The little things
How many times have we had someone do something for us, or give something to us, and we fail to acknowledge them? How often do we not say thank you to someone who sends us a card or letter? How many times would you think something that small would mean the world to that person?
I would have to say that we, at times, fail to think about some small gesture can mean more than a large or lavish gift or event that someone gives us.
I must admit that I have been guilty of this at times in my life. I have not taken the time to thank my child for making me a mud pie or thank a friend who was there for me when I needed them the most. Recently, I was the recipient of a small thing going unnoticed. I had sent out a card to someone for their birthday and when I called this person, they did not make mention of the card I sent.
How many times have you not given someone acknowledgement for a small gesture, or been on the receiving end of not being recognized for something you have done?
Often, I believe that our lack or inability to see any small gesture given to us, shows that our lives have become to busy. We have become to in tune with the world that we forget to be humble and show humility towards each other. Saint Paul tells us, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Paul also tells us we should “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
We should be humble, we should show humility, we should not forget that our actions towards another person could have long lasting effects no matter how small or insignificant their gesture may seem at the time.
I would ask you then, take the time to say thank you for the mud pies, the cards the drawing and dollar store statues. Take the time to let someone know how much their efforts meant to you. Take the time to act with humility towards one another. Take time to be humbled by the little things in this way we will live as we are told in Psalm 25:9, “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way”
Peace be with you
Would you break down the walls?
We all too often place walls around ourselves. We place walls to keep us separated from the world around us, or from others who are different than we are. We place walls around us to hide our pain, loneliness or what makes us different from others. We are so good at placing walls around us that they make us see the world as those who are within our walls and those who are not.
We separate ourselves into groups using denominational barriers, or socio – economic, cultural or class differences. We in fact spend so much time in building walls that we do not take the time to think, what if we torn down these walls and looked at the world as Christ has taught us.
One example of the power of taking down our walls comes from Philemon, (18:16). Philemon has one of his slaves, Onesimus, imprisoned as he believed his slave had wronged him. While in prison this slave met Paul, who brought him in to faith in Christ. Paul then sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter asking him to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ rather than one of his salves. Philemon had a large choice to make, would he see Onesimus as nothing more than a slave, or, would he see him as something more?
In Christ we are all brothers and sisters, we are all children of the same God, and followers of His Son Jesus. As such we too must make a choice, are we willing to see others, whom we build walls to separate ourselves from, as different. Or shall we be like Philemon and take down our walls and accept each other as Christ has commanded us to do.
It is not an easy thing to take down a wall, one that we may have built many years ago and as we have grown in our lives, we have built the wall stronger and higher. Paul challenges us to see beyond those walls, he compels us to see others not through the narrow sight of our differences, rather, to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
What will you do with the walls you have built? Will you continue to make them impenetrable? Or will you take them down and see the world in a new light? The light we have been given though our faith in Christ. Allow yourself the opportunity to see what is on the other side of the walls you have, you may be surprised to find out that the people who are looking at you are not as different as you may have thought.
(Our daily bread – September 2017)
A thought for today
"Love each other" John 13/34
This may seem like a simple idea; however, we are told by Jesus to do this. Think about how many times a day you do not love someone who you don’t know. We should look at the world through the love Jesus gives to us, and as his followers, show that love to anyone we meet.
Whishing you a wonderful day
Is there ever enough?
Sometimes we question ourselves, do we have enough? Do we have enough time, do I know enough to do a job? If I invite people over, do I have enough to offer them something to eat? Have I done enough to be a good, spouse, parent son or daughter? How many times have you questioned if you have enough?
I believe we question ourselves because we are not sure, or we lack the faith to know that what we do, is exactly what is needed of us. In 2 Kings 4:42-44, there is a story of a who brought bread to Gods’ servant Elisha. This man doubted that the twenty loafs he had, would have enough to feed the one hundred men who had gathered with Elisha. This man did not understand that, if he did what he was asked to do, that with his gift that he gave, God would take his gift and make it enough.
When we think, do we have enough? We should remember that if we give of ourselves, we have given a gift to another person. And as with the man in 2 Kings, God would make our gift be enough. He will make it enough to do what ever we have been asked to do, and more. As we read the last part of this scripture, the man gave his gift and all who were there ate and there as some left over.
Jesus showed this at the sermon on the mount, where he took the bread and fish he gave thanks for what he had, and God made it enough for all who where there, to eat until the were satisfied (John 6:1-14).
The next time we ask, do we have enough? Like the man in 2 Kings, and Jesus in John, when we bring what we have and give it to someone, as a gift then God will make what ever we give, enough to do what we need to do.
Yesterday we talked about school supplies and how wonderful it was to get something new, and how we should approach not only our faith and our lives as though we were opening a new box of crayons each day. Today I want to tell you a story that I heard many years ago, some years ago, a young woman, I will call her Jean, had taken her kids to do their school supply shopping. Her children were full joy, running up and down all the aisles looking for the items on their lists.
When they reached the aisle where the pencils and pens were, her kids busied themselves in looking for what they needed. As Jean came into the aisle she noticed another woman, I will call her Alice, and her child shopping also. Unlike her kids, Alice’s son was not happy or filled with joy, his mother looked haggard and tired. Just then a young girl came around the corner with a new trapper binder that she really wanted. Alice said that she could not have it as there was not enough money. The child’s heart was broken, and her mother’s eyes filled with tears.
It was then that the Jean, who had been watching this happen. Turned to the other Alice and asked her for the list she had. Alice was shocked at her request, but Jean assured her it would be ok. Jean called her kids back and gave each of them a list and asked them to take Alice’s kids through the aisles to pick up all the supplies that they needed, including the new trapper binder.
Alice was in tears, she could not believe the generosity Jean showed to her. She told Jean that things have been difficult for her as a single parent. Jean told Alice that she was happy that she could help her, and that maybe at some time Alice may be able to be the one to help someone else.
the question I would ask, would you be like Jean? Who showed compassion? Who was filled with the need to reach out and help. Or would you simply walk away and pay no attention to what was happing before your eyes? Jesus tells us of a man who stopped to tend to a man who had been beaten and robbed, by a man who could be considered an enemy, however, he took pity on the man and helped him.
In our lives let us find the courage to be the Samaritan, give us the strength to listen to where God sends us, and to act as Jesus has shown us.
Do you remember the smell of a new box of crayons? How about the smell of a new rubber eraser, or a box of pencils? Do you remember the smell or paste? Or white glue? I know for many of us the idea of getting new school supplies, however much we did not want to go to school, seemed to be the highlight of our school year. It was new and exciting, going to the store and picking out what you needed on the list you had. Do you remember how it felt getting something new?
I know for many of us, those days are long past, a distant memory. What if, however, we look at our relationship with God, with Christ just like we did when we received something new? If we think about it, each day is a new opportunity we have to nurture and build relationships, it is a new opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God, a new time to work at building our relationships with others, family and friends. If we could take that same excitement we had so many years ago, and use it everyday that we have, our faith can be renewed each day, our relationship can grow stronger and our love grow deeper.
Remember the times so long ago, but use that joy and happiness, that wide eyed wonderment of having something new, and face each day like we are just opening a new box of crayons.
Pastor Lisa Chachula