Ella Wheeler Wilcox begins her poem “Solitude” with an often since quoted statement: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone;”.
It’s perhaps one of my favorite poems. If you haven’t read it, you should really check it out.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox is reminding us about the tenuous nature of life but also the world’s reluctance to join each other in our sorrow, pain, worry, and hurt. This world is so quick to join us in our happiness and joy but equally quick to desert us in our times of need.
I think this is what can make the church so special.
As a church we should, at our healthiest versions, have a foundation which works to walk alongside those in their greatest need: to sit with the sick, the lonely, the hurting, and the dying. Jesus commands this in Matthew 25’s parable of the Sheep and Goats. While it is easier to cross the street and avoid those who are suffering (Jesus further reminds us in the parable of the Good Samaritan), we are called to a higher level of being and doing. To be present even when it’s not convenient to do so.
Have you had a friend who stayed with you in a time of need when it would have been easier for them to leave? They could have easily just said…“Call me if you need anything!” and yet they just stayed because they cared about you and loved you.
Those are the people we are called to be as Jesus followers. When someone needs prayer; let us offer them prayer right then and there. When people need help; let us resolve to help them immediately. When friends and family need us most; let us resolve to meet that need above anything else.
Our scripture reading today reminds us that we are the mercy. We are the acknowledgement of God. We pray for God to fix something or help someone and yet we often are that thing!
Laughing with each other is easy. Being there for each other when the times are good takes hardly any work at all. What about when things get tough? When the bottom has fallen out and you don’t have any answers or solutions for the people you care about? That’s when they need you the most!
As a chaplain and as a pastor I’ve been present during many final moments and I can count on one hand the amount of words I’ve actually said in those times. I find that it’s about being present and not about what you say. Being a Christian is as much about a ministry of presence as it is anything else. Showing up for each other is one of the greatest gifts we can share and yet a gift we so often withhold.
I pray that we continue to find new ways and rediscover old ways to extend God’s grace, love, and mercy to all we encounter. I pray we extend mercy to all and acknowledge God in all we do. Finally, I pray if you need love, grace, and mercy extended to you that you receive it; that we will extend it.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
New Session Starts:
November 24, 2019
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
Monthly Veteran & First Responders' Breakfast:
Saturday, Dec. 21st,
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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