Are we following?

[ The Call of Matthew ] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
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We have heard this verse many time. So much that it might just wash over us. What does Jesus mean? In this case it meant leaving everything behind and just following Jesus without another thought.
It is so easy for us to sit in our churches each Sunday and say that we are following Jesus….but are we really? Do we give up things to follow him? Do we help when others need help? (not just our friends and neighbors but the unlovely also?)
Do we offer to fix things for widows and those who are alone and can’t do it themselves?
Do we offer to clean the house of a shut-in who can’t move around much?
Are we willing to go get the meds needed for a single mom who can’t leave her children?
Will we make dinner for someone who has spent their money on medicine and has no food?
Will we even seek out these needs in our community?
If not we are not following Jesus.

Prayer

Today as I watched the forecast for the hurricane I thought about how to pray about it. Normally I would just pray that the storm would not hit us but then I thought how selfish that prayer is. As I wishing that I would hit someone else? It does look as if it will land somewhere on the southern coast so I need to direct my prayers in a different way.

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Lord, guard and keep all those who are in the path of Hurricane Dorian. Give them strength and courage during the storm. Help them as they recover from any damage and give them the strength to help others as well. Hold in your loving arms those in the tropics who have been hit so hard in the recent past and help us to aid them where we can. We pray in your Holy Name. AMEN

Hang together?

Mark 3:25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Unfortunately this seems to be the culture we live in. There is so much division that people can no longer hold a civil conversation. It is so frightening that the divisions are increasing. Years ago in the US there was another man who talked about standing together. We may not be able to do it again until we are invaded by aliens and we have to all join together to stay alive.

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Regret

The other day I saw a man on the side of the road. He was bent over and was holding a small sign. The traffic was moving and I didn’t have time to read the sign or to give him the package I keep in my car to give to those in need. I have regretted this since that day. I should have stopped and held up traffic and handed him that pack.

We have a responsibility to each other. We are a community. The things that I do affect others. I am responsible for helping others. God has reminded us of this so many time that we ought to get it by now.

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Help

I sought my soul but my soul I could not see. I sought my God but my God eluded me. I sought my brother —and I found all three.            London Church News Service

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God has called us to be our brother’s keeper. We can’t be busy trying to find our belief instead of doings God’s work. Jesus worked to help others. We should too.

Learn

Even though I am a Christian I believe that there are things to learn from other faiths. My understanding is the Jewish faith concentrates on what you do with your life, Muslims stop their day to pray multiple times, Buddhists spend time in contemplation.

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These are all things that I can admire and use in my own faith.

Be generous

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver                           2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

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We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?

Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen