"Jesus answered, 'Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?'" - Luke 5:33-39
My mom had Alzheimer's disease and spent her final days in a facility that cared for people so afflicted. It had been months since momma recognized me, but one morning, I went out to visit her really early in the morning before going to work. She looked at me and knew me. I cancelled my other plans for that morning, knowing two things: This moment might never come again . . . and it didn't. I also knew that no one ever again might be that happy to see me. I still remember those moments as if they happened yesterday. On bad days, they help get me through.
Similarly, Jesus tells John's disciples, a group of good and faithful people, to pause, recognize, and celebrate the good times right here, right now, amid challenge or spiritual devotion. Seeing God's gifts of life is a spiritual discipline.
Jesus also knew that days of scarcity and mourning would come to these disciples when they would live in terror as both he and John would be taken from them. So this was practical advice. They would need good memories to get them through the tough times ahead.
Make up your mind this New Year's Eve to not only savor the good times for yourself, but to give such moments away to someone you love . . . today. Make them know how much you love them. Don't hold back. When tough times come, it may be the one thing to which they cling.
Gracious God, help us not be too busy, even doing good, to find and savor the treasures in life that you wrap and present . . . just to us. O Lord, please help us also remember to wrap and present such treasures to others. Amen.
Ron Buford is the former coordinator of the UCC's God is still speaking campaign and appears in the DVD-based progressive theology series, Living the Questions 2.0.