Our faith community of St. John the Baptist, founded on the word of God; welcomes all with charity and love….both the strong of Spirit and those who search. As part of the Universal Church, we acknowledge that God has uniquely blessed everyone with abundant gifts. We celebrate the differences that make all of us equal in the eyes of the Lord….using our blessings to provide all who join us in Eucharist with a heart-felt sense of family and communion. For the Lord has brought you to our door….you are a stranger here but once.
February 17, 2019
Luke 6: 17,20-26
Rebels with a cause
A missionary in the gold miner camps of the old Southwest chose his text from the Beatitudes. When the sermon ended, a rusty voice was heard from the back: “If that’s what it means to have God bless me, I think I’ll pass.” The man had a point. When you read the list of “blessing-ees” it sounds like a mixed bag of suffering and horror – hunger, weeping, hatred, persecution. Who wants to live a life so filled with misery?
We do. To be a Christian is to be a social outsider. Jesus taught that if we serve God the world will treat us as traitors. Everything we stand for, humility, service, charity, is at war with what the world wants: fame, power, glory. We have declared ourselves rebels, swearing devotion to a foreign King who has an entirely different set of laws. And it is this eternal, merciful King who has promised us reward for the battle we are waging. This hope of everlasting reward sustains us when we are battle weary and scarred. When the prisons of life seem too much to bear it is His voice of comfort that carries us through. We are willing traitors, rebels joyously suffering for our cause. Why? Because if we chose the world we would be traitors to our own hearts, and to our God.
©Copyright C L Enterprises
Simple love in difficult times
How should a Christian handle hurt and rejection? The answer is both simple and difficult. Simple, because the answer is always “respond with love”. Difficult because loving the hurtful or hateful we encounter, goes against our basic human nature. We want to hit back, hurt back, and we forgot the blessings God has promised for those who love instead. And while He knows our sinful struggles with hate, God still expects an obedient attempt. It doesn’t have to be grandiose. Try the simpler solutions. When someone scowls, smile in return. When they curse, whisper a prayer for them. When they push you away, slip an arm under theirs and pull them into a hug. It’s a matter of trying simple love in difficult times, and letting God do the rest. Are you up for it?