When we become part of a group we often want to show people how important we are. We want to be important in everyone’s eyes. We want to be special and accepted. So we set out to do things that make us stand out. The part we forget is it is not those things that make other people see us. It is our caring and our sharing of ourselves and our possessions and our love that set us apart. We gain the respect and admiration of others by how we show our caring.
We have been called to love our neighbor as ourselves and it is in this way that we are granted affection and love in return.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
[ 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.
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.
Lord God, the people affected by Dorian need your loving and healing hands. Send your grace to uphold them. Their anguish is great. Give them peace and hope in the days to come. Remind us all to help where we can and be generous with the gifts you have given us. We pray to you in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen
Another one of my favorite songs. I always see it as the way I should live.
Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs but how to remain human in the skyscrapers. Abraham J. Heschel
Do we only worship in designated worship spaces? Do we take out God our into the streets. Christ did not call us to stay in church. He called us to care for the sick and needy. Most of the time they are not in our churches. Do we take our care outside the walls?
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.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Our past has taught us so many lessons. God expects us to use them to move forward. The hurts we carry open us to more understanding. Use them to help others.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share the pains we have experienced so that others can feel our openness and our love. AMEN
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha
The light of a candle is not the only thing that can be shared. Love is never diminished by being shared. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This is what Christ is all about. Love , love , love….if only we could stop all the anger and violence and just concentrate on loving each other the world would change.
Gracious God, do you despair of our every getting the message? Please help us to forget all the complex issues and just understand the message. Love is the way. AMEN
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
I Corinthians 13: 4-7
We hear this so often at weddings that I don’t think we really pay attention to it any more. But these are words to live by. How many times am I arrogant or rude or boastful? How many times do I insist on my own way? I need to wake up and smell the coffee. These words apply directly to me!
Prayer: Forgiving God, I am guilty of letting these words slide right by me. Help me to take them to heart and live by them. Amen
Your talent is Gods gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Leo Buscaglia
Some people have obvious talents. They can sing or write books or act in plays. Most of us don’t even realize we have talents. The things we can do seem so ordinary. Who would care if I could teach a class …so many others can too…or compute someone’s taxes or paint their house for them? I’m just an average Joe. But God cares. No matter if you think you can’t do anything for his glory he knows that you can. Every skill can be used for the glory of God.
Prayer: Lord, help is to see and use the things we can do for the glory of God. AMEN