Summary: Communion Meditation for February 1, 2009

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(Slide 1) Kathy begins the meditation this morning with a poem that gives us some important things to think about.

(Kathy shares poem entitled, ‘Give Me Flowers.’

In this world today while we’re living

Some folks say the worst of us they can

But when we are dead and in our casket,

They always slip some lilies in our hand.

Won’t you give me my flowers while I’m living?

And let me enjoy them while I can.

Please don’t wait till I’m ready to be buried

And then slip some lilies in my hand.

In this world is where we need our flowers

A kind word to help us get along.

If you can’t give me flowers while I’m living,

Then please don’t throw them when I’m gone.

That’s a very pointed piece of writing. But there is a very good piece of truth in it that I want to bring out as we prepare for communion and as we consider another pillar of Character Counts – responsibility.

An on-line friend directed my attention this week by to a recently published note by one of our nation’s most distinguished church historians, Dr. Martin Marty on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration. It was titled, ‘Farewell, President’ and in it he quoted the late columnist Mike Royko who said after the departure of Lyndon Johnson, "Farewell, President Johnson. You weren’t the best president a people ever had, but we were not the best people a president ever had."

Marty then goes on to ask his readers ‘What kind of people do we want to be?’ followed by a several qualifying statements primarily slanted either toward a nation who comes together or continues as is. I think that both this pointed poem and Dr. Marty’s question have one theme in common, being and becoming responsible.

Are we going to exercise the responsibility of kind words and actions to one another now, and not just at one another’s funerals? Are we going to determine, in times of agreement and disagreement that we are going to become responsible citizens and a better people for our President and our nation?

Jesus had several things to say about responsibility and one such place is found in Matthew 24:45 - 51:

“Who is a faithful, sensible servant, to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his household and feeding his family? 46If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47I assure you, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48But if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49and begins oppressing the other servants, partying, and getting drunk—50 well, the master will return unannounced and unexpected. 51 He will tear the servant apart and banish him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This passage comes at the end of chapter 24 and in the course of a discourse by Jesus a short time before His arrest and crucifixion. It begins with Jesus’ proclamation in verse 2, “Do you see all these buildings? I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!” This statement causes the disciples to question Jesus about the timing of such things.

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