“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
In today’s Old Testament lesson, the prophet Ezekiel is sent among a people who are “impudent and stubborn.” Prophets came to the Israelites to show them the way that they should live their lives. There are just a few basic expectations that God has for us. In a world where many seem to be looking out for themselves, God asks us to look out for the weak and the powerless. In a world where people are being mean to one another, God asks us to love our neighbor. In a world where people are very self-centered, God asks us to self-giving. The prophet Micah tells us all we need to know about what God wants from us.
God needs to send his own son to show us the way, the truth, and the life. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus sends the disciples out into the world to proclaim the Good News. Ministry does not have to be complicated. We are called to be followers of the Jesus Movement. “Jesus ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics “ (Mark 6:8-9).
Presiding Bishop Curry said, “My brothers, my sisters, my siblings, we have work to do. To stand for Christianity, a way of being Christian that looks like Jesus of Nazareth. A way of being Christian that is grounded and based on love. A way of being Christian that is not ashamed to be called people of love. So go from this place and be people of the way. Go from this place as people of Jesus. Go from this place as people of love! Go from this place and heal our lands! Go from this place and heal our world! Go from this place until justice rolls down! Go from this place until the nightmare is over! Go from this place until God’s dream is realized!”
Pauls tells us, “Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Ernest Hemingway said: "Life breaks all of us, but some of us are strong in the broken places.” This means that God made you just as you are and loves you. Last week I asked you not to be brought low by others negativity. St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Therefore, there is no one on this planet that God loves more than you and no one that he loves less.”. If we can love “the least of these” as we love ourselves, we will do amazing ministry. Please discern where you are called to do ministry at St. John’s. This is no time to be complacent! Perhaps it is to help out in our Thrift Shop on Saturday July 10th for our “Yard Sale.” Perhaps you are called to join in our Education For Ministry class in the fall. Perhaps you would like to go with us on a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland, to a mission trip to Puerto Rico, to participate in our friendship day with St. Augustine’s on July 11th, to join our racial reconciliation group every third Thursday at 6:30, to be a part of Hilda’s Group or Bible Study on Tuesdays, to check out our Spirituality Group on every second Thursday at 4:00, to be a part of Claire’s border ministry in Arizona, or to help our Episcopal Church Women on our Harvest Fair. Just imagine the possibilities if we can put our faith in God’s grace. All God requires of us is “to do justice, love kindness, and humbly walk with our God.”
In Christ's love,
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