Sunday, October 2 – “Thanksgiving and Encouragement”
View this recorded version of Sunday Worship from October 2, 2022 – World Communion Sunday.
II Timothy 1: 1-14 and Matthew 26: 26-29 (Communion)
Reflection: Thanksgiving and Encouragement
Excerpts from the reflection by Rev. David Brown:
“It strikes me that when we greet one another that we often say ‘Good morning’, or ‘How are you?’ And we respond ‘Good’ or ‘Good morning to you’. But sometimes we also say ‘Good’ or ‘Great’.
But sometimes those of us when we respond aren’t quite honest– because we really say under our breath, ‘I’m good, good morning’, meaning ‘I’m good for nothing this morning’, or ‘I wonder what is good about this morning.’
People come to worship and live life from two various spans of attitudes and life.
On one extreme you get something coming from marathoner Dick Dearsley, who recommends when you wake up in the morning, do it with a smile on your face, enthusiasm in your voice, joy in your heart, and faith in your soul.
And yet for some of the others who look around the world and seem to think it’s falling apart; there’s the war still going on in the Ukraine, which is disrupting the food chain as well as killing so many people; there’s weather crisis in Pakistan; and just when we get over that then Puerto Rico is underwater from the hurricane; and now along comes one that hits Florida and South Carolina, much alone. All that’s happening within our country and the rest of the world.
And then, of course, there’s our own personal life, and that isn’t always going grand or we know somebody who the world seems to be crashing in on.
So sometimes it’s not very easy to feel really good about the world, and sometimes life seems to be almost a burden.
…There’s a response to getting up in the morning. Brian Andreas and Story People say this: ‘Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what it takes a real hero to do.’
So we are all trying to love the world again. We are all trying to be real heroes, whether we come with a bounce of tiger (ti-ger) or a slumped-overness (oh, Eeyore).
And into this mix a fellow named Paul enters today. He has mailed a letter, or sent a letter to his beloved child of the faith, Timothy. For the record, theologians do not think that Paul necessarily wrote this letter, but it could have been somebody who knew Paul, and they certainly knew that Paul loved Timothy, and also was Timothy’s Mentor.
There is, to my knowledge, no natural disaster happening to Timothy at this time. It may be a struggle with his faith, and certainly proclaiming the Gospel at that time, was not always well received.
So on this World Communion Sunday, I think it is worthwhile to let Paul as a mentor, enter into our world.
If you consider mentors, you can reflect on them. They are usually the ones who give you some spark, are ones who teach you how to do something.
In this case, how to live life, and then as a mentor once they’ve taught you the skills they sometimes have to push you out into the uncomfortable part of the world.
You’ve watched them do it over and over and you’ve learned how and all of a sudden the mentor says it’s your turn. You do it this time.
I can tell you from a preaching standpoint, that’s one of the great things when you’re beginning–to have a pulpit in front of you–so the people don’t see how your knees are shaking.
And sometimes, though that mentor has to be there when things haven’t gone right, and you come home needing a hug needing a shoulder to cry on. And also maybe needing to be pushed back out for a try again.
And so, as you reflect on being a mentor, some of you are gonna pause and think. Hmm. Part of what he’s talking about sounds like part of the job description for being a parent. So no matter how you are feeling, I think it’s a good thing to be able to think that you have someone in your corner someone who believes in you.
Well, we see Paul believes in Timothy.
…But we all need someone who believes in us. Listen to some of the words in Second Timothy: ‘I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day, recalling your tears. I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I remember your sincere faith. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you, through the laying on of my hands. You can be far away. You can be by yourself. You can be in a crowd. But somebody remembers you and thinks of you, loves you, and no matter how you feel about yourself, they still believe in you. No matter how you feel, they still believe in you.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a good feeling to me, to have someone in my corner.
But I also know that there are others out there who need to know that someone’s in their corner and you and I happen to be their person.
So maybe it’s one of those things that, just because, it’s a good time to send a letter, an email, a phone call with them.”