Jesus taught that where our treasure is, there will be our heart, also. If we agree with the great Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, our hearts are surely in a good place. Our world would be a far kinder and much more gentle place if we would demonstrate our wealth in these treasures.
Concise, clearly stated and about as well stated as possible…God’s love is always the answer.
Success is not difficult. Good goals, solid discipline, hard work and persistence will most always get you there.
Being faithful is an entirely different matter. Faithfulness requires a singleness of heart embodied in a lifestyle of love, obedience and sacrifice.
My father was 85 when he was killed on a Texas highway. Another car plowed into his from behind. The other car was driven by a nurse late to work and heavily medicated. She survived with minor injuries.
My father was working at the time of his death. That’s not surprising to me. He grew up in a poor single parent family during the depression. He and his siblings knew hunger. For my father, to be a man meant you worked. And so he worked. He worked until the day he day he died.
Good meaningful work is a key part of our humanity. But, there’s far more to life than being busy. Work is not the end all and the be all of our existence.
Now, at almost 70 I am taking Thoreau’s admonition to heart I have come to realize that going into the woods is vital if I am to live deeply and suck the marrow of life. The more time I spend immersed in nature, the more alive I feel.
Take time to live before you die. As someone recently told me, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.” We only get one chance.
Most of us would agree that we live in a time of challenge and controversy. Growing violence around the world, terrorism, politicians spewing hatred and unabashed bigotry, a polarization and ever-widening chasm between the obscenely rich and the abysmally poor; it all points to the need for us to demonstrate our true values.
We need men and women of faithfulness to stand up and quietly reflect the values that seem to be getting buried in the ugly rhetoric and political posturing that surround us. Am I the only one thoroughly sick of politicians and presidential candidates grandstanding to the lowest common denominator?
There are times when silence is not golden, but just plain yellow. We now find ourselves in such a time. It is time to stand up for what we believe in our hearts to be right, what we know our faith demands of us. It’s time to demonstrate that love is still far more powerful than hatred.
God of mercy and justice, we praise you this perfect day for all the gifts you have given your children. We glorify your name for your sustaining grace and the everlasting love poured so freely into our lives. You have given us so much, and for everything we have and all that we are, we give you our thanks.
Our prayer this morning is for the grace to more fully respond to the love and grace you have first given us. Help us always remember, and always be aware that all we have comes from you.
We have been so richly blessed with material abundance. We have financial wealth unimaginable by most of our human family. We take solid shelter and good homes for granted in a world teeming with refugees and the homeless. Food security is never an issue for our families Instead, we complain about variety and search out ever newer and exotic meals. We spend without thought, and eat to excess in a world full of poor and hungry.
Forgive us, Lord, for our thoughtlessness. Forgive us for our lack of awareness. Forgive us for our continued misuse of the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. Forgive us for our lack of caring… and our lack of sharing.
Lord, open our eyes so that we might see our world through your eyes. Grant us compassion deep enough to bring us to our knees in true empathy with those of our family chained by poverty and hunger. Grant us the miracle-working power of your Holy Spirit to lift us above our self-centeredness, our selfishness and fears so that we might love the least of these among us enough to open ourselves fully enough to share not only all we have…but all we are. Lord, teach us this morning how to be generous, and to give as you have first given to us.
Grant us more generous hearts. Help us more fully reflect your love through our caring and our sharing. And let all we have been given be used to glorify you. Amen