Monday, July 27, 2015

Entropy And Christian Hope: Passing Through Things Temporal

Fr. Dale Matson

Click On Photograph To Enlarge
Temple Crag Above Second Lake In The John Muir Wilderness 

Entropy: lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
Synonyms: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse.

As I age, my visual acuity continues to decline but even more remarkable is how easy it is to see with jaundiced eyes those things, which lie before me. The more serious cataracts form distorted templates through which I process the world around me.

It is all too easy to suffer a misstep and become discouraged about my balance. It is all too common to use the wrong word in a sentence and worry that my memory is fading.

A portion of Sundays Collect lodged in my thoughts and as I looked out over our congregation, I was reminded of the enormous collective burdens we share as pilgrims in this life. There is so much suffering and pain. As a priest, I am privy to the prayers of the Daughters of the Holy Cross who continually pray a firewall around our faith community. “Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal”

How easy it is to get caught up in the cares of this world, to become discouraged and lose hope. This is especially true as we age. If you look carefully at this beautiful photograph, even this great granite mountain has a mantle of rock rubble at the base hinting at its eventual demise. When sin entered this world, entropy crept closely behind.

St. Paul said it best. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but also we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:18-25, ESV)

Lord I pray that we would never lose hope.

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