- "A Musing Pastor"
It's not always fun and sun.
"You can't please everyone, so ya got to try again...."
You thought I was going to break into the old song by Ricky Nelson, didn't ya?
Well, this week of mission has gone well and our workers have done a great service to local residents and organizations. However, we have had a few sour moments to deal with as well.
Like the resident who didn't approve of our volunteers parking in front of their house. Mind, this was on a public street, but for some reason this resident believed the parking spot in front of their house was a reserved spot. Could have been the hot and humid temperatures but more likely it was a verbal
altercation based upon some sort of strange entitlement.
Or the cool response from local government authorities regarding a cooperation issue. We would be walking the streets of our town picking up garbage. We asked our borough to enlist their workers to gather those bags of refuse for us. They response was less than enthusiastic. Um, Okay.
Hmm, should we just throw our hands up and quit? Ha. Ha. You do realize I have a bull-headed streak as long as a three weeks pay. Right? (Those are my mother's descriptors of her youngest son.)
Should we get angry and retaliate with bitterness? Nah, what good would that do? Except breed more strife. So what should we do? When there are brooding questions, one needs to turn to the Word of God. It is a source of wisdom, strength, and guidance. Check it out.
"And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the
people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and
John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” But
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village. (Luke 9:52-56, NIV)
Here, Jesus sent his spokespersons ahead into a land of people who didn't see eye to eye with the Jewish folk. When the Samaritans heard Jesus was coming and not stopping they took umbrage to this and put out the 'No Vacancy' sign. Boom! 'Let's go wreak havoc' was the response of two disciples affectionately called the "Sons of Thunder" James and John wanted to go give them Samaritans 'what for!!'
The response from Jesus isn't what most of us would appreciate. In fact, Jesus rebuked his disciples. This wasn't the first time Jesus had denounced violence. Remember the guard's ear getting cut off at Jesus' arrest in the garden? Yeah, Jesus rebuked that disciple too and healed the enemy soldier. Huh? Um, okay.
Well, long story short, the resident with so called 'private parking spaces' was left to their strange devices and the borough folks will have to continue to deal with the 'do gooders' from the area churches. We ain't going away anytime soon. We'll be gracious and share the love of God with all people; not just those that treat us nice.
The litmus test for being gracious is, well, there really isn't one. The command to love the Lord God and neighbors as we love ourselves has no conditions. If necessary, we'll go to another town and to another people group. There is never a shortage of people in need of grace and mercy.