Today's Lectionary Text
The Lord created a human being
Their ways are always before him;
In the hurry of life and ministry, I attempt to take the time to watch the evening news. I want to know what is taking place in my community, nation and world, yet more often than I’d like, the news is filled with hatred, death, bullying – basically – injustice to humans.
As the recovery process continues in our conference from the flooding and tornadoes, I recently found myself in a neighborhood where some people will not go. I’m proud to say that our Great Plains ERTs and volunteers proudly entered into community with these individuals! Our ministry is based on having compassion for all people!
I have been in conversation with the local recovery leadership since March on what to do with the destruction in this one neighborhood. We looked into mitigation, yet to relocate 1,200 individuals in 300 homes, was not possible financially. We looked at beginning with one home and trying to slowly purchase new homes for these families, yet the reality of lack of funding and the length of time to do this became a dark reality. No, the homes these families live in are not the best, most should not be lived in, period. Every trip to meet with the recovery leadership seemed to dim our sights and reality to make a safe, secure and sanitary place for these families. There would need to be so much work! Yet, the desire remained – the call to live out the commandments God has given us concerning our neighbors continued to burn brightly in the souls of the leadership. At our meeting in October, after again going over the facts and the needs – we just decided to tackle it! We knew we could not fix all the destruction, yet we agreed to make the homes safe, secure and sanitary to the best of our ability.
What pushed us? It was this passage from Sirach (from the Apocrypha). God gave us the common sense to know right from wrong, He placed knowledge within each of us to know that every human being is a creation of God. Our souls were in tune with justice will reign! We remembered the greatest commandments of all: Love God and love your neighbor! And we chose to live that!
-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Great Plains Disaster Response Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
Father of all creation, creator of every human being, re-create in our souls a desire to seek justice. Drive us to love all humans as you command us to. Help us to be people of action in transforming our communities, nation, and world for Jesus Christ. Amen.
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