for Sunday, June 2, 2013
2nd Sunday after Pentecost
9th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: Luke 7:1-10
inspiration: Wow! This is a dramatized version of the 2005 commencement address of David Foster Wallace for Kenyon College. It could spark great discussion in Youth Group!
I recently heard a story told by David Foster Wallace.
There are these two young fish swimming along. And they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way. The older fish says, “Morning guys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and eventually one of them says to other, “What is water?”
See, fish see water as so common that they don’t notice it.
In our Bible story today, a man calls on Jesus to help him. The man tells Jesus that he knows he is so common that Jesus really shouldn’t notice him, that Jesus really shouldn’t pay attention to him, but this man says he knows Jesus does pay attention even to him. This man understands the great mystery of faith: while we are so common, so regular, so ordinary, Jesus still chooses to be with each of us…Jesus chooses to pay attention and to comfort each of us…Jesus chooses to love each of us.
We, too, have faith like this man in the Bible story. I mean, we remind ourselves every time we come to church that Jesus is with us, that Jesus comforts us and loves us.
But here is the message in these two stories–this fish story and this Bible story: our faith calls us to know Jesus loves us AND to notice those around us like Jesus does. As followers of Jesus we are to do His work. And His work is to comfort us. But I wonder how we as faithful children of God can comfort all these people around us? We comfort people by choosing to notice people: by looking them in the eyes, by smiling at them, by nodding our heads or waving our hands in greeting, by learning their names, by listening to their words, by seeing them as fellow children of God. And like Jesus, we notice people by choosing to help make them comfortable.
Now we can be like those fish and choose not to notice what is all around us. Or we can be like Jesus and choose to notice and include and comfort these ordinary, common children of God all around us.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for noticing us.
for comforting us.
to notice others
and to help make
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.