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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Kingdom of Heaven: Unwanted, Invasive, Contaminated (July 30, 2017)

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

[Jesus] put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” 33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. 47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

You know what I think about the kingdom of heaven? I think it’s incredibly frustrating. And slow. And sometimes discouraging.

But before I can explain why to you, we need to be clear about the definition of the kingdom of heaven as Jesus talks about it. First, it is not a place out in the stars somewhere that your soul goes after you die. At least that’s not what Jesus is talking about here. As Jesus explains it, the kingdom of heaven is something that is present here and now. It’s something that he brings into the world. It is any time and any place God’s will of love, compassion, and grace are being done. It isn’t so much a place as a way of living in the world. It is less about getting ahead in the world and more about giving yourself away for the world. It’s loving with Jesus’ love, forgiving with Jesus’ forgiveness, and being compassionate with Jesus’ compassion. That is the kingdom of God Jesus is talking about.

And it can be frustrating to me. Jesus tries over and over to get people to understand it, and has a hard time succeeding. Here in this text, he tells five quick parables to help us get this concept. I don’t find it frustrating because of what I don’t get about it. I find it frustrating because of the parts I do.

Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. A weed that was unwanted by everyone in that day. It would take over a field and aggressively take all the water so no crops to grow. And the birds that come and make their nests in the full-grown mustard shrub? They aren’t cute little song birds. They come and peck at all the good seeds that the mustard bush has left.

The kingdom of heaven is like that? Unwanted? Invasive? It just comes in and takes over?

Yes, Jesus says. Like that.

Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like leaven in bread dough. This is not a nice little package of yeast that makes freshly baked bread fluffy and tall. No, leaven was an impurity, coming from rotten, moldy, old bread. Why would a woman contaminate her bread like that? Unleavened bread was pure and good. Leavened bread was gross.

The kingdom of heaven is like that? Disgusting? Contaminated? Ruining perfectly good bread?

Yes, Jesus says. Like that.

Why do I find that frustrating? Because I tend to agree. I want the kingdom of heaven, i.e., compassion and grace and forgiveness and love to be revealed. But I want it to be revealed on my terms. I don’t want to be compassionate indiscriminately. I don’t want it coming in where I think it has no business being present. I want to live with Jesus’ compassion when I want to, not invading into unwanted places when God wants it done.

I want to dispense compassion to the people I want to dispense it to. Those for whom it will possibly make a difference. Those who will respond to compassion and be open to my compassion changing their lives. Because then I have a better chance of being recognized for my amazing kindness. If it invades where I don’t really want it, happening whenever God wants, my acts of compassion might not be received the way I want. They may think I expect a response from them. They may think that I think they now owe me something. They may be right.

I’ve been known to think, “Wow. After all I did for you, that’s how you repay me? After all my wonderful compassion, you treat me like that?” I performed your wedding and you won’t join my church? I gave you a night’s lodging at a motel, and you tell all your homeless friends I’ll do the same for them?

You see, if I can control when I show compassion, if I control where I reveal the kingdom of God, I can also control how it’s received. I’m not so likely to waste perfectly good compassion on someone who treats my compassion like an invasive contaminate.

So, yes, it’s frustrating that I don’t control the kingdom of God. That with me or without me, compassion and love and grace keep showing up in the world. Sometimes where they have no business showing up.

Part of me longs for the day that this kingdom of compassion takes over everything and everyone like Jesus’ last parable of a net scooping up fish everywhere. But another part of me recognizes that the fullness of that is a long way off, and I have a long way to go before I’m doing my full part in it.

So maybe it’s OK that this kingdom of compassion and grace and forgiveness invades like a weed. Because perhaps it will invade me too. Whether I accept it well or not. Whether I respond well to it or not. And I guess that’s not such a bad thing after all.

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Posted by on July 30, 2017 in Sermon

 

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Play Nicely, Kids. We’re All in the Same Sandbox (July 23, 2017)

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, “An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ “

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Easy to blame the weeds. . .

