Blog: So that no one or nothing is lost (23/11/21)

BY LAURIE HALLER – COUNCIL OF UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS

Are you a collector? Are you a pack rat? Do you keep every card that is sent to you, every magazine that you have ever received? Do you refuse to bring anything to your church clearance sale because, after all, you never know when you might need it? Carefully store leftover food in the fridge until, three months later, you smell something weird, reach your hand in the far corners of the fridge and find that old chicken casserole, that gooey turkey. , that moldy cheese or that rancid broccoli? It reminds me of the Cincinnati municipal government employee who got a call from a customer the day after Halloween.
“The garbage collectors did not take all my garbage this morning. They left my pumpkin.
“Well, sir, where did you leave the pumpkin for collection?” “
“In my recycling bin.
“Well, that’s why they didn’t take it. You have to put it in your trash.
“But you can recycle a pumpkin!” “
“Sir, how do you think they’re going to recycle your pumpkin?” “
“Why, pumpkin pie!” Can’t you see? Said the customer.
I think I just lost my appetite for pumpkin pie. Are you having trouble throwing anything away? I want to say something ? If so, you are in good company. This writing makes me wonder if God even has trash cans in Heaven. What does God do with the less flattering parts of ourselves? What does God do with our mixed loyalties, our stubbornness to forgive, our reluctance to accept people who are not like us, and our penchant for judgment? What does God do with the remains of the universe, the thrown children, the forgotten poor, the broken pieces of our lives, our abandoned dreams?
“Gather the fragments that are left,” Jesus tells his disciples in the story of the food of the 5,000, “so that nothing is lost”. (John 6: 1-14)
As we lead our ministry in Iowa now and into the future, I pray that we keep an eye on any fragments that remain, so that no one or nothing is lost.


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