Plow – Luke 9:51-62
The story of Jonah invites us to have hope. It invites us to have hope in ourselves. It reminds us even when we sin, even when we hurt others and hurt our relationship with God, even when we wonder what value do I have, God still says back to us, “You are made in my image. You are made for good. That goodness is still there in you.”
“The only command God gives to those three disciples on that mountain is to listen. Not to build. Not to make sense of it all. Not to create a religion or rules or buildings or lists of things to do. But just “Listen!” Pay attention. See what Jesus is doing in front of you.”
On that mountaintop, Jesus is telling us about ourselves. He is telling us that we don’t have to go along with whatever the world tells us. We don’t have to give in to either fear or hate. The world will not dictate who we will be and how we will act. We may be attacked. We may face injustice. We may live in a broken and fearful world. But we can stand tall. We can remember that we are children of God, made in God’s image, and that the Spirit of the Holy Ghost resides deep within us, giving us creativity, strength, and a vision for a better world.
We have all been guilty of breaking trust, speaking cruel words, even speaking outright lies. If we do not forgive those who sin against us, we cannot be forgiven. If we do forgive those who have wronged us, God will forgive us. God will forget our sin altogether. God will clothe us in the sparkling white garments of his kingdom and welcome us into our eternal home.
In our scripture reading for today, Jesus tells us directly who we are. “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”
In Jesus’ most famous speech, he does not begin with a list of commandments or some grand metaphysical, philosophical statement about the universe. Instead, he begins with a blessing.
“How can four men walk away from everything – to follow a carpenter who says only a few words to them?”
The message of Chester Wenger’s letter, and the message of Peter’s words in Acts 10 are the same: God’s love is bigger than we can comprehend. The good news of everlasting life is not just one for nation, one group, one race, one gender, one sexual orientation, one background. Jesus came to love the whole world. And we, as his followers are called to do the same
The Perfect Gift Matthew 2:1-12 Have you ever received a gift and the card with it said “It’s You!” but when you opened it you wondered if that person even knew you? On my 70th birthday I received a present from my sister Sally. She is one year younger than I am and we […]