“I just don’t understand how those weeds can act like that. Why don’t they just get a job or quit using drugs or go to college or learn English. Why don’t they just behave more like us wheat.

“Immigration wouldn’t be a problem if the weeds obeyed our current laws.

“Society would be fine if those weeds would allow us to put the 10 commandments on courthouse lawns.

“Congress could get stuff done if the weeds would vote the way wheat votes.

“Church would be growing like a wee— . . . uhm, wait. The church would be growing like wheat if those weeds would give more money, make a stronger commitment, pray more, show up more often, or otherwise do things that us wheat are doing.”

Wheat can get away with anything as long as we’ve got the weeds among us to blame. It’s easy to judge. It’s easy to separate. It’s easy to call us “us” so we can call them “them.” As long as we have those weeds to blame, we’re off the hook.

Is your life the way you want it to be? Are you blaming someone?

Is our government the way you want it to be? It’s obviously those weeds on the other side of the aisle.

Is your congregation the way you want it to be? Do you know who it is that is keeping it from being that way?

As long as we’re trying to identify the weeds, we’re damaging the whole crop. As long as we’re able to pin blame on someone else, we’re hurting everyone.

I’m guessing that you know I’m going somewhere with this. And you’re right. Jesus understands our tendency to blame “them” (whoever “they” are) isn’t helpful. He says the problem in this text isn’t those weeds. The problem is that we think we can differentiate between wheat and weeds, saving one and eliminating the other. Lifting up one and pushing down the other. Helping one and hurting the other.  The problem is the desire of the workers to uproot the weeds—but that destroys the wheat too.

This whole teaching section in Matthew can be summed up, I believe, by Jesus saying, “Play nicely, kids, because like it or not, we’re all in the sandbox together.”

The way Jesus prioritizes our lives quite simply, “love God, love your neighbor.” There. That’s it. We aren’t to differentiate between us and them, we aren’t to judge others, we aren’t to blame anyone, we aren’t to justify ourselves. We just love, and show mercy, and forgive, and be generous, and show compassion. All without blame, ridicule, or judgement.

I have a friend who is a real jerk. If anyone acts like a weed, it’s him. He’s a bullying, misogynistic, always-right kind of person. Horrible team player. Goes his own way and makes sure you know that his way is the absolute best way there ever was. He can really put people off and he has a lot of enemies. When we hung around he had a way of making things difficult.

As I got to know him, I eventually found out that he had a rough childhood. He was raised by a single mother who had an untreated and rather significant mental illness. My friend, as the oldest of five kids, because he didn’t know any other way, took the responsibility of being the buffer between his mother in one of her episodes and his younger siblings. He took care of things. He managed the family. It was only because of his compassion and perseverance that he and his siblings could grow up and function in society as adults.

He’s not a weed to be pulled. He’s a person in God’s image who has gifts and intelligence. He has a compassion and resilience that have in his line of work had a huge positive impact on lots of people. He’s a jerk, and it would be easy to stand in judgment—and many do. But underneath his weed-like tendencies is someone who ought to be offered compassion and grace as much as anyone else.

One of Jesus’ main points throughout his ministry is that there is no longer an ”us” and a “them.” There is only “us.” All of us. People created by God and in God’s image. That’s it. Everyone has a story. Everyone needs compassion. No one deserves to be judged by us.

Martin Luther wrote something about this, too. In his explanation to the 8th commandment, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, in the Small Catechism, he wrote, “We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.”

This is the day we put an end to separating the weeds and the wheat. This is the day we stop judging others because there’s always more to their story than we know. This is the day we recognize that all of us—because each of us is both weeds and wheat—all of us grow together for as long as we’re here. This is the day love will win, compassion will win, kindness will win. For the sake of the weeds and the wheat. For the sake of everyone.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Sermon

 

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Not the Nature of the Soil, but of the Sower (July 16, 2017)

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!”

