From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

This whole past couple weeks I have been trying to keep up with the news of what is happening south of the border at their southern border, and really it has been making me sick.  As a parent, I cannot imagine the pain of having to go through that and living with the uncertainty of what will happen to my own offspring.  This has of course stirred up many emotions in people, parents or not, and it just leaves me scratching my head as to what would lead anyone to commit such crimes against humanity.

Why is it so bad to welcome others into our country?

Being ethnic myself, I can understand the importance of culture and tradition (at least, my parents wanted me to).  So I can understand the uneasy feeling when that culture and tradition (and perhaps even nationality) is threatened.  What makes it worse is when the media feeds that fear saying stuff like “jobs are being stolen by foreigners”.

The thing is, jobs cannot be stolen.  It is impossible.  I cannot walk into a building one day and tell an employee to get lost because their job is now mine.  As much as I would want to do that, I cannot because it won’t work.  Security will be called and I would be escorted out.

Jobs, however, can be given away.  People are hired.  Chosen.  Given the opportunity to work and earn a living (probably for the employer’s benefit though, who would select the hardest-working but least-paid people).

So why do people still want to enter that country even though they are unfairly and unjustly treated?  Why do they risk their lives to leave everything they’ve known to enter the unknown and increasingly unsafe?  Why do they put everything on the line for something that is more and more apparent to not work in their favour?

I think it is because they have faith.  They believe.  They trust the promise and hope of freedom… because it is for dang sure better than what they have now.  So maybe we need to help them instead of protecting ourselves thinking that we are somehow more important than they are just because we are born in a certain area code.  The truth of the matter is you aren’t better.  You are just luckier.

The readings for next week are:
Lamentations 3:22-33
Psalm 30
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43

The gospel story is a familiar one.  Jesus heals two people.  One is a daughter of a well-respected and well-known government official.  And the other is an unknown and unwanted nobody.  But both were healed.  Both were shown favour.  Both had faith.

Some think the woman stole power from Jesus.  That doesn’t make sense.  Jesus isn’t a disposable one-time-use healing ticket.  Jesus isn’t a take-a-penny-leave-a-penny jar in which you can help yourself when you feel necessary.  Jesus isn’t a battery that loses its charge if you left your device on too long.

No, this woman was healed because Jesus wanted her to be healed.

And not because she had more faith than the others.  Not because she was more worthy or better than the rest.  Not because she would be good for publicity as a pro bono case.

No, she is healed because she needed to be healed, and Jesus wanted her to be.

Just like the important official’s daughter was healed, someone who is well-known, well-loved, and many people gathered in concern for her well-being, she too, was healed.  Not because she was better (although people might have thought she were), not because she was better known (which she probably was), and not because she deserves it more than anyone else (she totally doesn’t), but because she needed to be healed, and Jesus wanted her to be.

Jesus wasn’t going to judge by merit, but Jesus was going to meet need.  Jesus wasn’t going to pick and choose according to his culture and tradition, but he was going to invite and welcome all.  Jesus wasn’t going to deny anyone his grace, because that goes against what grace even means.

God loves all.  God welcomes all.  God heals those in need.  Let’s see what we can do to get on board with what God is doing.

Have a great week, everyone!

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