Reflections of Debbie Stockdale February 3, 2019
Grace Meets Entitlement. Yikes!
On this very cold February morning, Debbie asked us to consider: "What is a sense of entitlement? What happens when our sense of entitlement is challenged?"
She reminded us that as adults we have "the ability to step back from a situation that makes us angry, to ask questions, to analyse the situation and to manage our emotions. We know that sharing is a good thing,.. that respect matters." We can look beneath the surface of messages that come our way to discover the real motivations behind what we see and hear.
Debbie referred to her two grandsons, age four and two, and the struggle the older lad has had sharing with his little brother. We learn somewhere along the line, hopefully, that cooperation and sharing are positive qualities.
Her scripture selection comes from Luke 4:14-30 which tells the story of Jesus being rejected in his hometown. Jesus reflects upon who God is and who God cares for. Jesus wants the townspeople to broaden their views and their response is "to run him out of town."
Debbie went on to say that, according to Jesus, God's grace cannot be limited and that God doesn't play favourites - rather God cradles each on with love and grace. The created world had not borders. Borders were created by people. She asked us to carefully examine that which makes us angry? Is it not wanting to share? Is it rooted in fact? In truth? In innuendo?
She projected a slide about Canadians that reminded us that our roots are either indigenous or as refugees or as immigrants. We are here because of God's grace. "We are asked to seek justice, resist evil and to ask, 'What would Jesus think?'"
With pending elections, we would be well advised to think independently and to recognize what lies behind our thinking. We are called to love one another as God loves us - that is all God's children, not just us.
In concluding, Debbie reminded us about Jesus' words: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to claim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. That is our mission too. There is not us and them...no mine and yours. There is only God's creation, God's creatures, God's water and air and God's people. Weekly we light our candles: Value of the Month (Trust for February), Treaty Seven, Creation, Affirming to remind us to work for the full inclusion of (all) people. Our task as a Christian community is to build a world where all are respected, where all are acknowledged to be under the umbrella of God's love. We are asked to work toward justice, hand in hand, with those whose voice is not heard."
"Be not afraid. Jesus came to show us the way. Together we can make a difference."
Along with the Biblical quotation this morning, a poem entitled UNTIL, was read, focussing on verses 20-28 from Luke 4.
And all spoke well of him and of his gracious words
until he called their bluff
and demanded much more
for the outcaste and poor;
then they got rough.
And all spoke well of him, “A nice bloke, Joseph’s son”;
until he stepped outside
their polite comfort zone
where brave souls walk alone;
then they deride.
And all spoke well of him, an honour to their town;
until he made it clear
that those of alien race
also received God’s grace;
then they showed fear.
And all speak well of him, from Banff to Medicine Hat,
until he invites the sad
prostitutes and junkies to share
in his house of prayer;
then they get mad.
© B.D. Prewer, adapted with permission of the author.