Relationships to Others is What Matters

While I’d much rather drink lemonade than suck on a lemon, spinning the negative into something positive requires effort from me. In the time of the gospel according to Luke, tax gatherers were despised as crooks working for the enemy empire. (Luke 19:1-10) But leave it to Jesus to find something admirable about Zacchaeus, the curious guy who shimmies up a tree to see what all the fuss is about. Somehow an intention forms in Zacchaeus – generosity and integrity – that will challenge him in the moment and propel him into a wholesome, even holy future. We’re left wondering at it all and cheering for Zacchaeus, the so-called enemy, to succeed.
What matters more to Jesus is relationships – loving even the most difficult people – because all people are God’s people … no matter what.

Cory Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey wrote this:

“When people disappoint you with negativity, how you react is more important than the attack itself. I don’t always live up to it, but here’s how I aspire to react when confronted:
When they criticize you, love them for teaching you humility.
When they heap scorn upon you, love them for helping you discover your resiliency.
When they doubt you, love them for giving your dreams greater courage.
When they point out your faults, love them for their accuracy.
When they wound you, love them for showing you your capacity to forgive.
When they try to stop you, love them for making your resolve even stronger.
And when you stand victorious, when your love has conquered the impossible challenge, invite them to stand with you so they too can see that love is invincible.”

I’m certainly not there yet, but it’s an honorable goal. I’m working on it by putting myself out there in new and uncomfortable situations. Will you join me on Sunday, Oct. 30 after worship to do some door-knocking with members from Prince of Peace Lutheran church? Call or email with your questions!
Shalom,
Pr. Barb

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