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Tag Archive | "Keith Caldwell"

Times are a changin’


Keith Caldwell CLM

Cedar Springs United  Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

I remember my dad telling me how good the good old days were and now I tell my grandchildren things aren’t like they used to be. The fact is times do change; we live in a liminal state much of the time, neither in the past nor in the future. As Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt they kept looking back and saying, “If only we would have stayed in Egypt”! Some of the words from a song Ray Price sang are, “It’s not healthy they say to relive yesterday, but for me it’s a way to survive.” Bob Dylan tells us, “The line it is drawn, The curse it is cast, The slow one now, Will later be fast, As the present now, Will later be past, The order is rapidly fadin’, And the first one now will later be last, For the times they are a-changin’.”

Is everything changing? How do we cope with change? What is our way to survive? The fact is some things do not change. Fear of the unknown has been with humanity since the beginning of time. Anticipation can bring imaginations larger than reality could possibly be. Looking back is a normal way to cope with change and remembering the good things from days gone by is way to build great futures.

We want stability, but what can be stable? What can be constant and not changing? What can we count on? For many of us God is the stability that helps us face the future. He is a God of love that sent His Son to teach us and to die for us, this is the God that gives us a Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us, the great God of love and hope. In Matthew 10:28-32 (NRSV) it says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” 

Yes the “Times are a Changin’,” but God’s love is forever.

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St. Patrick


Keith Caldwell CLM

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St. | Cedar Springs

 

In early summer a Renaissance Faire comes to Morley Park for the weekend and people love to dress up like Robin Hood, King Arthur, wizards, gypsies and fairies. Many stories and legends are told and at times they are stretched a little to make them bigger than life. But are they really bigger than life? If we looked at the true story would it be greater than we could possibly imagine? The story of one man has been stretched to great grandeur, however his true story is a fantastic one of great faith, courage and loyalty. He was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, around the year 387. His early life was good, he was the son of Calphurnius, a prominent Roman military officer sent to rule Gaul (Briton), his mother was Conchessa, a woman of faith, and her father was part of the clergy.

His life changed abruptly when he was 16. It was then he was kidnapped by a raiding party and became a slave. As a slave he served as a shepherd for a pagan chief until he escaped six years later. During a time when many would lose faith his faith grew. He relates in his “Confessio” that during his captivity, while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day. “The love of God and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain.” For six years he served as a slave, when he escaped and returned home he later saw a vision and was compelled to take Christ to those that had enslaved him. Can we imagine what the world would be like if we took Christ to everyone, even our enemies? Do we dare think what the world might be like if we prayed a hundred times each day and each night for Christ to bring peace and love to the world? Then he asked, “Let it begin with me.”

This man, St. Patrick received the summons to his reward on 17 March, 493 (Some sources say 460 or 461) As we celebrate his day can we do it by making it a day of Prayer, Love and Faith as he would have? As he wrote of his faith:

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the fort,

Christ in the chariot seat,

Christ in the poop [deck],

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity, 

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.  (From St Patrick’s Confessio)

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