Take a moment to read the scriptures from the weekend:
Matthew 5:1-7, 11:25-30, 23:1-4
I’m a rule-follower- if it says ‘take a number’, I take one. If the sign says, ‘Please wait to be seated,’ I wait. If the traffic sign is ‘Reduce speed to 45mph’, that’s me. At my age, I’ve found ‘they’ usually have rules for a reason. And it really bothers me when others don’t do what they are told. But in Matthew 23:1-4, Jesus is telling his followers to do what the Pharisees say, not what they do. Hypocrites! They were told to follow Jesus’ lead, to let Him share your burdens. Then he gives us the Beatitudes, great rules on how to live and survive.
This last weekend we remembered All Saints Day. The best example I can think of for this is Paul Ahrendt. He was a blessing, a force at Sheridan Lutheran Church, and outside its walls. With a servant’s heart, he gave in so many ways only God knows. He lived a humble life with gusto! “Blessed are the humble for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” I have known Paul for more than 40 years, and loved his laughter, his stories, and his family. He found joy in life and in helping others. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
I can’t let this sermon series, Blessed, go by without mentioning a yearly practice started in 1998. After seeing how my father’s friends rallied around him after a farm accident, I hold a Blessings Brunch each December for my friends, treating them to food, fellowship, and time to reflect on what our blessings have been the past year. Tears flow, stories are shared, and laughter fills my home. We are not in control of our futures, but how we react is ours to manage. “Wear my yoke-for it fits perfectly-and let me teach you, for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.” Matthew 11:28-30
Thank you for giving us rules to live by. Help us to live a life filled with the Bible’s morals, virtues, and love. Let us be your humble servants and share our blessings. Amen
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!