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

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Jesus talks in this parable about four different types of dirt: dirt that’s trodden down into a hard path, dirt that’s full of rocks, dirt that has thorns growing in it, and good soil. Each of the first three have problems growing seeds, but the fourth—the good soil—grows seeds like crazy. Yielding 30, 60 or even 100 times more than was planted. In those days, farmers would find that much yield unbelievable!

Then, later on, Jesus explains this parable to his disciples. The seed is the “word of the kingdom,” he says. We can talk later about what that means. The different soils are different responses from different people to that word of the kingdom being cast among them. Obviously, those who respond as good soil are those who understand the word of the kingdom and respond very well to it. But not everyone does, apparently. Only those who are good soil.

How do you know who the good soil is? How do we know if we are good soil? Is good soil the “good” Christians? Those who volunteer their time to feed the hungry and house the homeless? Is good soil limited to pastors? People who pray well? Those whose spiritual lives are beyond that of mere mortals? Whatever it is that makes people good soil, that’s what we want to be doing, don’t we?

I think that even with very little thought we can see that it isn’t that simple. None of us are just one soil type. We’re not divided into good people and bad ones. One of the most helpful things in our Lutheran theology is that we understand that each of us are, at the same time, both saint and sinner. Both good soil and not so good. Even if we feel like one kind of soil more than other kinds, we fluctuate during our lifetimes, sometimes we can be several different soils during a single day.

So, I’ll ask again, how do you know who the good soil is? I believe the point of the parable is that we don’t know.

Look at the main character, the sower, throwing seeds everywhere, indiscriminately, extravagantly, foolishly, wastefully. If the sower knows where the good soil is, wouldn’t he just sow his seeds there? Why waste seeds casting them where they aren’t likely to produce anything? Jesus, the one who casts the words of the kingdom, flings them everywhere without regard as to who will produce fruit and who won’t—because it’s not about the nature of the soil, it’s about the nature of the sower.

Think about where and with whom Jesus cast the words of the kingdom—which, by the way, are the things central to the nature of God: love, compassion, forgiveness, lifting up those that are pushed down, justice. Think about where Jesus showed those things, with whom he shared these kingdom experiences. Jesus spent much of his time casting the words of the kingdom—showing mercy and compassion—to sinners, tax collectors, the sick, those left out, even the twelve disciples who never seemed to get it. If ever there was bad soil, it was that group. It looked like a waste of time to those who thought they knew who the good soil was.

Jesus wasn’t picky. He showed compassion everywhere, to everyone. Some who received the seeds of compassion would yield the fruit of those seeds by showing even more compassion, and some wouldn’t. He showed forgiveness even to the worst people. Some who received the seeds of forgiveness would yield the fruit of those seeds by showing more forgiveness, and some wouldn’t. Jesus loved even the unlovable. Some who received the seeds of love would yield the fruit of those seeds by loving others, and some wouldn’t.

Jesus just threw the seeds of God’s grace, love, and compassion everywhere. All the time. To anyone. It didn’t matter if they were good soil or not. It didn’t matter if they were hardened or shallow or had bad priorities. Jesus doesn’t hold back, but keep sowing compassion, love, and grace with wild generosity. To all kinds of soils, no matter what.

Which is amazingly good news. If Jesus is sowing forgiveness and compassion everywhere, to everyone, whether they are good soil or not, that means he’s sowing forgiveness and compassion to me. To you. Right now. Whether you’re good soil or not. Christ’s compassion is being thrown at you. Christ’s love is raining down on you like so many seeds. Regardless of your soil condition today. And who knows, it just might take root.

