Proper 17: Let us Help those made in the Image of God

READINGS FOR THE THIS SUNDAY

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Song of Solomon 2:8-13
    • Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
  • Second reading
    • James 1:17-27
  • Gospel
    • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Like Spring, Jesus’ teachings were a rebirth.  Ridding of man’s traditions, Jesus wanted to get to the root of the Jewish religion: following God’s original commands.  Jesus, among other things, wanted to go back to love, honor, appreciate, respect, and serve God with all your might, mind, and strength, and to extend that cherished love, respect, and honor to everyone, since all are made in the image of our Creator.  To Jesus, he extended rain to the righteous and the unrighteous.  To Jesus, there wasn’t favoritism, since all are alike unto God.

In the Song of Solomon, we find a spring-like love between lovers.  This love has been said to be similar to the love between God and His Creation.  God cherishes his creation, so he created commandments that Jesus reminds us in the Gospels via the Ten Commandments: Don’t steal, don’t give false witness, don’t cheat on your spouse, for example.  Then, James reminds us that true religion is caring for the orphans and the widows and to not be corrupted by the world’s tradition of slandering your neighbor and frankly, being a jerk.

In order to expel hate and push goodness forward, we must tell it like it is when there is hatred.  Jesus, for example, told the truth many times as he called the Pharisees hypocrites and stormed through the Temple to restore it to its natural purpose.  In the news, we hear of our president telling us to hate certain groups of people – that they are the cause of our problems, whether it be poverty or terrorist attacks in our country.  To care for the orphans or widows means confronting the horrible economic/classist/racist/bigoted systems in place that make children orphans or take away husbands and wives.

In this time of reuniting families that were separated at the US/Mexican Border, we have to fight the oppressive system that separated the system in the first place.  We must fight for trans/non-binary rights.  We must fight for every human right.

I pray we realize that all are made in the image of our God, and that His Son died for all of us.  All, as the Disciples of Christ tradition states, are welcomed.  All deserve fair treatment.  So, we must fight for every human right so that all may feel welcomed, just as we feel welcomed at the table of Christ.  Let us get back to the original teachings of God, where we take care of the orphans, the poor, the widows and widowers, and many more.  Let us struggle together, mourn together, and laugh together.  Let us be as Christ was to us in the beginning of our faith journey.

As I learned in church today, all our good works have been ordained by God.  Meaning, God knows and has ordained that we must do good works to everyone, everywhere.  God knows what our sorrows will be, and he has placed each person in front of us at a specific time to help us, or that we might help them.  Let us help everyone, everywhere by telling the truth.  Let this time of the year be a spring-like time, where we bounce back from our sorrows with good works, just as Jeremiah and Ephesians 2:10 says.

In Jesus’ name, I pray we will act.

Alleluia and Amen.

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