Thursday, August 11, 2016

EVERY time!

"Peter approached Jesus and asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I say to you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"
Matthew 18:21-22
Jesus might as well have told Peter a million times!  Because what he meant was Peter has to forgive others EVERY time.  And Jesus is telling us that, too.  Jesus calls on us to do stuff that is way too hard for humans to forgiving every time and loving our enemies and welcoming strangers, and taking care of people who can't give back. Jesus is asking us to do things that are especially difficult for humans.  We tend to want people to admire us for what we do and we may want to take revenge on others who do us harm. So, what gives? Jesus is asking the impossible because Jesus wants us to draw from the deep Source within us that may not seem readily accessible. Jesus wants us to draw from the God/Love within us to do these seemingly impossible things. God's love is imbedded within our hearts and will give us just what we need to forgive others and love each other fully, if we just sit still long enough to tap into it.  If we can take the time to see others the way God sees them, we can love them.  It's certainly harder in our "Us against Them" world, but again, it's not impossible if we tap into the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.  Today, let's be aware of acting contrary to our first instincts.  If we become angry or impatient, let's go deep inside and pull out the grace we need to take a deep breath and recognize the indwelling God within the other person.  The indwelling God within us can see and appreciate the indwelling God within them.  That is the Gospel. That is what Jesus wants us to do.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Inefficent truth...

"Discipleship does not measure compassion in terms of efficiency and return but seeks out every 'little one' who requires more than we might be ready to give."
Jay Cormier, "Give Us This Day"

This struck me this morning because it is the very definition of the "hard ones" that Jesus is constantly asking me to seek and love. The "easy ones" are just easy--the 99 sheep munching away in the meadow--easy to love, right? But that one sheep that goes wandering; that's the one God is especially asking me to reach out to.  Jesus tells us that is what the Good Shepherd does--goes off after the one difficult sheep when there are 99 doing just what they're supposed to do.  It's the one who needs going after.  We all have these Ones in our lives, don't we? The one kid who marches to a different drummer, the one relative who grates on our nerves. Or maybe it's the co-worker who doesn't do her share in the office. Our compassion toward these people must not be doled out according to how we feel toward them or how much we may receive back from them. Our compassion and love must be inefficient...over and above...going after them even though it may not be convenient.  They are the ones who need us the most.  Love, heidi

Monday, August 8, 2016

Without grumbling!

"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."
Luke 12:48

Uh oh.  We, who have so many advantages in this life, are called upon to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We, who have the advantages of loving and nurturing childhoods, good education, plenty of food and clean water have the advantage over much of the world, don't we? We may think things are difficult for us at times, but we really have it so much better than most of the rest of the world. We are the ones Jesus is referring here who have been entrusted with much. That's us. So, we are also the ones from whom more is required. We shouldn't grumble when asked to share what we have. We shouldn't shake our heads and mutter about people who aren't pulling their own weight in the world, should we? Even looking back a generation to our parents and their parents--good grief! They didn't have half the advantages we have! My own Dad never went to high school--he had to help support his family. I remember the Kennedys quoting this scripture, explaining their call to public I mistakenly thought it was just the ultra-rich who are the ones entrusted with much. But, now I can see that anyone who grew up in a loving, nourishing environment, anyone who benefited from learning to read and write, anyone who is able to put food on their tables and drink fresh water is required to give back to this generous-to-us world.  And to do it without grumbling!  Love, heidi