Monday, August 07, 2006


Experiments - The Rediscovered Country

The Rediscovered Country: A Sermon for Palm Sunday and Good Friday


“…Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought...”

In God there is no Undiscovered Country. No Foreign Land. God has scouted, reconnoitered, explored, and infiltrated every realm. God is both our Map and our Territory.

Because of this we can fearlessly explore any land, infiltrate any terrain, sail any sea, climb or move any mountain, ford any river, sweep any valley, mount any heaven. No pass is impassible, no possibility impossible, no road is unnavigable, no obstacle is unbreachable. Even the hidden hearts of men lay bare before our searching explorations. God is our pathfinder so that we may be the pioneers of all other men, that we may lead them safely through this world, as He has led us.

“And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

In God all roads lead to the Truth. God is the great and paved road, the limes of liberty, the frontier of freedom, the outskirts of the outer limits of the edge of Time and Space. As such, and through such, and along such we travel the Way and the Truth and the Life towards a destination of a green and open land of plenty and beauty, which God has charted for us as a hallowed haven. In God all roads lead Home.

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
Who will prepare your way before you.”

Every human expedition has moments of hardship, and every mortal road has untended stretches, which render the passage difficult, toilsome, and at times even dangerous. Death waits to waylay us upon our journey, certain that we must pay the toll of passage on the day we falter. The road of this world ends in the destination of death.

“Those who go to her never return, nor do they regain the paths of Life.”

But in God every stretch of road, every point along the path, smooth and straight, or wild, rough, and wearisome, is an equal Inn of Hospitality, a housing and home of Sanctuary, a shelter of surety when living cares do weight us down with the burdens of this world.

In this world all men are fellow travelers, subject to equal shares of encumbrance and distress. Our brotherhood is not then evidenced in what we in common suffer, but what we in common gain by shared provisions and perils, in mutual joy and happiness, in the ekklesia of our mutual edification when we turn aside from the fruitless path and pursue the straight road of eternal wealth and life.

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his servants and delivered unto them his property.”

God would have us lift up the lame along our way, free the slave who toils along the wayside, tend the sick, heal the crippled, nurse the wounded, and transform the cares and tares of abandoned worldly ways so that even long deserted desert routes may flourish like flowered highways of heavenly intent.

“Therefore lift up your heavy hands, and strengthen your groaning joints, and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be crooked, but rather be made whole and healed.”

This world though is but the challenge of our mortal travel, not for us the ultimate destination. We should not confuse our momentary struggles along this earthly road nor the path we navigate in moving through it with our better fate in life. For all roads leading through this world are at best imperfectly engineered, but a shallow trench of the open ways we shall traverse when life in body has passed through the mortal gate and into the street divine. All better and more worthy roads in life begin in God, open wide with God, so that God may direct us to an unobstructed highway which leads well beyond the governance and restrictions of this world. Along the paths of God there is no limit to our inheritance, or the distance of travel we may enjoy. Along the paths of God all ways are sure, and infinite, and blessed.

“My steps have held firm to your paths: my feet do not slip.”

Along the highways of this world lies the Road to Perdition, footpath to the corruptible, the imperfect, and to decline, but the road which leads to God brings a Divine destination of discovery, truth, justice, goodness, and virtue. God is our road to the Rediscovered Country, and in that country we find our best Home.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the world. Amen.”

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