"When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them a parable:" (Luke 14:7)
When you think of banquet what do you think of? A wedding banquet? An awards banquet? The food? How much food there is? Who else is at the banquet? Who would you invite to a banquet? Who would you invite to eat with you? Do you see the person standing by themselves? Have you ever asked why someone disappears at the opening of the last hymn every Sunday?
Today's Scripture is about living our faith and how God helps us to do so. In Jeremiah we read God will "put my words in your mouth." (Jeremiah 1:9) In Hebrews we are reminded Jesus is "our helper" (13:6) and the same "yesterday, today and forever." (13:8) The Gospe reading is Jesus being invited to dinner at "the house of a prominent Pharisee." (Luke 14:1) He is watching where people are sitting at the table (14:7) when he suggests, through a story, there is a different way we could be doing things. Instead of paying attention to where WE are sitting we should be paying attention to inviting all to the table.
So..... do you see the person all by themselves? Do you invite the single parent? Do you invite the person whose spouse isn't with them - for whatever reason? As Caregivers, we are making sure "our" person(s) is taken care of but do we see the others? Who is God laying on your heart to make sure they are included in the banquet? Something to think about.........
"Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak, I am too young." Jeremiah 1:6
Who do you talk to? If you are really excited about something who do you tell? If you are trying to work something out - at least for yourself - who do you talk with about it? I live by myself, most of the time, and yes.... I do talk to myself. I started talking to myself when my son was little. I started answering myself when he was a teenager - I was the one who answered the way I wanted to hear it. Even when, like recently, there have been others with me it feels like I'm talking to myself because I get, pretty much, no reaction. I might as well have been talking to the wall. So...... who do you talk to?
The readings today are about talking and response to the words. Jeremiah is trying to get out of talking by saying he is "too young." (1:6) God points out He (God) has known Jeremiah since before Jeremiah was even born and He (God) WILL give Jeremiah the words to say and when to say them. (1:7--8) In the Hebrews reading it is pointed out words have meanings and we should be paying attention to the meanings. (12:27) And the Gospel reading is about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, the reactions to healing and Jesus' words and the words spoken with the reactions. Jesus is healing a woman, on the Sabbath, who has been bent double for 18 years. For some the reaction is -- "this is the Sabbath." (Luke 13:14) For the woman she "immediately straightened up and praised God." (Luke 13:13)
So...... Who are you telling about how God is working in your life? What words is God giving you to use? Who is God asking you to share with? As Caregivers we could be sharing with "our" person, with family or with other caregivers - so who is God asking you to share with? With so many things happening around us what is God asking us to share to show God IS with us? What words would show God's love for each and all of us? Something to think about......
"But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof." Joshua 2:6
We have been having some interesting talks about some interesting people in Scripture. Some we are pretty familiar with but some we aren't. We talked about how they listened to, thought through and did what God was talking to them about. They lived their faith, like we spoke of last week with Ruth and family. Ruth, a Moabite, marries Boaz. The whole family living their faith. Is that how we are known? By how we live our faith? By our profession? By where we are from or live now?
Our Scripture readings are about living our faith. Jesus is pointing out how we "read" the weather by what we know of wind directions. (Luke 12:54-55) He is also pointing out how we need to know God for what is happening around us. (Luke 12:56) The reading in Hebrews is referring to how the people lived their faith including the person we are looking at, and speaking of, today. (Hebrews 11:31) Rahab is known, even several hundred years later, by the way she earned her living in Jericho. We are also told of her faith, however, in how she hid the Hebrew men and why she hid them. (Joshua 2:9) We are even told, in the list of names in Matthew, how her faith in God includes her. Rahab, and Ruth, are included in the names given as the "mother of Boaz" - Rahab, and the mother of Obed - Ruth. (Matthew 1:5) Obed was David's grandfather. All people living their faith.
Which brings us back to how we are known and how we will be known. Do other people see us living our faith? Are we following where God is leading, doing what God is asking us to do? Are we sharing the stories of past generations sharing their faith? Something interesting to be thinking about......
"Then Ruth the Moabite said, "He even said to me, 'stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.'"" Ruth 2:21
We've been listening, strengthening and trying to pay attention to what God is asking us to do. It is like making a movie or TV show. We have followed "Lights.... Camera..." and now we are ready for "Action." We have followed the "are you listening" with "thinking about" and now we are "ready and set to GO." Right?
Our readings are about action, doing, even going and doing. In the Gospel reading Jesus is telling all of us to be "dressed, ready for service" with our "lamps burning." (Luke 12:35) In Hebrews we are told about Abraham's faith - his listening, thinking about and going where God told him to go. (Hebrews 11:8) Then we get to Ruth where the whole book is about people living their faith. Strong enough faith, living faith, for Ruth to change to a believe in God. She tells Naomi "Where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (1:16) Living their faith as god provvides and protects two widows. The whole book of Ruth is full of the presence of God even though God has no particular "speaking part." How? Because of the living faith of the people in the book and the end result..... David, Ruth's great grandson.
So...... How are we doing with "action"? Are we "Going"? As Caregivers we are taking care of "our" person but are we also doing, going, where God has been calling us to? Sometimes we are waiting to get everything "ready" before we "go." The problem is "everything" isn't going to be "ready." Maybe we should "Go" and then finish "getting ready." So..... "Lights....." "Camera....." "Action!" "GO!!"
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.