Practicing what I preach

I haven’t written a blog post for so long I had to do a search for the username and password.  But alas, I feel drawn back to my writing, pulled back to the need to try to make sense of things, and compelled share my musings from Minnesota.

First, any pastor who serves a local congregation and preaches regularly knows that it is important to try to follow, not only the message of Sunday into Monday, etc, but also to try to share the message from Sunday and still acknowledge that it is tough to be human these days, well I guess it has always been tough.  Now I know those things sounds similar but they are not.  Following the message day-to-day is like being a role model in your own life; to your colleagues, to your family, to your children’s teachers, to the cashier at the grocery store, to the person in the car in the lane next to you.  Any number of those individuals probably have no idea what your vocation is, it is about being the best version of yourself.  Of course,  the being human part of us clergy-types, still have  rough edges and are wounded and broken like everyone else.  Not to mention that fact that I believe, as members of the human race, we are all called to try to make the world a better place (sharing the message of Jesus’ life and ministry), even if we are grumpy or wake up with a sinus headache, we don’t get a reprieve from trying to brighten someone else’s day, or at the very least, don’t make the day worse for others.  Misery may like company, but it would much prefer a non-judgmental ear to listen, shoulder to lean on, or hug for comfort.

My living the message from Sunday to Monday to Tuesday…. is based on yesterday’s gospel lesson from John’s gospel wherein Jesus and Pilate are having a friendly (ahem) conversation about truth and power and privilege.  Quite honestly it is like they are speaking different languages because Pilate thinks truth is a what, but Jesus knows truth is a who.  Jesus is the who.  The text invites consideration about what is your personal truth, your public truth  and your corporate truth.  Feel free to take a moment to wonder about how each of those are relevant to your life.  My favorite anecdote for clarity about personal truth is to consider the story of the Velveteen Rabbit and the conversation between the rabbit and the skin horse about that it means to be real and how does one get to be real.  The process of becoming real is analogous to the process of embracing and living your own truth.

Mark Twain once said, “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”  Jesus told the truth to the disciples and to us, so we must be worthy of it.  Or said another way, we know our worth to God and to Jesus, because Jesus has shared the truth with us.  The truth about love and compassion and never-ending grace.

It is of great comfort to be reminded of the truth of my worth to God and Jesus Christ, and because of that generosity, I feel inclined to share a few of my truths with you.

First, it is better to be kind than right.  I would rather err on the side of humility than on the side of pridefulness.

Second, worry about the stick in your own eye before you thoroughly assess the stick in someone else’s.  See number one, maybe we are all just trying to do the best we can.  Since I have two boys, one in 4th grade and one in 7th grade, I regularly have the chance the remind them to not tattle on each other, but worry about their own behavior instead of their brother’s.

Three, be mindful of how your actions and words affect others.  No you aren’t responsible of how other’s feel, however, don’t intentionally post/tweet/text/email (you get the picture) in a way that is deliberately hurtful and destructive, some things are better left in your own head and not online or in print where they exist forever.

I’m just trying to embrace the truth of who God has called me to be through Jesus Christ and to be the best person I can be, trying to make the world a better place, through small ordinary moments.

What is your truth and how do you live it out daily?


About dminrevapril

I am a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), who loves writing, reading, running, spending time with my family, and trying to make the world a better place.
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