Aloha Friday Message – October 30, 2020 – What’s left is Right

2044AFC103020 – What’s left is Right

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     Revelation 7:13-14 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

1 John 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Revelation 12:5-6 The woman gave birth to a son, who would rule all nations with an iron rod. The boy was snatched away. He was taken to God and placed on his throne. The woman ran into the desert to a place that God had prepared for her. There she would be taken care of for one thousand two hundred sixty days. (That is 180 weeks or 42 months or 3½ years.)

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Grace and Peace to each of you from God our Father and our Lord, Jesus the Christ, in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow is Halloween, so I want to look at that for just a moment, and then I want to explain what that oxymoron of a title means.

Halloween is properly Hallowe’en, or Hallow Even or All Hallows Eve. It is the day before the Solemnity of All Saints, and two days before The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls). On All Saints Day – which this year happens to fall on a Sunday, November 1, 2020, we remember those who have left this life and have been favored by God to dwell with him forever. November 1 has been on a Sunday in the 20th century 12 times, and so far in the 21st century twice – 2015 and 2020. There is a full moon on 11/31/2020, and it is the second full moon in the month of November, so it is referred to as a “Blue moon.” The occurrence of a blue moon is known to be rare, hence the adage “once in a blue moon.” Because the full moon is on the thirty-first, some people associate that with increased “lunacy” (craziness during a full moon), and increased power and frequency of black arts – witchcraft and magick. Why the extra K? It’s there because Aleister Crowley – a 19th-20th century “mystic” and “occultist” (1875-1947) founded the religion of Thelema. He used the term allegedly to differentiate what he considered human-generated change that is not necessarily metaphysical. Those who dabble in (or are wholly lost in) occult crafting believe that it is possible to make use of metaphysical incantations, behaviors, signs, and symbols to manipulate spirits and nature; it is witchcraft, divination, and blasphemy. I mention this because at Halloween it is not uncommon for people to dress up in costumes that are based on witches, demons,  (including costumes appearing like Ἑκάτη, Hekátē who is the Greek goddess of witchcraft!) and monsters and therein we find a problem.

Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires, make “Jack O’Lanterns” and wear costumes to keep evil spirits from affecting them. They believed it was possible to “outsmart” these wandering spirits, so they would put on masks when they left their homes after sunset so that the evil spirits would actually believe they were also spirits. You can find out more here. It is wise to remember that witchcraft, divination, sorcery, demonic activity, and similar imitations of cultic practices can potentially be dangerous. Satan has been working for centuries to make us unaware that all of that is NOT “merely” cultural tradition. One of his favorite tricks is to tell the same lie often enough that eventually we believe it. Just remember that God is in charge, Christ has conquered evil and death, and interacting with demonic spirits is likely to be eternally fatal. Now, let’s see what God has in store for us in the Scriptures for this weekend.

What do I mean by saying “What’s left is Right?” Another word for “what’s left” is “remnant.” A carpet remnant is a piece of carpeting that is left over when carpeting is installed. Fabric remnants, food remnants, and nation remnants are all smaller parts of the whole that are left when larger parts of the whole are used (or lost) elsewhere. Here are some passages about what’s left – the Remnant. This is not an exhaustive list, and we won’t get into the speculations about the 144,000. This list, however, gives us a glimpse of what God intends for the small part of Israel, i.e., Judah in some passages, as time goes by.

Jeremiah 23:3 Then I myself will gather the remnant* of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. * שְׁאֵרִ֣ית (sheerith) {sheh-ay-reeth’} left, remnant, rest, survivors, those who had escaped.

Joel 2:32 32 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors [remnant] shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Amos 5:15 15 Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 

     Micah 5:2-5a This is the prophecy about God waiting until the time when “she who is in labor” brings forth the redeemer so that “then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.”

Zechariah 8:6 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts?

