We all know that God loves us very much. He created us and desires a relationship with each of us whereby we love Him and worship Him.
Jesus is part of the Holy Triune God so Jesus is a partner with God the Father’s love. However, Jesus was also human. My concept of Jesus as He lived, taught, and preached during His time on earth is that Jesus was a loving, compassionate, and empathetic person. Look at the many ways Jesus reached out in love.
He connected with the demoniac (Mark 5:8), the leper (Matt.8:3), the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:9-15), a disliked and feared tax collector ( Matt. 9:9), mother of a dead child (Luke 7:14-15), little children (Matt. 19:14), the paralytic man (Matt. 9:5), the hungry (Mark 6:41-44), and so many more.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, ” The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” There are too many people in our community who are in need of emotional or practical help given with love. Although it is a hard fact to face, there are too many people in our church community who need assistance, but don’t want to “impose” or inconvenience other church members.
We have an excellent, compassionate church staff, each of whom work with and through the deacon body to provide loving support and assistance to our membership. One of our staff members bears the title Associate Minister to Families and Congregational Care. Sunday School teachers and class members work to stay connected with sick and disabled members. We are a loving congregation!
However, as our congregation ages, many of our friends have to give up driving, and yet they have to get to rehab sessions, or to the doctor, or to the grocery… the list is endless. Often they won’t ask for help. One solution for this situation might be for a caring member to ASK for specific ways to help. “When next week do you have rehab appointments?” “I am going to the grocery tomorrow, let me pick up your groceries and bring them to you.”
People we know are lonely. Some people are isolated by hearing or vision loss or mobility issues. Think how alone you would be if your only companions were the TV, the phone (you hesitate to use for interrupting someone), and your memories.
I have found that listening to someone as they reminisce gives me a new knowledge of that person’s personality and his formative factors. What was his childhood like? Did he or does he have siblings? What was the world situation when he was young? What were his early married years like? I also gain appreciation for historical facts from a unique point of view.
In all of these situations we have the opportunity to share the son-light. (Son-light being defined as the light and compassion that Jesus shined on each of his encounters with people.) Jesus took every occasion possible to teach about God’s overwhelming love for his created people and to preach about what God expects of us and what we can depend on Him for. Above all, I believe Jesus radiated love and acceptance for each individual.
What a model for each of us to follow! Could you and I carry Jesus and his precepts into every interaction? Could we get close enough to others to find out their true needs and join with others to meet those needs? Could we take the time to listen to an older person? a child whose life is opening before him? a troubled or confused teen? an overwhelmed young mother? someone who looks and acts differently from us?
Could we be big enough and bold enough to share the son-light with others and yet small enough with banished ego to quit giving excuses? (I am busy; I work; I don’t have time; I am too tired.) Could we? Should we? Will we?
I know some of us are unable to drive or visit in homes, but visiting with a shut-in by phone is not hard and it is rewarding. As I tell my less mobile friends, you have more time to pray for others. We have some great prayer-warriors in our church. I am always so grateful when someone tell me I am on their prayer list!
I shall step down from my soap box now. Rest assured, I am talking to myself, encouraging myself as I am encouraging you to do what you can. God bless us all on our life’s journey as we share the son-light.