's Puritan values of self-government which included the importance of the individual and active indignation against unjust authority were the roots of American Democracy. He held the belief that the industrious man was equal to kings. Franklin also believed that by improving his community, he improved himself.
Today, as you know, after Jesus's birthday party and the following New Year's celebration, it's customary to make
New Year's resolutions. I think this year, my resolution will be on the order of Ben Franklin's. As the sun sets,
I'll ask myself, "What good have I done this day?" I know I will fail sometimes and become a slacker. However, I'll marvel
at the next blood-moon sunset and again be reminded of my deliverer and continue to strive to
be among the survivors - those whom the Lord calls - while also being reminded to ask once again,
"What good have I done this day?"
I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year - a blessed 2010!