December 9th, 2016 by Christopher Caudle
Originally sent to the parish via email 10-28-16
Tracking numbers are great to help you know the route your package from Oregon is taking on its way to your house. They are great if you want to know when to be home to sign for something. You can take some measure of comfort while things are moving from place to place. They keep you "in the know." They assure you that your item is "en route."
The amount of information shared all along the journey of a single parcel so that we can check estimated arrival on our phones or email is amazing. Logistics are an incredibly important aspect of commerce and the infrastructure of businesses and communities.
(Trace a package through the post office)
(Trace the supply chain for Coca-Cola)
(One video too many)
Its not just Amazon or UPS that depend on these things. Chain of custody affects the integrity of evidence gathered to secure justice and the chain of command increases confidence that the intentions of the leaders make their way to those implementing the decision.
These connections and connectors are essential because of the value of the goal at the end. The delivered package. A just verdict. A successful project. A cold bottle of Coca-Cola.
It's often easy to think about technologies and systems like this and use the
classic children's method to count quickly to 100. "1, 2, skip a few, 99, 100." Or, "Shop with One-Click and choose 2-Day free shipping."
In our gospel reading for Sunday, Luke shows us the importance of both Jesus' end result and the connections that hold his saving work together. Our attention to both the Son of Man's saving and to his seeking will equip us to serve our neighbors and families well. This is why sycamore trees and city names and the descriptions of Zacchaeus all have their essential place in the good news we get to experience and share.
When we skip the middle pieces too quickly, we can sometimes get discouraged if those pieces don't fall into place immediately as we share Christ or hospitality with someone over a meal. We may forget that our own journey to Christ involved several steps that others might have imagined to be unnecessary. It may cause us anxiety if we wonder if the grace of a new life is taking too long to take hold in the friend we are praying for day by day. If you have a story of sharing a meal with someone who doesn't yet know Jesus Christ, send it to us so we can pray for you and for them. If you'd like to gain confidence as you share hospitality with new friends from other cultures, join us at 9am on Sunday for Building Bridges and consider hosting an international student for a Thanksgiving meal.
Help celebrate All Saints this week first by joining us on Tuesday at noon for Holy Communion and next Sunday as we celebrate the glory of God in the lives of his people. Maybe read a short biography of one of the church's more famous saints. Their lives, ups and downs, remind us of the centrality of God's commitment to logistics, and Jesus process of saving after seeking the lost.
grace and certain hope,