Are the terribly blessed also terribly self-serving?
This is a question we were inspired to ponder
as we listened to the sermon in church today.
The sermon, by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “Blessed.”
It was a response to the scriptural message in
Here are my poetic notes,
taken as I listened carefully and digested the message:
“How are you today?”
“Oh, me? I’m terribly blessed!”
She answered me happier
Than do most of the rest.
She lived in a shabby
apartment for the poor,
But her attitude was
Blessed with something more.
Count your blessings!
You, too, have something more
Than most other folks.
But how do you keep score?
Is it a warm, safe home?
Is it items of comfort and joy?
Is it how many things you have –
More “stuff” – a favorite “toy”?
Jesus suggested a different way
To measure how much we’re blessed.
He told us being poor and hungry
Makes us more blessed than the rest.
What was Jesus really saying?
“Look out! Your blessings bring you danger!”
Do your good things make you proud?
Stingy to the needy, hungry stranger?
Are we supposed to long to be
Hated and hungry and poor?
If we have so much to give,
Doesn’t that bless us to give more?
God takes the hand of the pitiful.
He says the mountains will be made low.
If our Madison Range was lowered
And our valley raised, we would know:
A leveling off of highs and lows,
A giving of our hearts to those in need.
The most vulnerable need us
To share our blessings, not harbor greed.
All should live with dignity.
All should have self-respect.
We, the wealthy, must be willing
To help the poor, the sick, the wrecked.
The more we are blessed,
The more we are tempted to be
Selfish and terribly self-serving.
Lord, please take such temptations out of me!
Help me be like the prolific orange tree
That freely gives from its abundant fruit.
Let me work for God’s “Leveled-off Kingdom.”
Let Christ’s generosity enter me and take root!