Community in Action September 14, 2020

The sun is shining and the night is gone and there are blue skies, somewhere, though not many in California, Oregon, or Washington. I was amazed that where my son lives in the Seattle area has a worse air quality than we do. We tend to think when things aren’t going well we have it the worst and yet there are others who can’t imagine how good we have it.

    Yesterday during our after-church-zoom-fellowship time, which anyone can join, I heard about how some places in India are glad when the air quality is below 200 any day of the week. You see their air quality issues are not because of wild fires which eventually will go away, but because of the daily output of pollution in their cities. The traffic and the industry have caused their air quality to erode to the point it is a good day when it is below 200.

    We need to remember that we have an amazing country that brings us so many benefits. Even though those benefits are not equally distributed we do have some amazing opportunities and blessings which are available to so many people.

    You know one of the activities I love to do is read, imagine that. I have always had an interest in learning. I can sit anywhere, anytime and spend an hour or two reading. Yet one of the things I find challenging is to recognize that reading is not just for my pleasure. The new things I learn are not just for me to enjoy or add to my reservoir of knowledge.

    As a pastor when I discover, or have revealed to me, a new insight in my understanding of faith I have the training and gifts to pass that information on. I have not only the training and ability, but I have the obligation to pass that information on. This can be a challenge for me. Sometimes words flow easily on paper or out of my mouth, but not always.

    There are times I have to massage or even extricate from the dictionary of life words that will explain those insights or revelations. There are times I have to write and rewrite and rewrite or I need to talk and then revise my talk and the revise again before I can share what I have learned.

    All this takes time. The reading is so enjoyable and the insights are so life-giving and yet I know that my calling isn’t only to harbor those understandings in the bay of my mind. I need to be able to form those new ways of thought into words which will convey, sometimes just a small portion of what I have learned, what I now know.

    So as we consider what gifts, opportunities, and benefits we have let us not only look to find ways we can enjoy them ourselves, but let us learn how we can share them with others. This is the crux of God’s gift of community to us. We are called to be in a community because we have so much to share with others as well as to receive ourselves.

    Perhaps you wonder what you could offer. Then I suggest you take an inventory of what blessings you have, be it a keen mind, an artistic ability, a practical skill and ask God to show you how it can be used to benefit someone else. Maybe even someone who you don’t know well or isn’t in our faith community.

    We all have been given a gift and that gift is from a God who loves the world in which we reside. Let us take stock of our gifts or benefits or opportunities and find a way to share them with those around us.

    Perhaps some day, in the near future, we will be able to celebrate that sharing with others in-person under blue skies.

    Striving to share the gifts I have with you,

    Pastor Randy

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