Scott's Weekly Greeting, July 13, 2021

Scott's Weekly Greeting, July 13, 2021

Author: Rev. Scott W. Cousineau
July 13, 2021

Anyone that has flown on a commercial flight and has paid attention to the safety instructions offered by the flight crew before the plane pushes away from the terminal knows that in the event that the cabin loses pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from the overhead compartment. They also know that they should place the mask over their mouth and nose and tighten the elastic straps. And furthermore, they also know that they should put on their own masks first before offering assistance to their fellow passengers.

It does sound a bit selfish, like the "me first" person that always pushes to the front of the line. But in this case it makes perfect sense. Putting on your mask first ensures that the passenger will not become incapacitated and will therefore have the ability to help those around them. If everyone on the plane tried to help everyone else first no one would survive, because they would all refuse help as they tried to assist the person next to them!

Thankfully, most of us have never been in a situation in which we required the use of the emergency oxygen masks. At least I have never been in that situation.

As I begin to contemplate my message for this coming Sunday, it does occur to me that there is a certain percentage of the population that treat serving their neighbors with the loss of cabin pressure emergency mentality. They are among the members of the "me first" club. They make sure that all of their needs are met before they look to the left or the right to see if anyone around them requires assistance, and then they offer a portion of whatever may be left over. They may argue that it is sound fiscal strategy. Employing the loss of oxygen scenario, "how can I assist others if I am on shaky ground?" There is merit to the argument. However, some people are pretty generous at defining what qualifies as a necessity.

Jesus calls us to give of our first fruits. The first press of the olives yields the purest and clearest oil. The ancient farmers brought their first harvest to the temple to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give first, serve first, love first, we give the best that we have. We serve before our calendars are cluttered with obligations. We give before we hit the limit of our stress and fatigue. Our world is struggling with a lot of pain and difficulty right now, but we are not at plane crash stage yet.

May God bless you all,

Scott


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