Yesterday I got up thinking about what everyone else in our country was thinking about. I’ve heard so many stories since we’ve been here about the attack on the Pentagon, the brave people who went back in, the people that were helped, the people that were lost. I remember where I was, barely aware that Hanan might be on her way giving Arleigh her bottle in another country. We all have our stories of where we were and what happened.
As we went about our day I watched my children who have no understanding of what happened that day or what our world was like before, I am reminded that we have hope for our future. There is hope for their future.
There is this guy…
Yesterday he went to his Sunday school class, that I might mention he LOVES. They watched a video about the good Samaritan. He proceeded to tell me the story from start to finish. He didn’t stumble. He told it in order, with inflection. This may not seem like a big deal for the normal third grader. Jack is not a normal third grader. Because of being institutionalized for so long, the part of his brain that controls language and comprehension didn’t develop quite as quickly as the part that deals with math and logistics. (The simplest way I know to explain it.) So, as he’s gotten older Jack says, “I’ve lost my words.” He can’t decide what the appropriate thing to say is or he just loses it mid sentence. Reading and comprehending what he’s read is a real problem. He’s easily distracted. Being able to retell things in a sequential order is also hard. He can follow tasks in that order but retelling is harder.
Anyway, Jack told me about the man that was hurt and the robber came that was mean and took his money. He then told me about men that came along the way that ignored him and didn’t help. He told me that was “weird” because he needed help. Then he told me about the man with the donkey that stopped to help him. He was the good guy. Everyone needs help and we should help.
It sounds so simple. It’s a story that he’s heard before but he’s never REALLY heard it. He retold the entire thing. It’s exciting on so many levels but as I think about the history of September 11, HE GETS IT! We help in spite of fear. We help in spite of loss because help is love.
Meanwhile, in my Sunday school class, we’ve started a study on Exodus. We’re only in chapter one. We were discussing the fact that the midwives feared God more than the pharaoh and refused to kill the baby boys. This led us to Romans 13. I’m just going to paste that chapter right here…
13 Every [a]person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except [b]from God, and those which exist are established by God.2 Therefore [c]whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for [d]good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves [e]his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love [f]does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now [g]salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us [h]behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
So, there’s this election thing going on. There are also people protesting our national anthem. Our country isn’t perfect but we have these governing authorities. There is also a lot of bad going on. There are people being robbed, beaten, mistreated. I’m referring to people of every color and race. Our world seems to be far more dangerous than ever before. Could I draw your eye to end of verse 9 and verse 10 “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
So Jack has figured out help and love don’t hurt. I hope today we all start to figure out that if we just treated each other with love instead of hate and contempt and selfishness, our world would be nicer.
I’ll stop preaching now. I hope you have a wonderful week.