Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Remembering, Loving

Well, I didn't have a sermon to prepare last week so I didn't get around to reading the lectionary until Sunday.  It's funny, now as I read scripture and hear sermons on that scripture, I find myself listening and thinking what would have been the message I would have found here?  What would have jumped out at me and led my writing?

Sunday's readings from the Lectionary can be read here.  As I read the verses from Isaiah, my wheels started turning.  Certain phrases seemed be bold themselves, to highlight themselves, to just jump off the page at me.

He has sent me to bring good news to the OPPRESSED
to bind up the BROKENHEARTED
to proclaim liberty to the captives
release to the prisoners
to comfort all who mourn

For I the LORD love justice
I hate wrongdoing

Then from the reading in Luke more...

He has BROUGHT DOWN the powerful from their thrones and LIFTED UP THE LOWLY
he has filled the HUNGRY with good things,

As I read these verses, I couldn't help but think about things going on in our world today.  I couldn't help but think of those memes I see on Facebook talking trash about the poor, about the strangers, about those who are different from us.  I couldn't help but think about the people, some friends, many Christians, who are sharing them.

I was at the store the other day, and I just so happened to get behind someone on WIC.  They had their items lined up according to each voucher and yes, it was taking a long time.  I didn't mind.  I suddenly remembered being on WIC when my children were little and we were living in Hawaii.  I remember having people get in line behind me and the sound they would make when they realized I was using WIC vouchers.  The disgusted sound.  I remembered the instant shame I felt, the embarrassment I felt as I tried so hard not to make eye contact.

Suddenly, I remembered the early days of our marriage and our struggles to make ends meet.  I wanted these parents to look my way so that I could give them an encouraging smile.  So that I could show them that I knew how they felt and I didn't mind waiting so that their baby could have what it needed.  To show them that it was ok and life can and hopefully will get better.

Then we have the verses from 1 Thessalonians...

PRAY without ceasing,
GIVE THANKS in all circumstances

hold fast to what is GOOD
abstain from every form of evil

may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless

You can bet that as I waited in line behind this family,  I was giving thanks for where my family is now.  I was rejoicing that we had help when we needed it and that that help is there for others.  I was abstaining from being impatient, from judging, which is not always easy, let me tell you.

I was reminded of my sermon last week about preparing the way of the Lord.  How we can do that by showing love in all things.  How we can do our part to make the path straight.  I was reminded again
of the company Jesus often kept, the people he often helped, healed, reached out to, loved and I wanted to try to be just a little bit like him.  I wonder what he would think of those memes on Facebook I mentioned earlier.  Would he think they were just?  Personally, I don't think so.  I don't think he would want us to judge with these memes, of course I don't think he wants us to judge those who post them either but I do think that sometimes we need gentle reminders that what we share, what we say can hurt.  Sometimes we need to gentle reminders to LOVE in all things no matter what.  Sometimes we need gentle reminders of what it is we are truly supposed to be about in this life.  LOVE

PRAY without ceasing,
GIVE THANKS in all circumstances

hold fast to what is GOOD

may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless


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