Rev. Scott's Letter, March 22
Delivered By
Rev. Tom Scott
Delivered On
March 22, 2020
Attached Document
march_22.pdf
Description

 

MARCH 22

Dear friends,

Yesterday I wrote about the marvelous, transforming effect of looking and seeing things more deeply and appreciatively than we often do, and I used as an illustration an anecdote about a boy being astonished at the appearance of a common bird--a grackle, as it happened--when he truly looked and saw the bird for all that it was. Today's gospel reading from the 9th chapter of John's gospel is about what it means to see. The centerpiece of the story is the curing of a man born blind, but the import of this miracle is what those who observed what happened to the man refuse to see: God at work in the world through the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is their blindness that proves intractable to the reality of Jesus' ministry.

We, the people of God, the Jesus people, the ministers of his message, must always open our eyes to the hand of God at work around us and find a way to unite ourselves with that effort with our prayers and open attitude. We can do this even now in our restricted circumstances. We can do it by our cheerful acceptance of what is necessary for the common good, our encouraging those on "the front lines" by our words and prayers (a truck driver today asked his entire social media group to pray for him and other drivers--you recall there was a blizzard around Denver yesterday along with flooding elsewhere, and drivers must go there), by our keeping up morale around us with humor and creativity as we encounter it, by being helpful, courteous, and generous where we are able.

I was in a grocery store yesterday, wipes from home in hand, going through the check-out line. the clerk looked harried and exhausted. I said, let me wipe down this station for you, which I did--passing the wipes to him to use on the inside section. I said, loud enough for the line behind me to hear, "We all gotta do what gets us all through". He stood a little straighter and folks seemed a bit less tense. Our medical, sanitary, food supplying, building maintaining people and so on are all working hard, and we can be in solidarity with them.

These are the little people we often overlook, fail to see, undervalue. They deserve huge combat pay and benefits--and some companies are doing that, hooray. We can do our part.

A friend wrote me about her daughter who works for Home Depot, saying she is really vulnerable. Customers crowd inside "her space", wipes are not an option. Whole families wander around to stave off boredom.--not a good situation. We can be better customers and neighbors

All this put me in mind of a passage from one of Leslie Weatherhead's little book, "The Resurrection and the Life". He was a famous and much loved cleric in England during WWII, his sermons and broadcasts being a source of example and hope. After the war he continued to inspire and encourage people to imitate Christ.

He wrote, "Let me remind you of those three favorite words of Jesus--least, last and lost. For he said the least should be greatest, the last should be first, and the lost should be found." (p. 37). Now, as we become more deeply aware of our own fragility and dependence upon others--being grateful for what we receive from that--we can also open our eyes to see how we might bless and support those whom the world--and even we--might overlook and undervalue.

A prayer from out prayerbook Compline (nighttime) service:

  • God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
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