For Sunday, July 1, 2012
5th Sunday after Pentecost
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15
prop: a balance scale
Good morning. Hey, could you scoot over? I want to sit there in the middle. I always sit in the middle.
I guess some of you think that it’s not fair that I always get to sit in the middle. And no, it’s not fair, but since I’m talking, I need to sit where I can see each of you. You each need space to sit on the chancel steps and there is enough room for everyone. And when there is not enough room on the steps, we scooch in together…or just spread out on the floor and make sure that everyone can see. We don’t always get to sit where we want, but we get to sit where we need to be. It is not always fair, but we try to make it balanced.
Let’s look at this scale or balance…The word balance is very old; it comes from long ago in Latin ‘bi-lanx’ meaning two (bi), plates (lanx); bi-lanx; balance. Notice how I put something on this plate and the other empty plate floats up high. Notice how I put something on the high plate and now the two plates balance; they are even. But on this plate is one big thing; on this plate are three little things. Yet they balance.
Our Bible story today talks about balance in life. Sometimes we have a lot; sometimes we have a little. Sometimes we say That’s not fair because someone else gets what we want. But we are not called to make the world fair in that everyone has what they want. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves…we are called to make the world balanced in that everyone has what they need.
Here at our church we pass two offering plates each Sunday. (Notice that two plates thing again?) The first offering is money for the daily work of the church. The second plate is for the Matthew 28 mission. Matthew 28 helps feed the children of Haiti. In the country of Haiti, many children do not have enough to eat. Is eating something we want to do or something we need to do? Is it balanced that we have more than enough to eat and the children of Haiti do not have even enough to eat? But sending them 1/2 of our sandwich would not really work well. So we collect one nickel for each meal we eat and send that money for the missionaries to buy food in Haiti to feed the children. They do not eat the same foods that we eat…but we try to make it balanced that their need for food is met.
So the next time you hear yourself say That’s not fair!, think about what you need. Think about what your neighbor needs. Think about what is balanced. Then think about what God calls us to do: love your neighbor as yourself.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
for giving me what I need.
to work for balance
may have what they need.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.