February 23,2021 - by Pastor Suzanne
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Well, here we are, another week, another snowstorm! I would fly a white flag of surrender, but you would never see it with all the snow. Thankfully, the weather forecast looks better for the rest of the week. I will never be as happy to see spring come or walk on green grass as I will be this year.
Amid all the white stuff we are in the season of Lent and I have been reflecting on what God is calling me to do as an individual and for us as a community of faith. I had a conversation with a friend, and we were talking about what God requires of us. I asked her why she was so passionate about social justice issues and she told me it was what God demanded of her. I was really taken back by the use of the word, demand. I have never thought about my call as a Christian as a demand from God. At first it seemed so harsh and repressive but then I began to think about what I learned growing up in the church and going to seminary. My younger days had a fair amount of fire and brimstone preaching but always ended with how much God loves us. My preaching tends little toward fire and brimstone and a lot toward love.
I wonder, have we focused so much on God’s love for us that we no longer focus on our response? I believe that the only way to respond to God’s unconditional love is to share it with others. Could it be that part of sharing it with others means we really do have to take seriously a service component to our call as Christians? The more I think about it, God really does demand that we serve others, that we seek justice for everyone, that we care for those in our community, and we really give of ourselves. Perhaps it is time that we thought of service as a demand from God. A loving demand created and borne out in love.
What is it that God demands of us in service? First thing that comes to mind is the call to share the Good News with everyone, to baptize everyone and to equip them for service. Second, we need to look beyond our own needs and wants and consider what is the best course of action for our community. For so long, as a society we have focused on individual rights to the detriment of others in our community. We are called to serve the other first, to put others needs before our own. I suspect that those of you who are parents understand this perfectly. Parents are called to put their children’s needs first. I will be the first to admit that this is a tall order. It is easy to sit at a computer and write these words, it is another thing to put them in action.
Sometimes, I believe we want to help, but are not sure where to begin. I invite you to our midweek Lenten worship and discussion sessions on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. As we look at what is justice, what God requires of us and ways that we can help in our community we will get ideas and guidance from our presenters. Working together we can make a difference in our community and in the world. Sharing God’s love demands our action too.