May 30, 2018
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Love one another and know that I will be with you.” Matthew 7:12
The season of testing begins. Visitors from away backed up traffic on Route 1 over the weekend in the annual mad dash to the beach. It’s tempting to keep nudging forward, eyes straight ahead as if we don’t notice the near desperation of those trying vainly to join the queue headed north. “We deserve to get where we’re going first,” we mutter, “after all, we live here.”
That Jesus thing about doing unto others as you would have them do to you is harder than we think. Most of the time we’re not conscious about how we like to be treated, unless we’re treated badly. We know that feels crummy. If Jesus had only said, “Don’t treat others in a way you don’t want to be treated,” we’d get it. Only it’s not quite the same, is it?
In fact, many of us treat other people a whole lot better than we treat ourselves. We pour ourselves out tending to children, neighbors, and the demands of our work, often leaving little time to ask ourselves what we need, let alone figure out how to get it. If that doesn’t sound like you, then you’re probably pretty content. If you generally take time for yourself, and treat yourself with the same honor and respect you treat others, then you’re likely a fairly happy person.
The fulcrum of that scale is God’s love for us and also for our neighbor. The balance that brings us peace comes not from winning the summer traffic wars or from insisting on our way in every situation, but rather from choosing in ordinary time to make space for the stranger, and to honor ourselves.
Prayer: Just for today, help me to be mindful of those around me, treating them with the kindness and generosity with which I would like to be treated, for God’s sake, their sake, and my own. Amen
God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Pastor Anna V. Copeland
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