“THE WORLD IS CHANGED BY YOUR EXAMPLE, NOT BY YOUR OPINION”
A photograph of a young man, ignoring the onslaught of rain as he holds his umbrella over a wheelchair-bound woman, accompanies this quote in a Facebook meme. No other words are needed. His example says it all.
How often do we see Facebook and other social media used to pontificate with the posters’ opinions? What if we were to make a concerted effort to use these channels to show actual examples of doing good?
If you are not aware, our pastor, Will Scott, has announced that we as a congregation will focus this year on the Book of Luke. Sermons and the Monday morning Bible study as well as other events will magnify the messages that add up to one main message. The ministry of Jesus is about changing the world by example.
Starting in Luke 4 and continuing through chapter 16, we read the stories of our childhood, told through examples of the work of Jesus. Healing at Simon’s house. Cleansing a Leper. Showing love for enemies. Not judging others. Raising a widow’s son from the dead. Calming a storm.
The parables also feature world-changing examples, such as the parables of the Sower, a Lamp under a Jar, the Good Samaritan, the Rich Fool, the Mustard Seed, and the Lost Sheep.
Woven into these and other chapters are the stories of Jesus’ birth and growing-up years as well as details of his Galilean ministry and his ultimate sacrifice.
Luke is actually a fascinating read. It is uncluttered and straight-forward while at the same time, loaded with gems for contemplation. Through Luke’s Gospel, we get a clearer picture of who Jesus was and is.
Just as a book club discussion is more interesting if you have read the book, the sermons, Bible study and other activities will take on new meaning for you if you have a chance to read the Book of Luke. (And compared with other books, this is a short read. However, if it has been a while since you have read it, you may be surprised at how much is in it!)
Prayer: Our Father, we praise your name and are genuinely grateful for your Holy Word and the guidance it provides for how to live our lives. Please help us to be aware continuously of how our actions and examples affect others and of how we can expand our actions and examples to serve your Kingdom better. In Christ’s Name We Pray, Amen.
First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, GA. (PCUSA)