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Often God lays it upon my heart to reach out to people because they need the church. They need to hear the good news of God's love.  We all do.


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
March 22, 2004

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Jesus's Subversive Message

When I was in seminary and doing my field work in a church, I used to wander in and out of Sunday school classes.  One week the lesson was on Jesus saying, "If someone asks for your coat, give him your cloak also."  The Sunday school teacher clearly understood the subversive message of Jesus but it made her uncomfortable. 

 The teacher said, "Jesus didn't really mean for you to do that." 

Really? Then just what did Jesus mean?

I want to tell you a story from a previous call. I heard about this man and I decided I wanted him in my church. Often God lays it upon my heart to reach out to people because they need the church.  They need to hear the good news of God's love.  We all do.

But I wanted this guy in my church because he understands what giving is all about.  He is a great witness to all of us.

His wife told me the story:

The man stopped in at the drug store to pick up a prescription.  A young man was finishing work and on his way home.  He was riding a bike that he also used for deliveries.  The bike had one pedal so the young man very cleverly tied his one foot to the one pedal so that he could perform an up-stroke when usually the other foot would do a downstroke.

The woman's husband followed the young man home in his car.  He asked the young man to come to his house with him.  He said he had a really good bike that he rode for pleasure but the young man needed it to earn a living.  "Come home with me,” he said. “My bike is yours."

Isn't that what Jesus says to us every day?  But more.  He says, "Come home with me, my life is yours."

I can hear the woman's husband on the Judgment Day, " Lord when were you without a bicycle and I gave you one?"

Lord,
I pray that I might be witness to your love and generosity.  And see that love and generosity in others.  More, that I might see you in others and they might see a glimpse of you in me.
Amen

 

Copyright (c) 2004, The Rev. Dana Reardon. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.
 

The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 ˝ years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.