Sunday Preview from The Rev. Stephanie Kendell: “Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable”

July 6th,2017 Categories: Latest News, Stephanie Kendell Letters

Dear Church,

This week I am thankful to spend another week with you in worship and ministry. I hope you will join us at our Thursday night gathering, SPEAK, to listen and share our stories of faith and our journeys with God.

As I write this article, news is coming in that a cab driver ran his car into a group of people. So far it is reported that 10 are injured. That means minimum eleven families are suffering and need our prayers. Yet, this isn’t front page news. There is an abundance of injustice in our world and we don’t have to look to the news to see it. We just have to look out the window. Strike that. We just need to look into the eyes of those in our community. Injustice is everywhere, but as we learn in this week’s story from Matthew, so is our abundant ability to offer support, love, and grace.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.  Matthew 9:35-10:8

Our ability to offer love to our neighbor is our greatest gift. We are a people made in the image of a Creator and thus are called to extend love and compassion through that image. The last line of this week’s text offers us a bit of insight into the movement of justice that Jesus led, “You received without payment; give without payment.” This week as we pray for things we need, and wish for the things that we want, may we take a moment and share the things that we have in abundance, God’s grace and love.

However, the other part of this scripture offers a reminder that while we live in abundance of God’s love, that does not mean that we get to be complacent in our actions. Jesus sent the twelve into the places and spaces that God’s love and grace was needed most. He didn’t send them to the places they knew or were comfortable with. We are called to be  seekers of Justice, as followers of Jesus, to push our comforts, to be with new people, offer grace and love in the abundance in which it was given: to seek Justice. This week may the abundance of God’s grace bring us comfort in those uncomfortable spaces we are called to through love.

See you Sunday! 

Cómodos en la incomodidad
Querida Iglesia,

Esta semana me siento agradecida de adorar y de ministrar con ustedes una semana más. Espero que vengan al encuentro del jueves en la noche, SPEAK (Hablemos), para escuchar nuestras historias de fe y nuestros caminos con Dios.

Mientras leen este artículo, recibimos noticias de que un taxi le tiró el carro a un grupo de personas. Hasta ahora se han reportado 10 personas lesionadas. Esto equivale a 11 familias, por lo menos, que sufren y necesitan nuestras oraciones. No obstante, no fue la noticia del día. Hay abundancia de injusticia en nuestro mundo y no tenemos que escuchar las noticias para darnos cuenta. Solo con asomarnos por la ventana es suficiente. No, me equivoco. Solo necesitamos encontrar la mirada de aquellos en nuestras comunidades. Las injusticias están por doquier, pero de la misma manera, según nos recuerda Mateo, encontramos la abundancia en ofrecer apoyo, amor y gracia.

Nuestra capacidad de ofrecerle amor a nuestros vecinos es nuestro más preciado don. Somos un pueblo creado a la imagen y semejanza del Creador, y, por ende, somos llamados a extender amor y compasión a través de esta imagen. El último versículo del texto de esta semana nos aporta un poco de perspectiva al movimiento de justicia de Jesús, “Recibieron sin pagar, den sin cobrar”. Esta semana mientras oramos por lo que necesitamos, y deseamos lo que queremos, oremos que podamos sacar tiempo para compartir la abundancia que tenemos, el apoyo, la gracia y el amor de Dios.

No obstante, el resto de la Escritura nos acuerda que, aunque vivimos en la abundancia del amor de Dios, esto no significa que justificamos la autocomplacencia en nuestras acciones. Jesús envió a los 12 a lugares y sitios donde el amor y la gracia de Dios más se necesitaban. No los envío a lugares que conocían o donde se sentían a gusto. Como seguidores de Jesús, somos llamados a buscar la justicia, retar nuestras comodidades, relacionarnos con personas nuevas, ofrecer la gracia y el amor de acuerdo a la abundancia recibida: impartir justicia. ¡Que la abundancia de la gracia de Dios nos brinde sosiego en esos momentos incómodos donde se nos llama a amar!

¡Nos vemos el domingo!

The Rev. Stephanie Kendell