The Last Hour

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey; whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.” Romans 6:16-17

Couldn’t sleep last night and turned on an old movie on TCM and a teacher happened to address his class with these words, “Well, this is our last hour together.”  That phrase spoken to a class here in the U.S. has vastly different meanings than to this class in Haiti.  This summer, children here will go to the zoo, Disney theme parks, the mountains, swimming pools, baseball games, movies and have several different outfits to choose from and to top it all off an endless supply of food; at their home or in the fast food lane.  When the last school bell rings for the vast number of children in Haiti they will spend their summer months helping their parents with the garden, doing laundry, skipping rope, playing dominoes, reading and hauling water.  And the food supply for their family will decrease as the school children will now be at home eating what can be found for their family.  That ‘last hour’ may be a time of joy for some and a time to take a big breath as another summer of no school has arrived; hard times just got harder.  It’s so important to remember for all of us, here and there that when that final bell tolls and school is out, or the last day at work before retirement or that last hour of life…we have a wonderful promise of a Beautiful Forever with our Savior.  Our ‘last hour’ here on this side is the beginning of forever in Heaven.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Let me be Thine forever’ that were written by Nikolaus Selnecker in 1572.

“Let me be Thine forever, Thou faithful God and Lord; let me forsake Thee never nor wander from Thy Word.  Lord, do not let me waver, but give me steadfastness, and for such grace forever Thy holy name I'll bless.  Lord Jesus, my Salvation, my Light, my Life divine, my only Consolation, oh, make me wholly Thine!  For Thou hast dearly bought me with blood and bitter pain; let me, since Thou hast sought me, Eternal life obtain.  And Thou, O Holy Spirit, my Comforter and Guide, grant that in Jesus' merit I always may confide, Him to the end confessing Whom I have known by faith.  Give me Thy constant blessing and grant a Christian death.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay