Medical science is amazing. Yes medical costs are high, malpractice, and poor patient care happen too often. We get impatient in waiting rooms and with slow processes of diagnosis. Even so, without argument what medicine is capable of in our day is just short of miraculous.
St James the Less had a front row seat to one of the miracles of medicine just five years ago. A former organist Pat Benenson needed a liver transplant. Some of you will remember details of the story as she waited patiently for her name to be called for the next available healthy liver. We prayed for her and some parishioners waited by the phone at the ready for her to call them into action when the moment arrived.
Life and death are ever before all of us. Not as dramatically as Pat perhaps, yet life is unpredictably fragile.
On Sunday Pat will share her joy with us at reaching the five year anniversary of her successful transplant. She is going to speak at both services, play music, share some literature on organ transplants and provide refreshments at coffee hour.
Coincidentally the lesson fits well with celebrating Pat’s miracle. In Jesus’ remarks he alludes to one of the more famous questions from the Old Testament comes from Deuteronomy chapter 30 “Today I have given you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make, Oh that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
Life and death are before us daily in the way we respond to the unpredictable nature of life. It may be unfair that some things happen to us, we might feel we have more burden than we can handle, and there are lots of reasons that we might feel cursed or choose to curse others for things that go wrong. Within this unfair and unpredictable world we can easily choose spiritual death even before our mortal body dies.
“Oh that you would choose life” are words meant to send an electric shock to our spiritual hearts and revive us. Jesus asserted, “God is a God of the living!” Don’t waste a minute more on the unforgiving, ungracious, impatient, angry, punishing, unkind, ungentle ways of death. Live into new life of the Spirit. We are born again into spiritual consciousness where there is joy wherever there is life.