Jesus gently confronts the socially isolated woman at the well and challenges her to look beyond herself to the living satisfying, saving, Jesus as her truth.
Jesus went out of his way to show that the much-hated people of Samaria mattered to him, He went out of his way to lift up the people that had been left behind, marginalized and dehumanizes. He refused to walk by. Reflecting on the Good Samaritan story and Mr. Rogers’ handling of discrimination on his program we are challenged to do the same.
Everyone is sacred because we were made in the image of God, and for that reason alone, he or she is to be valued. Mr. Rogers believed in the sacredness of all creation – including sinful humankind – because of one Man, “the true light, which enlightens everyone.”
So often we miss the sacred space afforded us between us and another person or us and God. Fred Rogers embraced those moments using them to bless and affirm his viewers. As we look at Jesus’ life, time spent with everyone was considered sacred.
Have you had to deal with difficult people? Not just in your community but your family? Resentment can build and escalate and finally get out of control. Because of interactions like these, fights have broken out on aircraft, in stores, workplaces, lines, and homes. People retaliate against each other. Fortunately, there is another way to deal with troublesome people.
Many of us would rather skip thinking about our upcoming death. We push it out of our thoughts. But whether we like it or not, the subject of death captures our attention. Filmmakers, songwriters, and many others have reacted to the idea of their death. As you might imagine, the Bible also reminds us of our impending death, but it does so that we might gain something. The scripture thinks we might grow a wise heart.
Why do some of us create lives that are so burdened? We don’t consciously want more stress. We don’t consciously want unhealthy relationships. Lack of disciple, disorganization, or a type-A personality might be part of the problem. Even fear can drive us to fill our lives with too many commitments and activities. Surprisingly enough, the Bible and Jesus think this is a problem. Fortunately, they also have a solution.
Modern song lyrics, classic poetry, and movies often speak of the heart. But what is the heart? What does it mean to give our hearts and especially what does it mean to give our hearts to God?
Our life may be stained. We might be ashamed of something we did or something somebody did to us. We might feel guilty over something we did or by something somebody did to us. How do we get rid of that stain of guilt?
We make decisions on what we do or say based on our conscience. When you violate your internal moral code you feel guilty. You might find yourself saying, “It doesn’t feel right.” “I wouldn’t do that!” Communities and nations also have a collective conscience that informs the behavior of the group. So what molds our conscience? Is there a degrading of our collective conscience in our communities and nation? If so how do we rebuild it?