Romans 11:5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

How does the Lord “carve out” this remnant? The last small part of the whole has a certain set of characteristics which set them apart from larger part(s) – they are the ones who are righteous, the ones who are fruitful, the ones who “Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate.” They are the ones who are left because they are the ones who are Right. They are those who do more of what others do in what God has decreed in his Law. We remember that several ways.

By now these little aphorisms should sound familiar:

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? The right thing.
Do what you know is right.
Avoid doing what you know is wrong.
Ask God to bless that choice.

That sounds easy, huh? “Do what you know is right, avoid doing what you know is wrong, and then ask God to bless that choice.” To do that successfully, we need these four actions in our lives: Seclusion for prayer, meditation on teachings, feeding on the Word and the Christ, and going forth to share the Gospel. Otherwise we decline a portion of the available Good, the Good that makes the remnant Right. We in essence tell God, “I don’t want any more blessings.” It sounds silly, but earthlings are messy like that. We interrupt the flow of blessings so we can do what we think we should and avoid doing what God requires of us. And what does he require? He requires us to repent, to believe in the Gospel, and to share the Gospel to all the corners of the World.

The do’s and don’ts in this season are the same as in every other season. As we look toward Halloween, we are invited to set aside our masks – especially the ones we think God cannot see through – and to face the reality that we are, and always will be, tempted. Not surprisingly, we are most easily tempted when we forget that we are more blessed than we can be tempted. God always provides the power to resist temptation, but we do not always use that gift; sometimes we intentionally suppress our consciences. Even if we realize that we do not have unlimited resources for dealing with the Devil, I think all of us know in our inmost self that we are overly-confident about our own power of resistance.  We are the Children of God by adoption. If we must, we will survive “the great ordeal” and wash our robes in the Blood of the Lamb. We shall live as, and be as, the Peacemakers of God. What will become of us over the next 42 months is in God’s hands. IF we are the remnant, then we are Right to be all that is left.

Our ever-living, ever-loving God gives us the opportunity to seriously weigh those decisions we often make way too lightly. We can usually acknowledge intellectually that it is pointless to try to hide from God, but in our secretly sinful lives we foolishly believe we can get away with it. We fall into Satan’s original trap: “You can be like God and forgive yourself. You don’t really need Him!” Ah, Beloved! We know better, but we fall for it anyway! That’s the best way to avoid being in the remnant that is Right. Now, I must share with you something the Lord gave me in preparation for next week.

Please use the following prayer at least once daily until 31 days after the General Election is certified.

Almighty Everliving God, we – the citizens of America – come to you with humbled and contrite hearts. We repent of our tepid faith, our poorly-developed and fruitless works, and our indifference to You and to our neighbors. We are resolved to return to You, to submit to your Will, and to become again “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” From the doors of our home, from the gates of our communities, from the seat of our governments, and from the depths of our hearts we return to You for you alone are compassionate enough to heal and restore our Nation. Bless our leaders and everyone in authority – including those who develop, enforce, and adjudicate laws – so that they serve with morality, compassion, integrity, wisdom, and justice so we can all live together in Peace. We stand against those who follow the ways of evil and anarchy, threatening to destroy our Nation and to set aside the blessings and wisdom you gave to our founding fathers. We will return to serving God, Country, and family so that your Name may be glorified. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

And finally this:

Sharing a few things I learned this week:

  • Vote for the platform, not the platitudes.
  • Vote for the Republic, not the Republican.
  • Vote for the Democracy, not the Democrat.
  • Vote for the mandate, not the man.
  • Vote for the future, not the past.
  • Vote for progress, not propaganda.
  • Vote for the results, not the rhetoric.
  • Vote for life, not death.
  • Vote for liberty, not liability.
  • Vote for continuity, not commotion.
  • Vote for execution of plans, not for excuses for schemes.
  • Vote for the privilege to be right, not the right to be privileged.
  • Vote for the right to be free, for there is no better alternative.

When it is all said and done,
VOTE!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —
at your service, Belovéd

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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