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June 13, 2024 - Minister's Message



“He has told you, O mortal, what is good,    and what does the Lord require of youbut to do justice and to love kindness    and to walk humbly with your God?”  Micah 6:8

 

Why? That’s a question I almost never ask. In prayer, we ask “what do I need to understand in order to be faithful; What do I need to understand about this situation; What can I do today to embody the love of God in the world.” We save the “why” questions for even bigger stuff. Not “Why did this happen?”, but rather, “Why am I here?”

 

You may wonder what brought me to dive deep into such questions of faith on this drizzly Florida morning when the lower half of the state sloshes through flood-drenched streets. Last week we reflected with gratitude on the power of our faith communities to help make us well. We appreciated the healing power of compassionate care when we’re sick or wounded.

 

We pray for healing and God sends helpers. Whether we live or whether we die we’re held and upheld by the One who loved us into being and accompanies us all the days of our earthly life, so that, what?

 

One of you responded to the blog post with an essential question. You asked the “why” question, the “so what”, and the “so that.” Why does it matter that we’re made well when so many suffer? Could we be blessed to bless others? What great questions?

 

Here’s the deal, we go to church and read the Bible, and feed one another the bread of life and chicken soup when we’re sick so that we can practice mercy, loving kindness and justice in the world. Being made well is a joy and a gift to be sure, yet when we’re blessed with sufficient nourishment and good health, we may be grateful to God, but our well-being isn’t for our sake alone.

 

While reflecting on these matters I happened to be waiting for a breakfast date with the local Rabbi. When he asked about the passage at hand, we started to discuss Micah 6:8. He observed that in Hebrew, a better translation for love kindness, or loving kindness, is recycled kindness. When we receive kindness, we recycle it, we pass it on. When we’ve been blessed with mercy and justice, receiving what we need to flourish, we recycle God’s justice and mercy towards others. We pass justice forward towards those waiting to receive it.

 

God’s divine spark flows through this unbroken circle of recycled justice, mercy, and loving kindness, across and around all creation, healing and restoring all to the fullness of life.

 

Prayer: Thank you God for the mercy, justice and loving-kindness we have received that made us well, and thank you for the privilege and obligation to recycle the mercy, justice and loving-kindness for the sake of the one who stands next in line. Amen

 

God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,

 

The Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland

Senior Minister, The Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida

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