But even if it doesn’t, the generous seeds of an extravagant sower continue to be cast in you. Again and again. Indiscriminately, extravagantly, foolishly, wastefully. Because it’s not about the nature of the soil, it’s about the nature of the sower. The word of the kingdom is flung everywhere. Who knows where it will take root and bear 30, 60, or even 100 fold? Who knows? Maybe in you.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Sermon

 

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“The Church isn’t so Much in Decline, the Church is Exhausted” (July 9, 2017)

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 17 “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon’; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I don’t think I’m telling you anything new by saying that being part of a church is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and practice to be a church. There are programs, budgets, planning, meetings, behind-the-scenes details too numerous to list that so many of you are involved in. Then there’s the whole discipleship thing—growing spiritually, following Jesus, forgiving and being forgiven, loving the world. There’s a lot of action and energy involved in being part of a church. People have invested a lot of themselves into their churches.

So it makes some sense, then, that as churches across the country in every denomination and tradition continue to decline in numbers, people within their congregations take on extra burdens and responsibilities, digging in their heels to try and stop it. They buzz around looking for the answer, seeing what that one growing congregation is doing and trying to imitate that. Each one believes that if the whole church would put more effort into their church, it would turn this ship around. Youth programming! some say. More Bible studies! some say. Spiritual worship! Some say. Better preaching! some say. Outreach and social justice! some say. And because they are convinced that putting more effort into these areas will save the church, they work themselves into a state of exhaustion. And when that doesn’t gain the results it should, they can get despondent, apathetic, and just plain tired. They become so worn out that being part of a church actually becomes a burden. Add that to other burdens they carry, e.g., worrying about their kids, their job, their healthcare, and the state of world peace, they simply can’t carry the burden of being part of the church any more. And they become part of the decline they fought so hard to prevent.

The church isn’t so much in decline. The church is simply exhausted.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

It seems that Jesus understands that we are tired. He gets that we fight so hard to save our churches. He gets that we pour so much of ourselves into carrying this burden of holding up the church that we are all weary. And Jesus comes to us and offers to lighten this load. Come to me, he says. Take my yoke, he says. Find rest, he says. Isn’t that just what we need?

But I cannot find rest while you are still carrying the load. And you won’t find rest for your souls if others are still under this weight. What we don’t yet understand in our culture is that your burden is mine. Mine is yours. We’re in this together—this church thing. Which is why Jesus doesn’t say, “Come to me, each one of you individually that are weary.” He says, collectively, “All who are weary.” Jesus is talking to the crowds here. Everyone. He’s not speaking to each one of us individually, but as a whole. We, together, take his yoke on us. We, together, come to him with our collective heavy burdens. We, together, are yoked with him and learn from him. It’s us together with Jesus, so together we bear our burdens. Together, his yoke is a lot easier when it’s spread among all of us and his burden is a lot lighter when we share it together.

It’s really that simple. There’s more and more sense to the Apostle Paul referring to the whole church as “the body of Christ.” We are joined together in Christ for support, for encouragement, for lifting burdens.

Have you seen that video on Youtube of a farmer that needed to move his huge barn in Bruno, Nebraska? Check it out. 344 people surrounded this barn, all grabbed hold, picked it up, and simply walked it to its new location. Everyone together. No one had too much weight. No one was overburdened. All different ages and abilities. Each one carrying some of the load, but no one carrying all of it. And they did what some said was impossible. Because they did it together.

Being part of the church isn’t easy. But we have to do this church thing together, this Christ thing together. If not, we’ll all burn out and burn up one by one. As the body of Christ, we’re here to lighten the load for one another. We’re here to take seriously the business of forgiving each other; carrying the needs and hopes of even those we don’t know. Going out of our way to show love; being inconvenienced, happily, to benefit someone else here. No one takes he load alone. But together the load is easy and the burden is light.

Being part of a church is not easy; walking with Jesus in the world is a heavy thing to carry. This is just too hard for any of us to do by ourselves. We’re all tired. We’re all feeling the weight. We need one another. To be about the work Jesus has given us, to live as Christ in the world, we need to do it together. We need each other.

