09 Aug It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood with Rev.Trish Archibald Sun. Aug. 9, 2020
“IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD”
Scripture: Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Scripture: James 2: 14-17
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
God above, beside, behind, and within us, we open ourselves to you in this time of worship. We leave behind us all that kept us busy or worried us, or upset us this week. We come to you with open hearts and open ears, open hands, and open lives.
We know that without you we are without power. We know that without you we are without strength. We know that without you we are without peace. Fill us, we pray, that we might be your people leading lives that please you, showing your love to whomever we meet.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, and with the words he taught his friends, all of us saying together… Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever, and ever. Amen.
Devotionals: from Henri Nouwen
We who want to bring about change have first of all to learn to be changed by those whom we want to help. This, of course, is exceptionally difficult for those who are undergoing their first exposure to an area of distress. They see poor houses, hungry people, dirty streets; they hear people cry in pain without medical care, they smell unwashed bodies, and in general are overwhelmed by the misery that is all around them. But none of us will be able to really give if he has not discovered that what he gives is only a small thing compared to what we have received. When Jesus says: “Happy the poor, the hungry, and the weeping” (Luke 6:21), we have to be able to see that happiness. When Jesus says: “What you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me” (Matthew 25:40), he is addressing to us a direct invitation not only to help but also to discover the beauty of God in those who are to be helped. As long as we see only distasteful poverty, we are not really entitled to give. When, however, we find people who have truly devoted themselves to work in the slums and the ghettos and who feel that their vocation is to be of service there, we find that they have discovered that in the smiles of the children, the hospitality of the people; the expressions they use, the stories they tell, the wisdom they show, the goods they share; there is hidden so much richness and beauty, so much affection and human warmth, that the work they are doing is only a small return for what they have already received.
Proclaiming God’s Love:
It seems the closer I come to the poor and broken people of the world, the greater my desire is to speak directly about God and the less I feel impelled to deal with the burning issues of our day. This doesn’t mean that I am not any more interested in these issues; in fact, I am more interested in them than ever, but somehow the way I enter into these issues has shifted. Presently, I am very much involved in the life of handicapped people and I am becoming more and more involved in the struggles of people who have AIDS as well as people who live with great inner anguish and pain. Somehow these people are calling me to be more and more God-centered and seem to ask me less to help them solve their problems than to reveal to them God’s immense and intimate love for them.
Mr. Rogers famously said that in times of trouble you should always “look for the helpers”. You can watch the video again here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LGHtc_D328
That’s good advice for anxious kids, but we are called to actually BE the helpers! Here are some ways to keep you thinking:
For kids of all ages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwelE8yyY0U a video about how one act of kindness leads to another and makes the whole world brighter.
To help your neighbours in a beautiful way: an invitation bring the Kindness Rocks Project to your neighbourhood! https://www.thekindnessrocksproject.com/