Spiritual Forces in Heavenly Places
Over the weekend I traveled to the Mississippi delta, where I served as a pastor for four years, to officiate at a memorial service. One of the delta’s most distinctive features is the sky’s visibility. The land is flat, and the horizon seems so close. As I traveled west on Highway 82, and the hills of Winona lowered to the farmland of Greenwood, I was very aware of the sky and its constant activity.
Do you ever take the time to look at the sky?
Do you really see what’s happening in the sky?
Do you watch the mix of dark and light clouds seemingly dance —and sometimes fight?
Looking, seeing, watching… These are all admonitions the apostle, Paul, has offered to us from Ephesians over the past month. This upcoming Sunday, he seems to describe what’s going on behind those clouds in the sky as he writes about “spiritual forces in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12.)
Creation is an excellent teacher and expression of God’s Word. In preparation for worship on Sunday, I encourage you to set aside time to gaze into the sky. Don’t try to figure out what’s happening. Simply notice the beauty, movement, and mystery. Give thanks to God for the awe and wonder of what we can and cannot see. When we gather in worship, we will learn more about what’s going on behind the scenes of visible creation and how these heavenly places teach us to pray.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday, if not before then. It is an honor to serve as your pastor and fellow sky-gazer!
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, August 26, 2018
1 Kings 8: 22-30, 41-43