“Come to me, you all are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give all of you rest. Take my yoke upon you together, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you all will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Together that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Sermon

 

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Giant Pool of Compassion Let Loose (July 2, 2017)

Matthew 10:40-42

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Remember in school when you were assigned a reading that was boring, irrelevant, impossible to understand? You’d turn a page and look at the book, and it seemed that the side of the book left to read was just as big as before? The side of pages read remained pitifully small. One page seemed to make no difference at all. It seemed like this reading will never be done. What’s one page when there are hundreds of pages yet to go?

Jesus, I think, is one who says each page read is important, because each page is part of the whole book. And it’s the book that matters, with each page contributing something to the book as a whole.

I say that because of how Jesus ends his instructions to his disciples in these verses before he sends them out. Some people will welcome you, in which case they welcome me. Okay. Some will welcome a prophet or a righteous person, their reward will be appropriate. Big time actions! Heroes and people that make a difference in the world. But some will just give you a cup of water. That’s it. Nothing life-changing. Nothing heroic or requiring major sacrifice. Just a cup of water. Yet even this small act means they keep their reward.

You see, it’s not the individual acts of kindness or compassion that change the world. Any more than it’s a single page that makes a book. It’s the totality of compassion, and every single act, no matter how small, contributes to the pool of compassion being let loose in the world. It’s the entire pool of compassion that changes the world. And even a cup of water contributes.

Here’s what this looks like. A couple of weeks ago we finished a very successful VBS. It took 44 people at LCM to pull it off. Each contributing something to make the entire VBS experience significant for the 80 kids that came. I can’t begin to list the various tasks, ideas, organizing, ordering, supporting, coordinating, and more.

Some were bigger pieces and some were smaller. Some took a lot of time and some took a little bit. But each person’s gifts contributed. Each person was part of what made VBS fun and beneficial for our neighborhood kids.

That doesn’t include those who donated materials and food items. Some donations were larger and some smaller, but each one was used and became part of showing God’s love to our neighborhood kids.

And that doesn’t include the Sky Ranch staff that led worship and three stations and brought curriculum. Even if you count he Sky Ranch staff, that wouldn’t include the other 50 members of the staff at Sky Ranch that prayed, organized, wrote, and trained those three for our VBS.

Just for one week of VBS, there were lots of different people contributing in lots of different ways. Some were major contributors, and some minor. But each contribution of time, skills, ideas, and energy was part of the whole VBS at LCM 2017. And it’s the whole of VBS that matters to our neighborhood kids. It’s the whole package of love and care that affects them. Every contribution mattered, and every contribution is appreciated. Thank you, everyone who helped, no matter how small that help may seem compared to someone else. You were part of God’s love being shown. You made a difference. Truly I tell you, none of you will lose your reward.

That’s just one week of VBS. As a congregation, we are about compassion and love every day, permanently. It’s why we’re here and it’s what we do. Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of you will lose your reward.

Some people’s contributions to this congregational are large and visible: Council members, heads of big ministries, staff. Other people are behind the scenes and their contributions and help are less visible. Others help in smaller ways less frequently. Whoever gives even a minute of their time to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of you will lose your reward.

Some people in this congregation are regular, major financial contributors. Still others put a dollar in the plate once in a while. Whoever gives even a nickel to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of you will lose your reward.

LCM’s ministry is an entire effort. And no matter how you small may think your effort is, no matter how insignificant you think your contribution is, no matter how little time you take in congregational ministry, it is still part of the whole of what we do. Together. It’s the whole of LCM that matters, and you are part of that. Thank you. Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of you will lose your reward.

So we keep at it. One act at a time, one gift at a time, one contribution at a time. You see, it’s not the individual acts of kindness or compassion that change the world. Any more than it’s a single page that makes a book. It’s the totality of compassion, and every single act, not matter how small, contributes to the pool of compassion being let loose in the world. It’s the entire pool of compassion that changes the world. And even a cup of water contributes. Each page matters. Each page is a contribution. Each page is part of the book, part of God’s library of compassion. And that is what changes the world.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Sermon

 

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