Sunday Message for September 5, 2021- Loving Our Neighbor

05
Oct

I have told many people that have asked how I come up with the message for Sunday, that after reading the scripture and putting the pieces together, the words just come and somehow, well I know how, the message comes together.  Today the words might not flow all together but they will have pieces for you to take home with you. 

The Psalm that Nina read and the scripture I read from Isaiah don’t really convey the same thing as the scripture that I read from James.  But I think we need to be reminded of the greatness of God and how He provides for our needs, the needs of our neighbors, the needs of the land that we live on.  The passage from Psalm 146 says much the same thing as the passage from Isaiah. One thing that it does say that we need to remember is that; “I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.”  The verses that we need to take from the scripture from Isaiah are; “Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be Strong, do not fear!  Here is your God; He will come with vengeance with terrible recompense.  He will come and save you.” If we remember nothing else from today, we need to remember that God is here, He is here with us no matter what the circumstance is.  He provides for the needs of all of us and for our land.  We need to remember to sing praises to Him.  So carry that thought with you as I continue.

The scripture from James is a reminder for us to treat each other equally.  It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, well dressed or not well dressed, what color our skin is, what we feel strongly about, or any given thing that makes each one of us different from the other.  It tells us what can happen if we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves.  The scripture to take from this passage is; “You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Then the verses 14-17 are there to remind us not only to love our neighbor as ourselves but to not just have faith and not do anything about it.  It says “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”  In other words, don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. 

In a conversation the other day, the person George and I were talking with kept saying that there isn’t enough love, that God is love but that we are the ones to do what needs to be done so that the love is all around us.  I could see where this person was coming from but I also didn’t quite understand why that person felt that way.  For if one’s eyes are open, you can find that love.  It is here.  It is all over, it’s just that we are overwhelmed with the negative information that is so prevalent these days.  I am not saying that there are not bad things happening everywhere with hurricane Ida, with all that is going on in Afghanistan, with the surge of people who are ill and dying with the Delta Variant, with all the forest fires that have been destroying so much, but there are good things happening as well.

 When we were talking with this person, we had just come from helping at the Food Drive at the Kalispel casino.  There were 15 of us from the church along with others helping pass out the food that was provided by Second Harvest.  Over 200 families were given food that day.  The people that drove through again were so appreciative for what they were receiving.  It is an intense 2 plus hours of work for those who are working the food drive but during that time, we were working together to help others, we weren’t spouting our own personal opinions, we weren’t judging who was coming through, we were just working together and love was there.  Yes, that example is just a drop in the bucket but if more things happened where people are working together to help each other then there is the chance that the bucket would be overflowing.  I know there are more things happening, you just need to open your eyes to the positive. 

There is a new show on CBS where a celebrity has a family member or someone who was meaningful to their lives, and they go and do a renovation of their home or part of their home.  It is a way to say thank you to someone who means so much to that person.  There is no negativity, no bad mouthing.  It is just a way to highlight the love and respect one person can have for another and what they do to show that love and respect.

On the news, it highlighted a restaurant in New Orleans that was providing food for the people affected by the hurricane.  They were cooking for anyone who needed the food.  They weren’t doing it by themselves either, other restaurants and their employees were bringing truckloads of food that needed to be used and helping to cook and feed the people.  It was people coming together regardless of who they were and they were working to help people in need, regardless of who they were.  Those were just a couple more examples of the positive, the love that can be found.

As you leave Newport, heading towards Spokane, there is a billboard that shows a hand holding the earth.  It says “Hate Hurts All of Us”.   How true is that?  Hate can spread faster than a wildfire.  We need to remember to find the love that is in the world and make it more obvious, make it more of a habit rather than the negative that is so much a part of our lives.

We need to remember that God created this world; He is here to take care of it, and of us, no matter who we are, no matter who others think we are.  For we are all God’s children.  We need to remember to Love our Neighbors as Ourselves.  We need to remember to have faith.  We need to remember to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

So this week as you go about your routine, try a little kindness, try a little love, put the differences we all have aside and forget about them.   

Amen.