Dear Sabbath Seekers,
Once again we are reeling from a tragedy that tears our hearts open as we think of the children who were in the path of that EF5 tornado on Monday. The devastation is beyond comprehension as is the power of a storm two miles wide with two hundred mile an hour winds pounding a community for almost 40 minutes. I cannot wrap my head around it.
From Aurora to Sandy Hook to Boston to Moore and a number of other horrendous events that took innocent lives, we wonder why is this happening? Discussion and debate has concentrated on everything from gun control to mental health care to climate change to terrorism and immigration. And although these are all issues that need our attention, I wonder if there isn’t a bigger issue and learning in all these events.
Each of these events has brought about untold stories of heroism and compassion, of sacrifice and sharing, of kindness and doing the next right thing. We are better people in a crisis. We respond without asking about income levels, immigration status, color of skin or gender. We respond to the employed and unemployed the same way. We act whether the person is on food stamps or not. We care about the loss of a child despite ethnic background. In our hearts we care and we act because it is the right thing to do.
I can’t help but wonder how much of our current national crises would be alleviated if we lived out of a sense of compassion, care and concern to do the next right thing for others. So much of our current divisiveness stems from a “what’s in it for me attitude”, “my rights”, “my money”, “my neighborhood”,”my language”, “my country”. There are a lot of “my’s” that seem to stir up constant debate and argument and only tend to exacerbate the problem rather than finding solutions.
And, yet, in a crisis like the one in Moore, OK, the “my’s” leave our vocabulary and “we” and “us” and “in this together” replace the “my’s”. What would happen if we started from the point of we or us or in this together on each issue? What would happen if we actually took literally the biblical commandments to love one another, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to give of ourselves and the extreme biblical statement of to share all things in common so no one goes without?
God never promised us ease or wealth. God never commanded us to ignore the needs of those around us unless there was a tragedy. God never suggested we were in this life for ourselves. And sometimes we act as if these are the only things that really matter
There is a possibility that spending time in Sabbath Moments can lull us into thinking that the focus is on us, our needs and how God responds to us. However, there is more to Sabbath Moments than just our feeling good that God loves us. They also have the potential of showing us that God has been trying to teach us for thousands of years how to be in community and what is the next right thing to do for our neighbor. Every day. Not just in a crisis.
As you spend time in Sabbath Moments this week, explore with God and through God’s word what it means to live in community and be partners in this life with those around us.
“Their eyes are blinded, their hearts are hardened, So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, And turn to me, God, so I could heal them. John 12.40-41 The Message
All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. Acts 2.44-45 CEV