Focus 2012: Heart to heartWhere's the Faith? Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
Did you know that Jesus said that we were chosen and appointed to love one another? … and that this love is like fruit that will last and not spoil.
Sometimes in life we get all caught up in rules and regulations – and we follow with our heads instead of with our heart. There’s no spirit – we’re just going through the mechanics.
There’s a story where Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years; 38 years of brokenness, pain, discomfort, unable to move by himself or care for himself. Jesus just speaks these words to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” And that man’s life is totally transformed. He’s completely healed. As a result, he and his closest friends spontaneously throw a party, but some people who are there get really upset because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath. People weren’t supposed to work on the Sabbath. Jesus should have waited.
When Jesus answers their objections he does so by reminding them of a well-known rabbinic teaching, a rabbinic teaching that was probably circulating at the time. And that teaching said that even though God rested from creation on the seventh day, and even though God commanded us to keep the Sabbath, the fact is (the rabbis taught) God still works on the Sabbath.
And they based this on a graphic reality. On the Sabbath babies are born. On the Sabbath people die. And since God is the giver of life and God is the one who takes life away, it was obvious that God was still active, still engaged in life – even on the Sabbath.
If we’re going to strive to live our lives the way Jesus lived, there are certain questions that need to be running through our minds frequently.
The first one is, “God, what’s on your heart?” And then related to that is, “What are you doing in the world, in the lives of the people around me?” In other words, where are you already at work? And then the third question is, “How can I join you?” Great questions.
Look around – how can you get involved in your world? Think about outreach to our community and our continuing presence in the LGBT community in San Diego.
When I think of community I think of multi-generational. I love that we have newborns – and kids – and teenagers and then all ages up to the 80s and beyond! How wonderful to have Grandpa’s and Grandma’s to learn from.
John 15:16-17 reminds us that we are called, appointed and chosen to bear fruit – fruit that will last. What’s this fruit Jesus is talking about? LOVE. And it’s best demonstrated by loving one another and loving ourselves … the way God loves each of us.
And then I think about possibilities for this year … what is God calling you to do? I think of our seniors; I think or our teenagers; I think of a coming out group, a 12-step support group, a walking group, an exercise group and the list goes on and on.
God is inviting us to join in the little things, in the things that may not be very noticeable, even though they have great impact. Everyday-things become special if God has sent us to do it.
Jesus showed us how to live. He showed us what it means to be human. Our highest calling and our deepest joy, is being like that. The place we get closest to being what we originally were created to be is when we watch and ask and join God – heart to heart.
What you were created for, what will make you all you were created to be and what will give you the thrill of being inside of the fullness of what it means to be fully you is when you watch and you ask and you join – hand to hand – and most importantly, heart to heart.
Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org.
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