Hope Lutheran Church seeks to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ,
to proclaim the gospel to others, and to strive for unity in Christ.
Copyright © Hope Lutheran
Hope Lutheran Church
113 South Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 87
Minneota MN 56264
“My View of the Pews”
As I mentioned in my message on Sunday, October 22nd, Virginia and I attended the funeral for a family friend, former teacher and coach of mine. I was deeply moved by the message the Pastor gave about my friend. The Pastor referenced the letter of James (the half brother of Jesus) Chapter 2 and the verses talking about showing partiality or favoritism towards people we meet, work with or come in contact with. James writes that if a person with gold rings and fine robes comes into your assembly or presence and also a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in and you take the notice of the one wearing fine clothes and say “Have a seat here, please,” while to the poor dirty one you say “Stand over there, or here sit at my feet” have you not made distinction among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
James goes on to say “listen, has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heroes of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?” But we have dishonored the poor. The rich do not like the poor or the teachings of the Gospel as it tells them to use their riches on the poor and not keep it for themselves. A difficult lesson for all of us to wrap our minds around.
As we get closer to the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are going to be bombarded with requests to be thankful for what God has provided and to share by giving to those less fortunate.
In James’ letter he goes on to explain that we need to keep in mind the commandment about “loving our neighbor” and by no means show partiality or favoritism As I sat in the pews of my friend’s funeral I was touched by the people who came to pay their respects to him. Here were people from all walks of life, wealthy and not so wealthy, professional and some who were mentally and physically challenged. My friend was indeed a friend to all and showed no favoritism of any kind to or about anyone. As the Pastor said “he lived the scriptures and was an excellent example of what Jesus preached for all of us to follow.”
It is my prayer that someday when each of us are called home, those same words will be able to be said about all of us. God bless you all for all you do and practice in your faith walk here on earth. See you in church!