Dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the United Church of Christ in Jamestown, 5/13/20
Back in the early 70’s, pop singer Olivia Newton John sang, “If you love me, let me know……” Gospel singer Rhonda Vincent has performed in many venues the song, “You Don’t Love God If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor.” In 1999 Pastor and author Gary Chapman wrote a book about the 5 love languages that, he suggested, when used well can enrich a marriage by understanding what communicates “I love you” clearly to each other. That book has been adapted to a variety of relationships: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, etc.
You’ll see that for my sermon that follows, we’re considering two texts in which God says, If you love me you will…..
By the way, back in your early elementary school days, did you participate in Show n Tell? To effectively communicate your love for God and others, you can show them and tell them what is meaningful to you and hear what is meaningful to them.
God and St. Francis Discussing Lawns, a little humor in 2-parts
GOD: St. Francis, what in the world is going on down there in the USA? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It's the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers weeds and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No, sir -- just the opposite. They pay to throw it away. Part 2 next week
P.S. Using Zoom, I’m thinking the Thursday afternoon Bible study could resume May 28th at 1:30. If you want to participate, let me know so I can send you (by text or email) the link to join the meeting. If you want to join the study in person, let me know; we will practice social distancing. [email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cell/text: 360-581-5969]