“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 23, NO. 9&10 – MISTAKEN IDENTITY
I have a high school classmate who does a wonderful job keeping us informed on class events, much of which (at our age) is the death of a classmate. I do value the effort she puts out doing something she loves.
I doubt that she knew me in high school. We were in different circles. I knew her. She was bright, pretty, friendly and popular. However, she was not on my dream team.
In updating her information she asked us to reply as to who we are. I simply sent my E-mail address, my name, and year of graduation. She wrote back asking if the “rev” in my e-address meant I was a “Reverend”. To which I replied it was a joke by my son who owns the AOL account, and that Church of Christ ministers do not use the term “Reverend”, although it is sometimes used about them. She went on to say how many Christian leaders we had in our class, she also being a Christian.
I could tell by the things she sent out to those on her mailing list, that she and I were at different places in our understanding of what it means to be a Christian. In a recent mailing she sent the following: “Isn’t it ironic? The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
“Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture asks us to ‘please do not feed the animals’ because the animals may grow dependant and not learn to take care of themselves.” You get her point. It’s played out over and over. It’s not original with her.
You may wonder why I’m discussing it here, rather than with her via e-mail. Well, she is my age, and at our age our brain cells have turned to stone, so it would be useless for either of us to try to convince the other. On the other hand, I do feel a need to say I find it appalling that people of any age think comparing human beings to wild animals somehow solves the problems of the poor. As much as I know, some animals eat their young, and some animal parenting actions leave something to be desired. I guess the best way to have a human who is a wild animal, is to raise them like a wild animal.
I also feel the need to ask if the author of the statement believes all domestic animals, beloved cats, dogs, horses, birds, etc., should be turned out so they can learn to fend for themselves. And, the fact that we don’t, doesn’t that make us more interested in animals than people? Were I to use a scripture (not in context, but that’s normal) I’d say what about the Syrophoenician woman who told Jesus even the dogs got to eat the food that fell from the table.
A few months back, Rich Crites gave me a copy of a quarterly magazine from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. This is the school where their son-in-law received his seminary degree. The issue was on Christian Ethics. In an article written by Eldin Villafane, Ph.D., who is a professor of Christian Ethics, he quotes Amos 2:6-7. “They sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.”
In his commentary on the passage he says, “We will be judged by how we treat the weakest members—this is the heart of Amos’ message. Why is that so? I believe that the teaching of Scripture is clear (in Amos as in other prophets) that beyond God’s intrinsic love and championing for the stranger, widow, poor and needy lies also the reality of idolatry.” He goes on to define idolatry as not just idols, but also wealth. He says it was greed that led to oppression of the poor, corruption in the courts, the market, the religious system, and society at large. He quotes another scholar who said the central note of Amos was of “social injustice as the specific form that the sin of idolatry assumes in society.” Villafane adds, “The lesson is clear, idolatry is at the heart of social injustice and the eventual downfall of a nation.”
We Christians should allow Scripture to mold us, not us molding Scripture to our own image.
CONCERNS: Jim Hunter has developed an infection from his surgery and has to be on antibiotics for about a week. Jim White’s grandmother isn’t doing very well. Erma Williams’ father is still not clear of the infection he developed after knee surgery. Donna Brutto, Jo Wagner’s cousin, (bladder cancer) Jenn McCready, The friend of Garrett Lee Williams and Brice Reid who is being treated for an eye injury. Helen Nicklas, Jenni Cullum, Ron Matney, Alma Martin, Joni Beach’s mother, Tim Elder and Health Talents Int and the various work they do, as well as Bread For A Hungry World.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 5-10
Monday: Malachi 1:1-14
Tuesday: John 3:1-15
Wednesday: Psalm 65:1-13
Thursday: I Peter 2:1—10
Friday: Mathew 4:1-11
Saturday: Exodus 15:1-18
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 12-17
Monday: Job 38:1-18
Tuesday: Isaiah 25:1-5
Wednesday: Psalm 37:1-17
Thursday: Luke 18:35 – 19:10
Friday: John 18:1-14
Saturday Hebrews 13:1-21
We were saddened by the death of Eleanor Crush, who died on Tuesday, February 21.
Eleanor had fought pancreatic cancer for a year. She was a blessing to all who visited her during those tough times, and always had that gentle face and beautiful smile.
Her interment was Saturday, March 3, with a memorial service following at 1:00 PM at the church building. Our love and sympathy go out to all the Crush and Branch family.
STEERING COMMETTEE CONFIRMATION BALLOTS
After some unintended holdups due to the weather and some other matters, we are ready to present to the congregation the names of three people who have been asked and have agreed to serve on the steering committee for at least a three year term.
The ballots will be made available on Sunday, March 4. Please be sure to sign the ballot so it will be known how many votes of confidence the nominees receive.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Wednesday, March 7, some of our young folks and adults will be preparing and serving the evening meal at the Ronald Mc Donald House near Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This is a trail run to see if they would like to continue doing it on other occasions. Thanks to Martha Albert, Holly Wagner, and the others who donated time and items for this event.
Because of the way the calendar works out, the next bulletin will be printed the last week of the month, because April I is a Sunday, so the service roster will also be printed in that bulletin.
On Sunday, March 25, someone from the Gideon’s will be here to make their annual presentation about their work of distributing Bibles throughout the world.
Keith and Jo Wagner will be on vacation from the 18th trough the 25th of this month. They will be in Florida and flying back on Sunday, the 25th