A week after Houston and the Gulf Region were hit by Hurricane Harvey, Texans are still reeling… Devastating floods. Overcrowded, inadequate shelters. People taking advantage of the most vulnerable – those marginalized by circumstance, by their situation.
There’s a great line in our lesson from Jeremiah this morning – there in verse 17, “…under the weight of your hand (God), I sat alone, filled with indignation.”
That’s the theme that runs through our lessons today. In a world where we so desperately struggle to fit in, God’s Word today calls us to stand out and stand up for the Gospel; for Christ; for the hurting world that surrounds us. And understand, that when we do, it’s not going to make people happy. Because the powerful, the rich, the comfortable, want to keep it that way.
Time moves on and changes us. We’ve reached a point in the last weeks of summer where we’re ready to move ahead. We’re getting ready to gear up for fall. Certainly, the weather these past few days reminds us that change is right around the corner.
This time of year for many of us is a turning point. We’re either excited or dreading the early weeks of September – going back to school or getting kids ready to go. Maybe packing up college aged kids…. Getting ready for all sorts of new beginnings… For some, maybe many of those kids, they’re not as excited as their parents, though.
Time gives us a perspective on life. Looking back, we have reminders of God’s help and God’s care in our lives. There’s the opportunity to be reminded of how blessed we are, despite challenges and setbacks; despite those difficult times. And what is special, is to be able to see how God is with us in those difficult days and weeks. Throughout all our difficult times. Throughout all life’s challenges.
Most of us remember a special person in our lives, perhaps favorite teacher. Someone who stands out – above and beyond others. One of them for me was my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Martin. He used models and photos from his visits to Greece and Egypt to teach us about archeology and history. He made things real and alive.
At a recent gathering of Pastors, I was talking with some of my former Seminary classmates. One remarked that they’d learned more in these few years in the parish than in the classroom. Life changes the moment those stoles are placed. There’s real truth to that. There’s nothing like working in the field, having real hands-on experience, to figure out the true meaning of a subject.
For us as members of this faithful community, it’s mission and outreach that give life to the Gospel. That make it real.
Our lessons this morning are raw and they’re real. You’d think they were taken from current events. Take those words and put them in today’s context. Read through scripture and you’ll often find parallels to us in this life.