pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Doing Much, Together

Scenario 1 – Load up all of your home into a U-Haul.  Place all of the neighborhoods in your community on a big roulette wheel.  Spin the wheel to find out where your family will now be living.

Scenario 2 – You get paid once a month and it is the 23rd.  You are out of money and the credit cards are maxed.  You are cooking the last food in the house for dinner tonight.  Tomorrow you will take the car title down to the loan place.  Try to figure out how you’ll catch up next month.

In the first scenario, are there places where you really hope the spinner does not stop on?  What makes you not want to live in certain areas of town?  In the second scenario, have you ever had to put something essential on the line just to put food on the table?  Ever had to choose between food for the kids and heat for the house or gas for the car?  These are real choices real people have to make every day.

God pleads the case of the poor.  In Proverbs we are earned not to exploit the poor.  How broad should our definition of ‘exploit’ be?  Should it include ‘ignore’?  In many places in scripture we are instructed on how to care for those in need.  It is our call to do all we can.

When we are able to donate a few cans of food at church, we must because if we don’t then someone will have less.  When we are able to teach a class on budgeting and sound finances, we must because then someone will not have to go to the loan place.  When we are able to advocate for better housing and safer streets, we must because then others start to have a chance.

Individually we cannot do it all.  But we can all do something.  Together we can do much.  What will you do today to help another in need?

Scripture reference: Proverbs 22: 22-23

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He Is Calling

The message of the gospel is for all people.  In His role as the Good Shepherd, Jesus cares for all of the ‘sheep’ in the world.  In today’s reading Jesus says there are sheep in the ‘other flock’ as well.  They too must become part of our flock.

Society has changed over the last fifty years.  For the most part we have lost the neighborhood church or parish.  Most people drive in to the church from their homes in neighborhoods spread out all over town.  In our community people drive past several other churches on their way to their church.  Often people are drawn to a church by denominational ties or because of a friend or family member who already attends that church.

One of the negatives to the community churches that dominate today is the reality that most churches have lost touch with their actual neighbors.  Churches in general minister to the flock that is already inside the walls but struggle to connect with the ‘other flock.’  Those outside the walls of the church physically and spiritually are the ones Jesus seeks too.

As followers of Jesus we are called to a mission and purpose.  We are called to share the love and light of Christ with the lost sheep, many of whom are our neighbors.  The message of the cross is too powerful to keep to ourselves.  As the sheep already in the flock, we know the voice of the Good Shepherd.  Can you hear His voice calling us to reach the least and the lost?  Can you hear His voice calling us outside the walls of our churches and into the lives of the ‘other flock’?  Can you hear the call to share the good news?  He is calling.  Will you follow?

Scripture reference: John 10: 15b-18