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"It Doesn't Matter Who is Elected" "It Doesn't Matter Who is Elected"

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We are called to Serve, show Mercy and Worship
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"It Doesn't Matter Who is Elected"

Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2016

Luke 6:20-31

November 6, 2016

 

First Sunday of Advent

 

Luke 6:20-31- “All Authority” or "It Doesn't Matter Who is Elected"

Blessings and Woes

20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

‘Blessed are you who are poor,

 for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,

 for you will be filled.

‘Blessed are you who weep now,

 for you will laugh.

22 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

24 ‘But woe to you who are rich,

 for you have received your consolation.

25 ‘Woe to you who are full now,

 for you will be hungry.

‘Woe to you who are laughing now,

 for you will mourn and weep.

26 ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Love for Enemies

27 ‘But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.  30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.  31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

 

Today’s message seems to be overshadowed by the election on Tuesday.  It is all we seem to hear about on the radio and television, unless you choose for podcasts and personal playlists of your favorite music.  I am amazed at the level of anxiety, and even fear, being expressed by people in the news regardless of the results of the election.  The words being said, and the thoughts being expressed sometimes really rock my faith in America and humankind.  Democracy cannot survive without an educated electorate, and a civil society cannot survive without a strong sense and value of community.  It seems that our country has been usurped by the values that claim ‘the individual is more important than anything or anyone else, EVEN at the expense of neighbor.  I grew up with the values that espoused taking care of neighbor, and understanding in order to live as a society, we must work together and be sure no one is left behind.  This was demonstrated in our schools, neighborhoods and especially in time of disaster or need.

 

Now, there is a slightly different twist.  The value of community and honesty seems to have been lost and tossed away for the sake of expediency and political gain.  Truth has been ignored because a statement in the media or by a politician now must be a source of entertainment, or a hook to snare our emotions.  There is a new relativity of what is called the truth.  The greatest loss has been “honesty.”

 

According to an Associated Press Article, Ohio University professor Kevin Mattson states, "There's a profound doubt in this country about the importance of expertise, knowledge, things like that."  Professor Mattson studies the history of ideas and wrote about the notion of a "post-fact" world.  "It's people's belief that their willing and their subjective desire for something, is more important than facts that stand outside of that," he said.  "The belief is that there is no objective truth - if we want something to be real, then it is real," he said.

 

Rep. Bill Foster said, "In science, if you say something that you know is not true, it's pretty much a career-ending move, and I get the feeling that that is pretty much the way it used to be in politics.  But more and more, you see the difference between a scientific fact or a historical fact and a political fact."  A political fact, he explained, is something people become convinced of, but which isn't actually true.

 

There is real fear in our country right now.  There are more people asking, with a great deal of trepidation, “what is going to happen the DAY AFTER the election?”  After all the lies that have been spread and believed by the electorate, I am afraid our democracy is in need of intervention and a healthy amount of reflection and healing. 

 

Today’s text, in my opinion, should begin at verse 17, who are you in today’s text?

17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.  18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.  19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

 

Today’s text is about Jesus specifically teaching the disciples, after healing all the hurting people from southern Lebanon to southern Judea … I think Luke is taking some literary license in telling us of where the people came from, essentially from southern Lebanon to the Negev … but the point is that Jesus healed ALL their diseases and cured their troubled minds and hearts.  At this time of crisis Jesus essentially healed the entire population of Palestine, and Luke wants us to know, power came out from Jesus and he “HEALED ALL OF THEM.”  Is this hyperbole, or Luke banging into our hearts, we serve and awesome God?

 

After this most amazing healing story, Jesus turns to his disciples and says:

‘Blessed are you who are poor,

 for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,

 for you will be filled.

‘Blessed are you who weep now,

 for you will laugh.

 

In Luke, Jesus doesn't say, “poor ‘in spirit,’” or “hungry ’in spirit.’”  Jesus talks about those who are actually poor, hungry and weeping.  Jesus is talking about real world situations.  Jesus is not glamorizing the hungry, poor or those who are hurting.  There is nothing glamorous about suffering in any way.  Luke is making it very clear to the church, where God’s heart, mind AND PRIORITIES lay!  Jesus’ world is not a peaceful, relaxed and pastoral world, it is filled with strife, conflict, injustice, betrayal, suffering and death.  Especially for the poor, hungry and hurting life is very hard, but this is the world Jesus was called to serve. 

 

For us as a church, the Body of Christ, it really doesn't matter who is elected on Tuesday, our role and responsibilities as a Body of Christ will not change.  We fed over 560 people on Thursday!!  With some of the foodbanks closing down and houseless people being swept out of their encampments, we will have days where we will feed 560 people or more in one day, AGAIN.  It won’t matter who is president, what will matter is our service in our community as people of faith, proclaiming the Good News, comforting and healing those who are hurting, alone and feeling worthless or marginalized.  I travel around the city all the time, and I am convinced that very few of the houseless, poor and elderly will vote or be able to vote.  Many don't have the required identification cards, even though they are just as American as anyone that does.  This is not just a local problem, but also a nationwide problem… and if you ask me, the ones that really need to vote are the ones who have already fallen through the cracks… and regardless of the results of the election; Jesus is calling to be servants of all who are poor, hungry or troubled and alone.  

 

2 Timothy 1:7: for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”

 

We know there is fear and even anxiety out in our society, but as a people of faith, we must always identify ourselves with the promise of our baptism, we are Called, Enlighten and Sanctified to be the authentic People of God, walking in the discipline and promise of Jesus.  Society has made the truth relative in order to justify its personal, political and economic goals, Christians hold onto the Truth of the Gospel, and live it for the sake of Christ.

Amen.  

 

Finish with, “To Be Your Presence” ELW 546

 

 

 

 

 

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