From early in her life, Mother Teresa realized that she saw Jesus in every person that she met. Indeed, the poor were, as she put it, “Jesus in his most distressing disguise.”
God has chosen you, called you, and hand picked you for particular work. God is telling you that you have a special mission all your own that will build up good and healthy communities while at the same time tearing down oppressive systems. No matter how old or how young you are you are called, you are being sent.
We act faithfully, doing what God told us to do - love our neighbors, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger - and hope that God will take these small actions and help them ripple out. That’s the kind of faith that this passage is reminding us to have: A faith that looks to the future without expectation that we will see the end result.
Many wept. I wept. My daughters and my beloved spouse held me as I wept. You see, for our family, this is intensely personal. It is not the speculation of some abstract theological nuance. It is not an issue that we can feel bad about but then move on with our lives. This is a part of who we are. If you don’t think lives are at stake then you might not be paying attention.
How many busy people do we have gathered here? Are you ever too busy? Do you ever compete for the “who is the busiest” props? We live in a culture that is one part false leisure and another part false bravado for being over committed. Yet we have no parts true stillness.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, taught that holiness is a thing that we aspire to through two methodical ways: Social Holiness and Personal Holiness. This week we’re talking about the first and next week we’ll reflect on the second. Conveniently, the lectionary passages from Luke have two perfect back to back stories that will help us on our way. This week, the parable of the Good Samaritan and next week the story about Mary, Martha, and Jesus.
And what are we called to do? Three simple things: 1) break bread together... 2) care for people’s physical needs... 3) proclaim the good news!