Thursday, July 11, 2019

Shake it off...

"Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words--go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet."
Matthew 10:14

That can be really hard to do, our pastor noted in her sermon on Sunday. (Link to Pastor Gretchen's sermon below!) But, harder yet, are the times when the dust we need to shake off our feet is the dust of our own judgmentalism, institutionalism and self-righteousness. The dust really clinging to our feet maybe the dust of our own making. I can relate so well to that because I'm a expert at making dust! I can ruminate and stew in my own dust endlessly, until finally, I just collapse in it. We can't really be there for others if we are wallowing in our own stuff. We need to free ourselves from as much of it as we can before we can really be present to those who need us. Jesus knew the apostles could do no good in a new place if they were still stewing about the old place and its rejection of them. Shake it off and move on, Jesus advised, and wisely so. You can't proceed forward while looking backward! Love, heidi
"Shake it off"

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Suffering and joy...

"Compassion is the virtue that moves us toward solidarity with those who suffer, rather than toward popularity and privilege through power."
Fr. Richard Gula, PSS (as quoted in Give Us This Day)

This sounds so good, but I have to wonder if we really want to join in solidarity with those who suffer. I mean, wouldn't that mean we would suffer too? Exactly. And that is what Jesus did. Jesus didn't just recognize the suffering people around him and feel pity for them. Jesus joined in their suffering and suffered with them. And he suffers with us when we are going through difficulties. Suffering is one thing that crosses all social and economic barriers. Money and privilege can't ward off suffering in our lives. Because it is hard, we may try to avoid joining in the suffering of others, relieved it isn't our turn and grateful things are working out in our lives. But the fact is, we are a human family, all children of God. If one of us is suffering, we all are. If one of us doesn't have enough to eat, no place to sleep, no work or means to sustain ourselves, none of us have those things. All of our hearts need to quiver with the pain of our neighbor. At the same time, our hearts can rejoice with each other too! It's not all sadness and suffering. If we are truly one family, we can all rejoice together, as well. Today, as we go about our summer Tuesday, let's keep our eyes and hearts open to all who enter our day. Can we share their pain, but also share the joy in being together on a warm summer day? Love, heidi