A Thursday Reflection 9.15.16

How “important” are any of us?  When the school year begins, for a few idyllic moments, I have this illusion that I “am exalted in the eyes of men” (to misquote scripture).  People are back from summer travels, and there are numerous parishioners in the pews worshipping and actually listening to my preaching.  Then afterwards, of course, one listens to the deflating complaints about why this or that idea “just won’t work” and I am back down to my usual self.  .. or .. I fulfill my commitment to teach the course in Church Law at the seminary on Wednesdays, get addressed by students as “professor” (with the inflated ego that comes with this moment), and then find, as an adjunct, I am relegated to a “classroom” the size of the trunk in a sub-compact car but with a broken a/c hanging from the window and other windows that only open high enough to let in flies and bees but no air!  Lest I begin to think that I am “important.”

But the message of Jesus is exactly the opposite of my more humbling experiences: you and I are that important – in God’s eyes.  The message of last Sunday:  no matter how insignificant or foolish, no matter how many bad decisions we might make, no matter how often we do not live into our baptism vows but choose darkness rather than light, no matter how many times we “screw up,” the One whom Jesus called “Father” will always seek us out and welcome us home.  It matters not how others think of you: in God’s eyes, you are of inestimable value.  Every one of us at times in our lives has been that “lost” sheep or coin.  As unimportant as we are through the lens of human experience, never forget that you are of infinite value to the One who redeemed you and calls you my “sister” or “brother.”