Our readings for today as follows – Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; I Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.
While there are variations in the last two lines, this is the verse popularized in the mid-nineteenth century. The origin of the verse is unclear. One possible origin maybe the defeat of King Richard III of England at Bosworth Field in 1485. Richard III was a humpback Tudor king. Another possible origin may be the downfall of King Henry VIII’s right-hand man 1509 – 1530, Cardinal Wolsey, who was short and rotund. Another possibility may be that Humpty Dumpty was the name of the huge cannon that defended Colchester and was placed high on the ramparts of the fortification by the defending Cavaliers (Loyalists). The Parliamentarian forces blasted the wall beneath the huge cannon, rendering it useless. Humpty Dumpty appears in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and in many literary works. It was also the framework for Woodward and Bernstein’s All the President’s Men who could not save the presidency of Richard Nixon.
It seems to me that Humpty Dumpty is an appropriate verse for these days of the COVID 19 crisis. In this epoch-making time, how are we to put our world back together again through our red, yellow, and green phases? Many suggest that our pre-COVID 19 normals will never be normal again.
For people of faith I suggest we begin our rebuild on the sure foundation of counting our blessings, and as Psalm 16: 12 – 13 declares
I will enter your house with burnt offerings and will pay you my vows… I will offer you sacrifices ….
As we learn in I Peter, “[we] are blessed. Do not fear… do not be intimidated…”. Instead, we are to “be ready to make [our] defense to anyone who demands from [us] an accounting for the hope that is in [us]; yet do it with gentleness and reverence”. We are to embrace our faith in our God and in our future. Drawing on our reading from the Gospel according to St. John, “[God] will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever… This is the Spirit of truth… [who] will be in you. [God] will not leave you orphaned…”
So, what offerings do we make? We keep our mission here at All Saints solid. We have a new roof and new gables to keep our mission dry. Meals on Wheels, Meals for Seals, and the Selinsgrove Area Council of Churches Food Bank continue to serve our community. The Wednesday morning Bible study group will soon reconvene. Martha’s Table will soon open as a take out meal. We hope to regather for praise and thanksgiving on 31 May, the Day of Pentecost. We have remained faithful to each other with emails and phone calls. The Angelus rings out on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the Stations of the Cross are offered on Fridays. We are faithful in our Prayers of the People, and in our personal prayers. We make masks. We are vigilant in protecting our family, friends, and neighbors. We are considering a pollinator church garden to more fully cooperate with God’s creation.
Through all our ongoing life, greatly altered as it may be, we affirm the well-known words from Acts – “In [God] we live and move and have our being”. I am convinced that as we live into our future here at All Saints we will be enriched and transformed (by the love of God) through worship, through education, through service, through generosity, and through conversation. Amen