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

Hi everyone!

I’m back from almost a month of being away… sort of. Well, I’m physically back in the Lower Mainland, but it seems that my family and I have caught covid… or at least around half of us did. We think the other half had it and just got better by the time we tested. Either case, we’re all pretty much on the mend with the worst of it behind us, and just trying to get back into the routine of school, work, and basically being at home. Oh yeah, and there are the renovations that are happening here that just sort of sprung up out of nowhere.

Well, not nowhere per se, but it started with a small project, but that kept growing and growing and before we knew it, it snowballed into something we really didn’t imagine at the start. Which is fine as it all makes sense in the end, and by then once we get all cleaned up we can finally have that home sweet home feeling.

Transitions, changes, finding our comfort levels, all these are enough to rile us (or at least me) up. But somehow, it just seems that with the support of our family and community, these roads aren’t as difficult. I mean, they’re still difficult, especially when we look at how covid still affects our lives, but knowing that we all have loved ones that continue to care for and support us through it, really helps us carry on.

Here are the readings for next week:
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

Usually when we read texts like this gospel text, like specifically this particular text, we think discipline, good order, and laying down the law. But when paired with the other texts in this selection, I actually see it as care in community, right relationship, and support through love. That isn’t to say that we can or should chastise those who do things that we don’t like, but it is to say that the point of much of scripture is to show us how we can live and even love those that do things that we don’t like.

And honestly? We encounter a lot of that, especially in this day and age.

Our first reaction usually is to retaliate. We want to punish. We want those who hurt us to feel hurt. But we’re shown a different way that employs forgiveness, grace, and compassion.

I think we all need this, regardless of what we’re going through. We all have tough times in our lives. We all have moments of heightened stress or anxiety. And most of the time, the last thing we need is someone to tell us how we’re doing it wrong and we should do it a different way.

What I’ve been learning more and more over the years is that it is through compassion that we can show support. It is through understanding that we can show care. It is through empathy that we can show love. And from that, we foster a community for all, where we can feel welcome, connection, and that home sweet home feeling.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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