Loss, Lament, and Loyalty
Sermon Notes by Jan Beekman
from the sermon today
based on the scripture – Mark 12:38-44 –
Preached by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
Naomi’s son had died.
She was alone and old.
Her future was grim.
What had she been told?
“Deal with your losses –
Send your daughters-in-law
Back to their homes.”
But, the plan had a flaw.
Ruth did not want to return!
She told Naomi she’d stay.
Orpha decided to go back.
Each woman to her own way.
We each have a choice.
We think we’re paralyzed, but we’re not.
We may lack energy and will power;
We may feel in our losses, we’re caught.
Ruth knew she couldn’t run
From the pain life threw at her.
She chose to stay and face her life,
And be in a place she could matter.
To turn evil into something good,
She was loyal to her mother-in-law.
She broke ties with her past
And looked ahead at what she saw.
She saw through eyes of faith.
Naomi had taught her to use God’s eyes –
Do more than just endure;
Keep your faith and be kind and wise.
To endure the evil of today’s world,
Cling to one another in love –
And look out for those in need.
Use your discerning power from God above.
Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say,
“I know something good about you,”
And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp warm and true
Carried with it this assurance,
“I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be so much better
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be wise to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?
You know something good about me.
I know something good about you!
Louis C. Shimon
COMMENTER / COMMENTATOR AWARD
GinaV at Professions for PEACE practices that way of thinking. She not only thinks, “I know something good about you,” but she takes the time to express it. When she sees others doing the same, she praises it with her affirmations and her nominations. Thank you, Gina, for nominating my blog for the Commenter Award. I am grateful to her for introducing me to so many thoughtful and inspiring bloggers. She does this by reposting blogs that touch her heart, and by acknowledging others through the blogging awards nominations. It is a beautiful blogosphere out there, a big and beautiful world of writers with ideas to share. I thank you all for sharing your time and thoughts. Like Gina, I love to offer comments and insights, both on my own blog as well as in replies or comments on others. In accepting this award, I will continue the “love circle” by passing on the links to some lovely people who also warmly encourage others. My nominees will be posted as an addendum to this soon. Meantime, you are here – reading this – and you may recognize that poem as one of those from my mom’s 1936 collection. More treasures to come!
I want to know something good about YOU, my blogging friend. Write a comment! And – have a beautiful day. God Bless You!