After almost ten years as a priest, you would think that I might have noticed before now that:
We read my two favorite sentences of Holy Scripture within eight days of each other every two years, in the weekday lectionary.
Last Wednesday, we read my second-favorite sentence of the Bible: “You knew that I was a demanding man.”
We know; it is simply a matter of recognizing reality, as plain as the noses on our faces. The cross weighs more than 100 pounds. If you want to get to heaven, you have to sleep little and on a hard surface. You have to get up before the sun rises and bathe in cold water. You have to endure protracted periods of fruitless silence, stay five steps ahead of all the lazy worldlings, read widely enough and deeply enough so that creative thoughts come to you while staring out the window. You have to love everybody, forgive everybody, and do everything for the love of the unseen God. He is demanding, and He holds all the cards.
My favorite sentence of Scripture is: “The wedding feast of the Lamb has begun.”
The long, slow agony of wanting truth, peace, concord, and the perfect cup of coffee—and never quite getting it: the agony ends.
The sun will rise, and then it will set no more. We will dance away eternity with a band better than MC Hammer, U2, The Foo Fighters, and the Marsalis brothers all rolled into one.
We will be married to the Beautiful One forever and ever. More beautiful even than Lynda Carter in her prime.
Everything is prepared. The day comes. Perseverance pays.