Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summertime and the living is easy

It's summer, at least here in the northern hemisphere where I am writing this it is.Summer is the time when we try to kick back, enjoy the warmth and extra daylight, and maybe finally get to that top book on the pile we've been meaning to read all year.

This year the news isn't good. There are record floods across the country, and where there aren't floods there are fires. Scientists are now saying that we have left the period when we predicted dire consequences for global warming and are entering the time when we will experience the dire consequences of global warming.

In economic news we are waiting for the fall out of yet another country being forced to the wall by debt and given the choice of radical restructuring or paying up. It is a little like a visit from the arm and leg men of your local loan shark. Once again the workers are being told they must bear the brunt of the austerity measures while the people who caused the trouble sail on with their obscene wealth. Just in case you think it's only a problem in other countries, look at how the postal workers were demonized by Canada Post during the lock out, and the fact that the government arbitrator gave the union LESS than what Canada Post's last offer was.

We live in times when the rich will get richer while blaming the poor for the crisis. It's a global thing.

So what do we do?

Jesus calls to those who are weary and heavy laden to come to him. For his yoke is easy and his burden is light. We could just flock to Jesus and turn our backs on the world. Take care of ourselves and our own and wait for the promised End Times.

Only that's not what Jesus had in mind. He talks about living in a realm in which no preference is given to the rich, where humility and wonder are primary virtues, where people take care of everyone, not just their own.
Jesus' mission statement in Luke 4: 

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come."

This isn't a mission of retreat and stay safe. This is a battle cry. We are called to live in the world as the incarnation of the Jesus who took these words from Isaiah as his mission. We are called to do what we can as individuals to make the world a better place. We don't need to save the world, just live our lives to make it a little better.

Oh, and that call to the weary and heavy laden? I heard a sermon preached, and I wish I could remember by whom, that the burden we carry for Jesus is light, not light as in not heavy, but light as in the light of God.

Enjoy your summer, walk, sit, fish or what ever in the presence of God, and let your light shine.

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