A Message from Reverend, Carl Freeto
Pastor’s message for February 2020
Matthew 5:1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: 3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule. (Matthew 5:1-3)
Years ago, there was a poster that showed a kitten hanging from a knotted rope. Underneath the picture it said “Hang in there, baby!” And, an old friend of mine used to say, “Don’t sweat the skinny mule, just keep loading the wagon.” If you are like me, sometimes, when trouble arrives, you wonder how you can ever go on. Like many folks, our family has had days when we were absolutely broke (financially, emotionally, physically) and thought we were at the end of the line. Other times diabetes or cancer has interrupted our lives and we just threw up our hands in despair. And, of course, death takes a beloved friend or family member and we see no way forward. I wonder, have you ever thanked God because you are at the end of your rope?
If you are like me, you work hard to avoid that “end of the rope” place. We move stuff so we cannot see that place where our resources run out. Or we ignore the signs of defeat. Maybe we just go into our room and hide. I understand.
However, in Matthew 5 Jesus says that those times when we have run out of our own resources are times of opportunity. I like the way the “Message” puts it, “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and (God’s) rule.” When all seems lost or you cannot “fix” things, there really are only two possible ways to go. Either you give in to despair or you turn toward God. And, Jesus says turning toward God is a blessed thing, no matter what. As hard as it is to imagine our fear and loss, according to Jesus, can bring us into God’s time!
In February we will celebrate the beginning of Lent (Ash Wednesday worship at Lake Shore UMC is February 26 at 6PM) and the calendar is full. Yet in this second month of 2020 there will be times when there is no way to apply our own wisdom or money to avoid trouble. During those times I hope you (and I!) can remember that Jesus calls those times when we are just hanging on BLESSED. Jesus says in those times we turn toward the rule of God…and there will be less of you and more of God. So, our “hanging on and hanging in” times are God’s chance to enter in and to love us again.!
I’ll see you in church! (Sunday at 10AM!!!!)