Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7, NIV).
You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
The message is so simple that it can be easily overlooked. Special blessings always come when we care for others. If we help others we may get a respite from our own struggles. In fact, we often find out how blessed we are.
There’s something intrinsic about caring for others and giving back. It often comes with special warmth in our heart and soul. When we care for others, we are cared for; respite for now, but possible greater rewards await. The idea of paying it forward comes to mind.
Jesus denied self to save humankind. Let us deny a little of our pain, joylessness and busyness to relieve the pains of others. When we do so we go a long way in bringing peace to someone in this world and isn’t this what it is all about—being there for others.
The value of sharing oneself is the ultimate modeling of Christian living. Let us pledge to do more of this in 2012.
I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God” (NIV).
As we, the faithful contemplate your silence; we can come dangerously close to questioning your existence. Where are the angels, do we really have a Heavenly Parent? Who is this Jesus, “the supposed Son” and oh yes, our comforter, the Holy Spirit? It is easier, but not comforting, to believe the “foolish ones;” who say when we die we simply cease to exist or disappear into a great, dark abyss.
How else can we explain the killings and assaults on human lives? How else can we explain the hatred, the injustice and discrimination of the vulnerable or those who are different?
How else can we explain the loss of lives and properties by tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other storms that this evil world creates; how else can we explain 9/11 and the purposeful goal of one group to annihilate another. Our history, the world’s history bears this out.
What loving God would allow such destruction, such evil?
O, but then, a gentle spirit reminds us of the great mystery; the mystery of the Cross and the desires of our hearts to fight for justice, to right the wrongs and to help the helpless and the loss.
What causes us to praise YOU in the midst of these injustices; even when they are at our front doors? O God, we are “as the deer that desire cold fresh water, our soul pants for you O God. Our soul thirsts for YOU, the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2).
Some say that you thirst too; you thirst to have a relationship with us. Some believe that you too cry along with us as evil tramples upon us. So, why the silence; aren’t you the omnipotent one? So what’s the answer Lord? Is life meant to be a struggle always?
So as I anxiously waited and prayed, with multitude of doubts, God gave me a glimpse of heaven; yes, I had a peek. I had a peek of heaven, not visually, but within my soul. O what an adventure. It is hard to put into words, but my soul was fueled with joy and thanksgiving. It was a wonderful gift; a miniscule sample of things to come.
So in this silence God strengthened my faith and I realized that things happen in this world that is unexplainable. So will my lot in life improve because of this, not really? I am no different from anyone else who has suffered and will suffer. My job is, to partner with God, to the best my understanding and abilities, to make heaven on earth for others.
“As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but not one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediate her bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:42b-44).
To receive a full appreciation of what I am about to explain please read Luke 8:40-56. If you read verses 40-56 you learned that Jesus healed a woman who had been seriously ill for 12 years and on that same day raised a little child from the dead. There are many lessons and yes, sermons in these few verses; but the lesson that I want to share today is this.
Jesus blessed one person at a time; even as the crowds pressed against him. Jesus’ sole interest was that one person. That’s our charge. Even with our busy schedules and life pressures, we need to find a way to touch somebody; one person, at a time. And when we do, we can make a big difference in that person’s life and in this big world of ours.
I was reminded of paying forward just this week when I received a very special card and note from a former colleague, and again on that same day a telephone call from another former colleague and emails from so many others supporting me through a difficult time.
I believe when we intervene in the lives others, one person at a time, that we make a real difference in our world. So reach out and touch someone today.
God, I thank you for the people who made a difference in my life—too many to name—continue to bless me so I can do the same for others. Amen
Some may think this is corny; others may think this is so unrealistic; a pipe dream. But I say it is a hopeful optimism—are our dreams realized in heaven? Can what is not accomplished here on earth, for whatever reason, be realized in heaven?
Can what we started here on earth continue in heaven? Can evil at every stop block what God has ordained? I am wishful, but more hopeful that the God’s spirit in us is bigger than the evil in this world.
Some may say, take your head out of the sand and you can make heaven here on earth. Isn’t that’s what the Lord’s Prayer is about-“thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What are you doing now to make God’s kingdom here on earth.
Oh, I don’t know. I am just a dreamer. I see so many dreams here on earth perish because of ignorance, poverty, hatred and prejudice. I am just hoping—just hoping that our dreams lost here on earth are realized in heaven; that the good in our hearts that would have helped millions on earth will be realized in heaven.
Here’s hoping that our dreams; our unfinished or incomplete projects are realized in heaven. Amen.
This short essay was inspired by the writings of Cornel West in his book, “Brother West Living and Loving Out Loud” and is dedicated to my brother Calvin. Calvin, I hope you are inspired and I pray that you are now living your dreams.
My preference is that this blog be neutral when it comes to politics. However, I don’t want us to forget the omissions of our past so I decided to publish this alert.
Subject: ACTION ALERT: MCC Statement on Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
written by Rev. Elder Dr. Charles Arehart
On behalf of Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide we humbly but boldly remind the world “communion of faiths” and the Ugandan nation that soon after Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany he gave the order that Jews, Homosexuals, and Gypsies be put to death because they were Jews, Homosexuals, or Gypsies. In the years following over 6 million Jews were put to death, close to 1/2 million Homosexuals executed, and tens of thousands of Gypsies mercilessly murdered. At the end of the second World War the community of nations defined the action of the Nazis as genocide. Thousands were found guilty of these crimes against humanity and executed for their crime. Genocide is genocide regardless whether a nation legalizes it within its borders or not. It was and is forever illegal and abhorrent.
The Ugandan people are a people of faith. Almost all your citizens worship the one God we call Allah; Jehovah; or God Triune who is Creator, Child, and Holy Spirit. The majority of your citizens are Anglican or Roman Catholic believing Jesus is God become human. This Jesus of yours is the Jesus of Metropolitan Community Churches. We affirm as do you Jesus’ teachings. The Sovereign Christ teaches us to “love one another” and “do unto others as we would have others do unto us”. Jesus forgave the woman caught in the very act of adultery, forgives each of you, and me. At the foot of the cross those of us who call ourselves Christians realize we are all sinners redeemed by God’s matchless merciful grace.
Therefore Metropolitan Community Churches:
1) Ask those embracing the Christian faith, regardless of denominational affiliation, to join your voices with ours asking the government of Uganda to not pass this legislation.
2) Ask people of all religious faiths worldwide to unite with us asking the Ugandan government to not institutionalize genocide by passing this law as did the Nazis three quarters of a century ago.
3) Ask the sovereign government of Uganda to not pass legislation mandating the death penalty for any person determined to be homosexual just because that person is homosexual.
We must never forget the Holocaust and always remember silence always equals death.
Learn more from Rev. Jide Macaulay, founder/pastor of House of Rainbow from http://www.facebook.com/l/eac83;VoXAfrica.com