Friday, September 21, 2012

An unlikely sermon.

I'm no preacher.  Not even close.  But when you feel something, well, it's just gotta spill out sometimes.  Forbearance is a wonderful quality which you all fully possess, I just know it (is that subtle enough?).

Outside the old walled city of Jerusalem on the eastern slope of Mt. Zion is a church.  The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu.  It commemorates Peter's denial of Christ three times before His crucifixion ("...Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice..." Matthew 26:75).  Gallicantu is Latin, meaning "cock crow," and there's actually a golden rooster that sits atop the sanctuary roof.  No, I've never been there, to Jerusalem, but boy, do I want to someday.  All this info is just an interesting side note to my point.  I love history.

I was listening to a radio discussion with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, his wife, Katherine, and Sheri Dew.  I've thought about a point he made on that broadcast.  This is a loose paraphrase.  He said that we will inevitably mess up in life.  In a witty, respectful sort of way he said he felt sorry for Peter who has his greatest mistake memorialized in the form of the church I described above (he was making a point, not meaning to be disrespectful to the church in any way).  We need not do that to ourselves, memorializing our own mistakes.  What a heavy burden!

There is another, better way.  Christ provides relief, shoulders our burdens, heals us.  He's suffered the pain, we take the lesson.  How unbalanced is that equation?  I don't know the logistics of how it all works, but I know that it does.  There have been feelings, pains, in my heart that I couldn't reason away myself, but going to Him has brought the relief and peace I so desperately needed.  Some call it a crutch, I call it faith proven time and time again.  They can take their misery, I'll take my peace any day.

Some things seem too good to be true, but Christ IS Goodness and Truth.  Sometimes the inherent nature of life makes trusting feel too risky.  We don't want to get hurt, tricked, feel let down, or disappointed.  We don't want to place our vulnerability in anyone else's hands except our own, because that raw part of us is so fragile we fear, if broken, would be beyond repair.

We are safe in His hands, "...yet will I not forget thee.  Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:16).  It's a risk to trust.  But this is one risk without regrets.  Hope is real and sustaining.  It's worth a try.

That's it.

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