Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service 

July 6, 2017

The scripture provides an invitation to always share our burden with Jesus.  In doing so, we welcome the Spirit who walks and works alongside us using the formula we already know:

1. Getting enough exercise by practicing faith – visiting the sick, feeding those who are hungry, helping those who are poor.

2. Seeking spiritual food that is nutritious by participating in Bible study, listening to the preached word, sharing in witness with one another.

3. Finding enough rest by separating a while for contemplation and prayer.

Like any good spiritual recipe where these ingredients are mixed together with God’s helping hand, achieving, and maintaining balance becomes easier.


    Looking to the cupboard for a pinch of this,      a touch of that,

           …useful ingredients: sweet; tart; or,           a little milk, non-fat.

Becoming a spiritual cook also calls for training, skill, and a bit of art,

endeavoring with some diligence, consideration and, well, being smart.


      What one comes up with has a lot to do     with the combination of things we chew.

   Depending… it could be a terrible taste, yuck,    or quite delicious, thanks!  Who knew!


Start by keeping God in view.

Seek spices, seasonings, true.

Don’t be afraid with trying something new,

mixing up an enticing pot of stew.


For a Christian, salt is needed, and a good thing,

but like the other ingredients we need bring,

try to refrain from adding too much

…what helps with this, is a lighter touch.


                Rev. Richard Wagner

Dear Friends,

This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon Mathew 11:16-19, 25-30:

““To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “ ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.””         (Matthew 11:16–19, NIV)

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””     

                               (Matthew 11:25–30, NIV)

This passage leads me to think about my health where I’m reminded of a common understanding in achieving and maintaining wholesome habits:

1. Finding time for regular exercise.

2. Eating well.

3. Getting plenty of rest.

Following these three precepts seems to repeatedly prove the case for healthy living, promoting good physical and mental well-being.  But precepts can too easily be spoken or written.  They are not always easily followed.  For example, although we are encouraged to pack our lives with activity, and this is generally a good thing, when we become overburdened, our overall health gets shortchanged.  We could begin to become exhausted, eat poorer foods on the run, short the amount of rest we need for each day.  In these ways, life can lose a sense of balance where one can quickly feel the sensation of being out of control.  Depression ensues with a possible result where one becomes neither joyful or sad – where even faced with hearing of the good news of God expressed through the life and example of Christ, there is still criticism and disbelief.

It seems clear that Jesus sensed this in many he encountered.  So, why wouldn’t this continue to be the case, especially within the modern church?  In relation to doing ministry, preachers continually prepare messages for all to learn and live the word.  This can become like a heavy yoke that becomes too much to bear.  Parishioners practice faith and belief with regular attendance and participation. This too can become problematic with overbearing expectations that seem needless and unnecessary.  Like how our physical and mental health can fall out of balance, developing, and growing in spiritual life within the church can also get to be a bit wobbly.  We may grow emotionless, overly critical and disbelieving.  Yet there is no need to abandon hope.  Religious practice can still very nicely fill an aching need in our lives, one that deals with deep seated anxiety in relation to eternal, theological issues.  Jesus’ comforting words can help us regain proper balance.