Pastor John's Daily Briefing-7/14/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing-7/14/2020

To the church that bears the name of Christ Jesus,


How do we truly see one another? Do we feel that we have some connection with one another? Are we able to recognize any bond that we may have with one another? How are we to understand our relationship with God in terms of our relationships, or lack of, with one another? Do we respect one another despite our differences? I raise these questions in hope that we will be able to "see" one another as Christ Jesus "sees" us.


Throughout the Gospels we are introduced to encounters that Jesus had with folks who were hurting in one way or another, who had been rejected and ridiculed by some, who were considered unworthy by others by virtue of their place in "accepted" society. In many of these situations, Jesus reached out to the "hurting' with compassion, empathy, and healing, healing that touched the individual but also led to restoration and inclusion in the community. Often, Jesus took on a lot of flak for the way he reached out to those who were in need, who were hurting in some way, who were feeling excluded, who felt exempted from participating in the "good."


We might ask of ourselves: are we able and willing to "see" one another in the same manner that Jesus "sees" them and us, and not necessarily by the social categories devised and erected that give focus on our perceived differences? How has and how is worth to be measured in our relationship with one another- ethnicity? gender? wealth? political affiliation? age? lifestyle? None of these categories seemed to hinder the manner in which Jesus reached out; his concern and compassion for others extended beyond any social and physical categories that could have been drawn from to exclude or exempt. Jesus himself could "feel" what others in need were feeling and experiencing, and he joined with them to bring about healing and hope, renewal and restoration, especially for those in the underbelly of oppression and repression.


When we look upon another, do we "see" another child of God for whom Jesus was willing to die, as we understand he did for us? Or does something else "stick out," those social and physical categories that I addressed above, categories that have led in the past and even into the present that may lead to judgment and condemnation for some?


What factors about ourselves reign prominent in the way we "see" and are to "see" one another- our Christian faith? our nationality? our status in society? our ethnicity? our political leanings? our wealth? My hope is that we can return to and heed the word of God, the counsel of Jesus- "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you... Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6). That is, our Christian faith should be the ultimate factor by which we are to understand all the other social categories for which we participate and evaluate. 


Hopefully, sooner than later, will we be able to "see" each other, not by divisions and differences, but in the manner that God chose to see all of us in Jesus, that we will be truly able to see each other as sisters and brothers in Christ, able to "feel" each other's hurts, and respond with compassion and healing, rather than judgment and condemnation.


Grace and peace,   Pastor John