Tumbling in the Sand
The texts for Sunday, September 25, 2011 are: Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32; Psalm 25:1–9; Philippians 2:1–13; and Matthew 21:23–32.
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:1-4
Ha ha ha ha … can you imagine? Can you imagine if we did this? Can you imagine? If we Americans thought first about the needs and interests of others rather than ourselves? If we wealthy thought first about the interests of the poor? If we at one church thought first about the interests of the other church? Can you imagine? Can you imagine if we actually asked, “What would be in their best interest?” and actually acted on it…?
Perhaps I’m a little cynical, but I’m not sure I can.
I believe that there is consolation from love. That God’s love can, and does somehow console the wounded heart. That God, in reaching out and touching a hurting world actually does heal us…
I believe that the Spirit has been poured out on us. That at the table as we eat together the bread and the wine, the body and blood, that we are in fact united in what it is that we eat, that we are the Body of Christ. That we are, in fact, though divided and complicated and diverse, we are one.
I believe in the work of compassion and sympathy. And I’ve seen it at work too! When a little child picks up an earthworm off the sidewalk and moves it to the grass so it won’t roast in the sun. When people in our churches give abundantly to the food bank. When a crowd of people at a picnic help pick up someone who fell. When homeless shelters are built and addiction centers opened…
I believe. And so, I must, I suppose—though cynical and perhaps a little jaded—imagine and dream and hope that we may learn to be of the same mind as Christ. That we may learn from Jesus to bend down low and in bending down discover God already there washing our feet.
(A note about the photo: I took this on a “World Servants” trip to Quito, Ecuador in 2003.)