The other day I wrote about the word turnaround and how I saw a top to bottom overturn in so many areas. I saw things changing governmentally, economically. Many had this “first” response. “It’s easy to say what you can not see. Anybody can do that.” I believe everyone can do that, but I do not believe everyone wants to or thinks it right to do so. I am not looking to be justified in the accuracy of a word in the next 10 minutes or 10 days.
Honestly though, is it not easier to be “down in the dumps” than it is to be “speaking all the good stuff”? To be right about conspiracy and such?
Last night I was following up on the saga of a particular incident related to drugs, children and such. All I saw was either major defense of the life of an “addict” or the hatred of what they are doing. Neither really helped from what I could tell. And children are in the middle. I started to write about it and held off a bit. But it made me wonder “where is the church” in some of this. I am not mad or upset. Just curious. Do we think Facebook posts are going to help the young mom or dad? Do we think yelling about the sin of another makes it right? We talk about an outcry but where is the outcry for the hurt or the hurting? Now I know many do in fact do their job quietly and help. But it seems like many spend more time shouting out what is “not right” than they do that which is right. What is right? How about we start with love? How easy it is to talk about someone you do not know. Look at the political memes on both sides of the coin. Do not get me wrong, as I am okay with rivalry.
I imagine had the young adulteress Jesus met, had her sin published, the Pharisees might have been the “good old boys club” with Jesus. But in fact He addressed the collective sins of the group. First, He was probably angry. Here He was preaching! And they show up in the back of the “church” with a young women caught in adultery. (Think about your favorite “law” preacher…) They want justice! But where was the man she was caught with? Let me simply tell you Jesus did not deter them with a simple, “hey, none of us is perfect” line. These Pharisees had no interest in her, no compassion. They were broadcasting her sin! Posting it on Facebook, if you will. (They wanted death, but why were David and Bathsheeba not killed…?)
Last night I had a dream. In the dream I could no longer work, no longer produce, no longer provide. I was not old but I felt I had outlived my usefulness to my friends and my family. I found myself on the third floor of a building, looking longingly out the window at what was. And then I felt myself drawn to leap. To end it all. My wife came in. So did a woman and a small child. The child ran over to me and grabbed my leg. She began to run around me laughing and giggling. The dream ended.
I awoke and my first thoughts were how many feel like they have nothing to offer? To being forth.
There are two things I want to address this morning. Neither makes me comfortable. (Occasionally I like to be liked! You would think speaking good would help…)
One is there is an increasing group of people who feel comfortable in gossip and broadcasting others’ sin in the name of righteousness. I am not sure what my response would have been. Maybe Jesus doodled in the dust to give Himself a moment. But at the end of it all, He had posed a question. “Who amongst you…” And He released them, the Pharisees. Then He spoke to the woman and released her to goodness as well. I wonder how many harbor the sin of another. Holding a sin keeps them in sin. You can be “mad as hell” (Fairly certain that is appropriate here.) but if you sin what value is your “righteous anger”? Stop broadcasting, start loving.
The other is you are never too old to be involved. It is time for a group of people who have looked out the “third floor” window to get involved. Look around and you help? Who can you support? Stop complaining about the systems of support and start being one of the systems of support. It does not have to be money or food, but maybe driving someone to the store or watching a child during a doctor’s appointment.
Here is my long view. If we do not help these younger ones they will never be “for us or for our values” They will never know the love of the Lord. But if we “invade” their lives with the presence of the Lord and His love lives change. You want a better community, a better government, a better economy? The change begins with you.
My last thoughts as I think of the brokenness of some. The woman entered the room. Most probably knew here as a prostitute. Perhaps they recognized the smell of the nard held within the alabaster box. (Due to the hot climate where washing was difficult, prostitutes would wear an alabaster container of perfume around their necks. Alabaster is a porous material and when in contact with body heat, the fragrance would be released through the alabaster.) She revealed “her desire” by lowering her hair and ended the hold of prostitution by breaking the box. Her repentance and tears had released her. She was won over by the love of the Lord!
Are you going by the smell? Or are you loving as He did?
How many will be won by the love of the Lord by your actions? A family? A community? A nation? The nations?