Topical Prayer: God it’s been a long journey. And you are ending it by serving us a meal. What an unexpected way for the journey to end. The disciples expected revolution and a call to arms. Instead Jesus spent time with those he loved, celebrating the festival of Unleavened Bread and Praising God. You spent your last night, as you spent your entire life: teaching and loving us by serving us. As we wander through this Mandy Thursday, help us to keep your commandment: to love one another, close to our heart we pray. Amen.
How can I tell you about the value of caring for one another?
You aren’t creating anything that can be sold, when you go to take care of a human being. There’s no plastic product or multiplying dividend. After all (mostly) we can’t buy and sell people–becuase when we do, the abuse is horrendous. To take care of someone, is in fact the counter of making money off of them.
I read that the more you chose to take care of the people who work for you, the less money you are going to make, because it takes time and money to take care of people and the rewards are not quantifiable in market terms.
It’s also hard work to take care of people. The babies, the elderly, the sick, the disabled need help because they are the least capable among us. We are taking care of them because they are worthy, and it does not matter if they can produce anything.
Our value is not defined by our productivity.
Our value is not defined by our productivity, but to take care of someone is a lot of work–the cleaning, the bathing, the feeding, the lifting, the entertaining, the shepherding. And yet, we pay those who take care of people, from the personal assistants to the home care attendants to the nurses to the childcare workers, the least amount of money, because after all they can’t produce anything.
Even in church the Associate Pastor or the the Christian Ed Coordinator has the least amount of pay and the least amount of power in the church.
We don’t value caring for one another much.
And yet, and yet Christ said love one another. Christ’s primary and often repeated and initiated commandment was to serve one another. Love and serve together seems a lot like caring for one another. Christ who found Zaccheus in the tree, talked to the lonesome woman at the well, who embraced an individual even as he was hanging on the cross itself, never wasted time on productivity.
Jesus wasted all of his time caring for the least of these. He welcomed the children who didn’t even count as people yet, he helped the widows who were a burden on society to be noticed, he took extra care to touch and heal the sick and the disabled who were outcast from society, and he always had time for the poor who society deemed invisible.
Jesus’s work brought in no money, he told his disciples not to fuss about what they had and didn’t have, and to just go and do the work that needed to be done. He told them not to worry too much about how they looked or sounded, but to love and care for each other, no matter what the cost and sacrifice meant for them.
In the Gospel world, the work of caring is the most essential–because it is the most essential. Making sure everyone has food and shelter and clothing and community are the essentials of love. Jesus knew that to feel love, first one had to have the essentials, and then love follows.
Tell the Good News! Jesus commands, be witnesses, tell the truth of it. We are supposed to love each other so much, we are willing to die ourselves then let anyone feel left out.
God loves you.
Exactly as you are.
God does not demand perfection or taken or productivity.
You are a child a God, you are beloved, you are a part of the family–no ifs, ands or buts.
Show one another how you value each other.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
It’s that simple and that hard.
Jesus taught us the value of caring for one another. Lord hear our prayer, help us to get through this pandemic through love and care. We pray this n the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.