A dear friend and pastor posted this on her page this evening….I had forgotten about writing it. So it’s still the Season for Pondering the Reason, right? ….It’s always the Season.
I have been thinking all day about my blessings and what I am thankful for. There are always things in church that speak to us where we are and that’s no accident. And occasionally there is such a profoundly applicable message to your life that you want to hang your head in humility, knowing that God is right beside you and completely gets what you need, and when you need it. Today, Rev. Chuck Shorrow (I call him Rev. Dad) delivered God’s message to us at the communion table. He was relaying a message given at some point by one of our elders at the table who said This Table is not about qualification, it is about mercy. Entitlement does not belong here regardless of one’s wealth, or elevated station and to follow that path can be very destructive to you. Mercy at that table is about all of us. And as I watched a beautiful video with Glenn’s moving solo I found myself wondering how many of us have ever really known a shepherd…been near one…even smelled one. Yet…who was there with the angels to welcome the Christ child? A poverty stricken couple who had no money and no place to stay and had to have been unspeakably overwhelmed at the task before them, endangered and outcast by their very own community of faith….and surrounded by the most lowly of community to welcome the most Holy. I had some tears over that one. It was very healing and humbling and it leaves me without words to adequately express my gratitude for God’s plan. The gift of a child who would free us from shame, darkness, desperation and teach us that every moment we can be made new again. And demonstrate it with his very life in the most agonizing and lonely circumstances of human condition. Unequivocal Compassion. Unequivocal strength demonstrated by the tenderness He held up to the flames. For me, you, a dirty shepherd, a wealthy Philistine, a successful business man, a homeless drug addict, a widow or divorcee, an abandoned and angry child, a ruthless criminal. All of us, unqualified yet shown mercy and welcome at the table. How do we thank You for this, Rabboni? The only answer is to love each other. period. Hold each other in high esteem for what God sees in us and not according to our own feeble standards. My heart is grateful.