Sermon Text: It's Short
Sometimes I get what my wife calls "nose trouble." It's when I start asking about things that are not my business. Nose trouble: nosy. So if I ask her a question out of nose trouble, she likes to say, "None of your beeswax!"
And this reminds me of an Easter story from the Gospels. We're now in the Easter season, of course. And this resurrection story comes from John's Gospel, right at the end. Jesus is giving Peter some personal instructions. Peter notices another disciple standing there, and says, "Well, Lord, what about him?"
Peter has nose trouble about this other disciple, "the one whom Jesus loved," according to the text of John's Gospel. Jesus says, "None of your beeswax!" (Well, that's how my wife thinks it should be translated.)
John's Gospel says that a rumor started that this "disciple whom Jesus loved" would never die, but John makes clear that Jesus didn't say that. He only said, "None of your beeswax!" Or words to that effect.
The moral of the story is you just never know. You don't know how long your life will be, or anyone else's, either. You just never know.
Interestingly enough, my daughter, the Baby Buddha, has a phrase she's started to use often over the past year. "You never know." I'm not sure why, but she says it a lot. "You never know." And she's right, of course.
A few months ago, none of us knew we'd find ourselves in this situation, a pandemic lockdown. Maybe someone predicted it somewhere along the line, but it came as a shock to most of us. And now here we are.
You just never know. You don't know how long life will last. Life on this sweet earth, however many years we have, is short...too short.
Life is too short for missing the simple joys.
Life is too short to fail to tell your loved ones how important they are.
Life is too short for cheap coffee or lousy chocolate. (My wife made me say that.)
Life is too short for hatred.
Life is too short for war and violence. (Jesus made me say that.)
Life is too short to waste on destructive addictions.
Life is too short for prejudice against people who are different.
Life is too short to miss saying "Thank you" to others, including God.
Life is too short to miss appreciating the natural world.
Life is too short to leave music out of your life.
Life is too short to do without friendship and love.
Life is too short.
I don't think many people would argue with that.
People know life is short.
The question is whether it's good.
Is life good?
Is it worth living?
That's the question for us.
Life is hard right now.
Is it worth it?
I say yes.
Life can be hard.
Life is short.
Life is often sad.
But life is good.
I wouldn't miss it for anything, in spite of the hard stuff.
But because it's short, we have to pay attention.
We have to work at not missing it.
I think we need to cultivate some skills: savoring, appreciating, enjoying.
Now, I have my problems with anxiety these days.
I have nose trouble about what the future will bring.
Apparently, it's none of my beeswax, because I don't get any answers.
But I do know that life is good, in spite of everything.
And I do know that life is short.
This sermon may be short, too, but I think it's important.
Remember, remember, remember: Life is short, and we don't have too much time to gladden the hearts of those with whom we journey along the way. So let us always be swift to love and make haste to be kind.