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Thursday, August 16, 2012
This morning, I was reading today's lesson in The Upper Room. In James 2:1-9 we are told, among other things, to treat everyone equally. Do you ever wonder what would happen if, next Sunday, Mitt Romney or President Obama came to your church? If either of those men just showed up with no warning at FUMC in Mitchell, and the Secret Service allowed it to happen, everyone would be most welcoming, both of these men would get the best seat in that building, and the ladies would go out of their way to make sure thet both of them had enough cookies and coffee (or in Romney's case water). Does anyone doubt it?
I wonder what we'd do if Jesus showed up at our church. Would he get the same welcome? Would someone try to get him to leave because his dirty feet might stain the carpet? Would he even want to stay if he was welcomed?
One thing that I learned from "Joan of Arcadia" was that God comes to us in many people. In her case, a hot guy, a little girl, an old lady, and several others showed up when Joan least expected "him" to. She didn't always welcome this intrusion, and I wonder if we would do any better. I try to be as nice to everyone as I can because you never know. That's why we are to care for the least of his people. By feeding the hungry, we worship God. We do the same when we visit the sick and imprisoned. If we go out of our way to be nice to someone like Obama or Romney, it is self serving. We expect that he will do us a good turn, simply because he can.
And even if he isn't elected president, Mitt Romney has a pretty sizable bank account. Not only that, according to the news reports, he gives something like 22% to his church and other charities. What church wouldn't want to get someone like that to join them? But that is not the way Jesus operates. The poor woman who offered the copper coins gave 100% of her wealth to the temple. Would that impress your church? I hope it would do more than that actually!
When I read about Romney's extravagant giving, I can't deny I was impressed. If every Methodist did that, every Catholic, every Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist-whatever-we wouldn't need the government to provide welfare, healthcare, or any other entitlement. The church should be taking care of God's people and not let the government do their job for them. Then again, what do I know?
Once again, I'm going to be away, and won't be back until maybe Monday. Perhaps by then, I'll have something to say! For now, God be with you and do the best you can!
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