From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

This is past week of school (if you can call sitting in a random classroom without any structure and/or really gradual entry school) has been eye opening for me, mostly with how my kids are interacting with other kids.  My oldest is fine with his friends, I am thankful that he’s developed a personality that allows him to be quite personable with others.  My second son who is starting kindergarten is doing somewhat well in that he is more the silent type and keeps his focus on whatever it is he is doing (which is good for school when the teacher is talking but bad for home when his parents are talking to him while he is watching tv).  My daughter who just had one day of preschool so far, is of course still finding it hard to share as it is somewhat of a foreign concept for a 3 year old who also happens to be the youngest in her family.

Then these kids come home and I see them interacting with each other.  The comparisons that are made, the blame game, just how it seems to be some sort of competition with them like all the time.  It’s almost as though they are now on the “same level” because they’re all in school, and that somehow means that they are all the same in all other areas in life.  That which of course, just isn’t the case.

My oldest son is going to be better at a lot of things, simply because he’s been alive longer.  My second son is much more emotionally stable, in that he can control himself much better than the other two.  And my daughter has more creativity in her little finger (which is really really tiny) than the other two have combined.  They’re all different.  They all excel in different areas.  They all are weak in different areas.  But they are still our kids, and we will still love them for all their differences and similarities alike.  No need to compete, because no one is going to win more love than the other.

Now if only they would get that.

The readings for next week are:

Genesis 50:15-21

Psalm 103:1-13

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 18:21-35

Forgiveness.  Not an easy thing.  Sometimes we want to hold onto our anger or hurt because it is what fuels us to get even.  Or maybe we don’t want the perpetrator to get away with whatever it is that they did.  Or maybe… we just think we are somehow better because we didn’t hurt others they same way.

And be that as it may, that doesn’t and won’t ever mean that they are less loved than us.  It doesn’t mean that we are better and they are worse.  It doesn’t mean that there is some sort of external comparison between who does and doesn’t do what.

The thing is, God’s love for us is a gracious one.  That means that God loves us in spite of all we do or don’t do.  That means that when we sin by commission or omission, God forgives us, continues to love us, and holds us close in God’s kingdom and family.

So it doesn’t matter if so-and-so doesn’t work as hard as you do but gets more pay.  It doesn’t matter if what’s-their-face likes to eat with their mouths open and spits when they talk.  It doesn’t matter if who-is-it-now brags about how much better they are than you when deep down inside you know you can beat them in a 100 meter foot race if given half the chance.  They are all loved and forgiven anyway, just as you are, just as I am, just as all of us as God’s children are.

Knowing this helps us to forgive and love as well.  Not because we are commanded to, but because our hearts soften with the gift of grace.  Our stubbornness loosens with the gift of grace.  Our love becomes stronger when we learn just how much we are loved.

And that is a whole lot.  Each and every one of us.  Thanks be to God.

Have a great week, everyone!

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