Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service 

June 22, 2017

I believe the ministry of Jesus is a positive example as an agent for change.  “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12) With these words, Jesus illuminates the need for change, but today’s passage suggests even more.  Change is based not only on light, but also love.

So how is his word and example expressed through our own life?  Are we willing to listen…? to become a follower?  to become a witness…?  to become an agent for positive change?

Courage is found in a couple of things.  On one hand, Jesus shines light on the idea that we are very highly valued.  On the other hand, we also learn through loving action that by following him we are going to encounter conflict and resistance in giving witness and testimony to his teachings. 

Perhaps what others see in us, what impacts and influences them by our example arises not so much from the visible accomplishment, joyous celebrations, and honorable recognitions of life where we are privileged to see ourselves as highly valued – but more from how we handle the difficulty that comes amid changes God uses us to inspire.  In this, the loving, forgiving characteristics of Jesus’s example, has a lasting, eternal relevance.

  

Teacher – Student

Leader – Follower

Parent – Child

 

Step-by-step

they climb together in good fellowship

sharing in a building relationship.

New spirit, defined, unfurled

inspires change in the world.

 

Learning about forgiveness,

expressing lovingkindness,

we yearn for being led, trained

from what the other has gained.

 

Now with a greater view attained,

in this we are nurtured, sustained.

 

 

                  Rev. Richard Wagner

Dear Friends,

This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon Matthew 10:24-35:

““The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—”      (Matthew 10:24–35, NIV)

Who dares to make a change?

Before one takes on such a task, is there no good reason to pause and reflect?  Certainly, history suggests that difficulty and conflict quite often accompany a transforming message.  Speaking to an idea that would even suggest a change, even if it's encouraging something which may ultimately be helpful to the greater community – is often resisted.  Considering this, there might be a cause to avoid speaking at all.

We still see it happen, although when attempts are made… it’s not a perfect record.  Sometimes, the world is worse off after change occurs; sometimes it is no better than it was before; but occasionally, change leads to what we would call “positive.”