Scott's Weekly Greeting ...
My weekly messages do not always pop easily into my mind. Sometimes I struggle with what I should say and write. Today was one of those days. I typically write something that will introduce the message for the upcoming Sunday message. This week it is, "God's Promise," based upon Genesis 15:1-6. Hmmm ...
When I returned to the church this afternoon after a little lunch, I saw that someone had posted a song that I had never heard before. Being an audiophile, I was curious, so I gave it a listen. The song is, "Wake Up Everybody," by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, with Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. The song, released in 1975, is just as relevant today as it was forty-five years ago.
Here are the lyrics for the first verse and chorus:
"Wake up everybody no more sleepin' in bed
No more backward thinkin' time for thinkin' ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be
There is so much hatred war an' poverty
Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
Maybe then they'll listen to whatcha have to say
'Cause they're the ones who's coming up and the world is in their hands
When you teach the children teach em the very best you can
"The world won't get no better if we just let it be
The world won't get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me."
The second verse asks doctors to heal the people, and builders to build a new land. It concludes with these words: "I know we can do it if we all lend a hand. The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind. Surely things will work out they do it every time."
In my message two weeks ago, I spoke about Paradise. Paradise is not necessarily a return to the Garden of Eden. Rather, it is a place in which every person is able to live to their fullest potential, to live out that which God calls us to be.
Sadly, we are a long way from Paradise in the world today. So many people struggle to survive, never mind thrive, and forget about realizing the fullness of their God-created potential. People are stripped of their rights, their dignity, their humanity. People are victimized by hatred, avarice, and often judged to be unworthy. This is not what God has in mind for us.
God promised Abraham, "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great." (Genesis 12:2)
Our neighbors do not desire to be a great nation, they do not need to have their name made great. They just want to live. They just want to know that they are blessed. They want the promise that God offers a couple of chapters later, "Do not be afraid ... I will be your shield." (Genesis 15:1)
As the children of God, we must find a way to help our neighbors. We must combine the sentiments of the songwriter with the promises of God. We must be willing to lend a hand. We must be willing to bear them up protect them, be their shield. And when we do, we will take a step toward Paradise.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072