RE-ALIGNMENT IN LENT
INHALER - CUTS & BRUISES

WHY DO WE LIVE FOR IMPERMANENT, RATTLING TRINKETS?

Many-billboards-how-to-get-noticed

(this is a little Lenten series for those who are interested... #2)

 

If we stopped in Lenten reflection we might find that every single day we are bouncy about in a consumers’ world of rattling trinkets. What Jewish singer songwriter, and son-in-law of Bob Dylan calls impermanent things:

“All these impermanent things
Well they're trying to convince me
Baptize my soul and rinse me
Purge my mind of honesty and fire
All these impermanent things
Well they all add up to zero
They make-believe that they're my hero
Then they fill my mind with doubt and false desires

Why keep hanging on
To things that never stay
Things that just keep stringin' us along
From day to day”

When I did my weekly radio show on BBC Radio Ulster I played Himmelman very often. Impermanent Things was the most played. As a preacher it is one of my very favourite songs. I have used Himmelman's words in a sermon on Matthew chapter 6 v 19-34:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jesus is saying in the second half of this most famous Sermon that where are treasure is our hearts will be also. He is suggesting that we invest our lives on eternal things that last rather than the impermanent things that Himmelman so poetically describes in this song.

Jesus goes on to talk about how we shouldn’t be worrying about impermanent things and Himmelman puts it beautifully here how these impermanent things play tricks with our heads and hearts and throw us of the better more lasting course. This is what Jesus is preaching.

So why do we get obsessed with impermanent things? A couple of years ago I piled my parents' things onto a skip outside their house. So many things. A few months before they were vital things in my parents lives but now, even the expensive things seemed nothing more than rubbish! It made me ponder Himmelman's song and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It was a cold lesson in the emptiness of things.

On Himmelman's most recent record There Is No Calamity, the first song 245th Peace Song begins:

"The holes in people’s lives need to be filled
I get that. I understand that.
But you’ve got to be careful what you fill them with
Do you get that? Understand that?"

We see need to guard our hearts to being sent out of line by the tickets rattling around us.

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