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01/18/2021 05:24:13 PM

Jan18

Shaphan the secretary informed the king, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a book." Shaphan then read it aloud to the king. When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. 2 Kings 22:10-11

In the Bible there is a dramatic tale of the King of Judah being presented with a scroll that had been hidden for many years and was now discovered. Although the term "time capsule" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible, people found ways to remember and learn from the past, both for its mistakes and for its victories, to apply lessons learned to their own lives, and to plan for the future under God's guidance. In the case of King Josiah, the discovery shows a painful gap between God’s desires and current realities.

In addition to mourning this gap, the king ordered a restoration of obeying God’s wishes, and thus righted the nation. In addition to palace discoveries, the Bible features “time capsules” such as Shabbat and holidays, triggers to remind us of God’s values and our need to express gratitude to God.

These days, as actual time capsules are being discovered in statues and buildings, it is important to consider what a time capsule from today should contain. Reflecting this past year, what would you put in a time capsule to capture the essence of 2021?

What is important for our congregation? Our community? Our country?

In addition to realizing the gap between our values and our actions, communities of faith can collectively resolve to do a better job in the future, as we see in the Bible:

The king went up to the house of the ETERNAL, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the ETERNAL. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the ETERNAL, to follow the ETERNAL, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant. 2 Kings 23:2-3

It is not enough to remember the past, or to realize the ways in which our ambitions have not been met. We must also resolve to do better, to break away from the bad habits and restore to our lives the ways of goodness. As a people we have done it before, and we can do it again. Today’s “time capsules” include prayer, meditation, rituals, and study. Online or in person, we offer many opportunities to connect. Let’s rediscover together.

Sat, September 24 2022 28 Elul 5782