“Even in these days…” Matthew 4:1-11 By Don Ludwig, March 22, 2020 Christian Reading: Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to […]
Welcome to Southminster’s Virtual Worship Service. While we are not together physically, we can connect spiritually online. My hope is that by setting aside an hour of quiet time (perhaps on Sunday mornings) for yourself to read the attached sermon, watch the video by clicking on the embedded link, listening to the music suggested, and using the prompts for reflection and prayer will provide a way to nurture your soul.
Today I want to simply focus on one blessing of Jesus’: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”. In our COVID-19 reality and with a wavering economy as a result, in a nation where the poverty rate is the highest since the Great Depression, where homelessness among children and youth in Oregon is considerably rising, when we have a President that is fickle at best, we are finding a trend that sociologists and futurists note as a time when “the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer” more sharply than ever before.
Some have been showing us that the hour is late for America. I won’t tell you that. I am not as clear of vision as they are nor as brave as Jeremiah. I will just point out that there are those people who say things like that. There is hope for us. Real hope, they say. But it is long past the fake hope of endless happy motoring. That era, they say, will end soon, as the hour is late.
So what do we do?
Well, there is a parable for that.
If there are gifts we can give to our children and our grandchildren, they are the gifts of flexibility, imagination, and hope. The journey they will take will likely be a rough one, to say the least. We need to prepare and equip them the best we can.
There are signs in this world. Signs of healing. Signs of love. Signs of hope. Signs of wisdom. What is your fringe with an indigo twist? When you feel like a sheep without a shepherd. When life is overwhelming…Is there a sign? For you?
But, on the 50th anniversary of his death, we could be instruments in making it more difficult to silence by whatever means, the truth-tellers and the prophets and the women and men of peace. We need them. We need to hear them. We need to protect their speech.
“No,” said Papa. “They were not bad. It is worse than that. They were afraid. They were afraid of speaking up against the companies and their screens. They were afraid of learning what was really true, because they, too, liked what the oil companies gave them. They didn’t want to change. It was easier not to think too much about it. The screens were helpful. They were a distraction.”
As the empire puts the crooks and destroyers of Earth in cabinet positions, and the robots in suits steal from the poor to give to the rich, and the maniacs in power can’t seem to find the eight trillion dollars the Pentagon spent on who knows what, but they need more to protect our freedoms…
As the media cheerleads and takes us on frenetic labyrinthine excursions to tell us anything but the truth…
The American people acquiesce.