Our pastor, Kerry Bean, preached this morning on a timely subject, Justice, but what I took away from the message was, ‘Do you see me?’
On many occasions I have noticed physical elements that I have failed to notice before. As I walk the Campus of the beautiful Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, of which I have been doing for 41 years, I notice new things that I am quite certain were there on my previous excursions.
The tagging of trees as to what type of tree that they are…has been a joy to me. I have often wondered what type of tree that I was admiring.
But, Pastor Kerry explained to us this morning that we may not be seeing the needs that are before our faces and our eyes and our ears and our understanding.
It is easy and comfortable to become ensconced in a mind set and a mission that is clearly laid out in a mission statement and yet to not see the forest for the trees!
Who is hurting;…that you could help?
It is possible to believe that although you are a member of a faith community…that no one sees you. I think that the real work of christianity and faith outreach is difficult and dirty and uncomfortable and distressing…before it is comforting!
Christ came to disturb the comfortable and to afflict the complacent! If you feel that everything is going as planned and the mission of Christ is being accomplished, are you in tune with the radical
gospel of Jesus?
Do I see the opioid addict?
Have I reached
out to the church member that has been hurt? Have I understood why people leave the church and how to get them back?
Does he church have relevance to todays society?
Do I see the homeless and the hungry and the destitute and the immigrant and the stranger and the foreigner and the member of a church or faith community…that no one sees?
Do I hear the call to faith and works…and not feel the the call is for me?
Do I hunger to understand that Jesus call has never been convient or socially or politically popular? Do I really understand that Jesus call was to a radical discipleship that does not mesh well with modern society?
Has Christ revealed what his discipleship entails…and why there are not many takers?
Do I see and understand the lack of connection of my fellow pew mates on Sunday morning? Do I understand how they do not feel seen by the faith community that they are a part of? Do I really want to get involved in the intricate minutiae of assuring my broken sister or brother that they are a part of the Body of Christ and that they matter…and that they are seen?
Who are we to imagine that we are called to be representative of Christ in a upper middle class life style and with little downside to the real work of christianity and the calling to be his disciple? Why would we think that Jesus does not want to disturb us….but rather wants us to continue in our comfortable lifestyle and to be oblivious to the countless members of his creation that are suffering and hungry and dieing….and searching for someone who sees them?