Sunday, November 15, 2020
The Wide View
of God’s Good Creation!
Gifts Fill Us All!
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
2 Timothy 2:22
Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Words of Grace For Today
God created us good.
Youthful passions and all. The question is not if we have ‘youthful passions’ at any age (in old age, what an extraordinary gift to receive!) it is what we do with them (no matter our age), and with all the other gifts God gives us. In baptism we name the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence, both now and forever.
At the affirmation of baptism service we commit ourselves to living out these gifts, by promising:
to live among God’s faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.
So what are we to do with these gifts that bring us to these commitments?
We are, simply, to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.
That precludes gaslighting others, bearing false witness, seeking (directly or indirectly) others’ death.
That precludes responding to misogyny with misandry.
That precludes accusing others of what you yourself has done.
That precludes [fill in a whole host of sins against God, God’s people, and God’s creation.]
I tell children I meet about town, in parting, with their parent(s) overhearing, ‘give your parents a little bit of trouble everyday. Most of us …’
Invariably the parent interjects here that they have no problem with that.
Then I continue, ‘most of us do not have any problem with the trouble part; it’s the little part that is a challenge!’
When we are humble, we recognize that we give God, God’s people, and God’s creation an overabundance of trouble everyday!
Loving kindness, we can laugh at ourselves, which immediately lessons much of the ‘trouble’ we give others and God.
Working for peace and justice for all people and all creation, we focus our energy on making good trouble the kind of trouble we mostly make.
Good Trouble is the kind that exposes injustice and evil, and offers in it’s place true peace.
Good Trouble is the kind that exposes the lies of people who, like Trump try to create reality out of fantasies that serve their selfish passions.
Good Trouble is the kind that takes an awful lot of ‘youthful passion’ for us to pull off.
Thank God for ‘youthful passions’ and the wisdom to know what to do with them!