FOR JESUS’ LOVE 16
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (October 15, 2017)
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (St. John 21:15-17, King James Version [Christ’s charge to Peter]}
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus,
My sisters and brothers, in a world of duplication and replication---copying, in our quest or journey to speak out the least of where we are going with our thoughts---in our hearts and minds, I look to Christ Jesus to make the difference here. I spent a few moments in my early day watering mustard greens that are just about to change to the next stage of growth wherein they begin to look like what they are to become. I looked around to find that God had already planted other plants that resembled the mustard green---how it looks at the beginning of its growth process. This is life.
There are so many other plants that look like the mustard green in the beginning but as it grows further to look like what it will become the other plants do not change and continue to grow looking just like they looked in the beginning of their growth process. We see that this is easily how we are deceived and tricked about the human growth and development process casting down humans with low expectations because of who they look like in the beginning---not feeling like or even given to the thought process that they do change to look more like their Godly purpose. We just do not feel some humans can carry their load throughout life---loads of growth, in education and in maturity. I thought about Jesus carrying the heavy load of the cross up Calvary, needing help.
Was the man who was asked to help a black man? Oftentimes, it seems the black nations carry the loads of so many other nations then are left behind, cast off, cast out, destroyed or killed when the load becomes easy to carry---it is snatched away from them for the benefit of others who did not carry the heavy load. Folks of Christ Jesus,
Is your load heavy? Is someone helping you to carry your heavy load? Recently in a news story, a 14 days old baby was found dead in a knapsack in the woods. The mother last saw the baby at the 5 AM feeding and at 10 AM the parents notified the authorities that the baby was missing.
Obviously, in hind sight we understand with better clarity that the mother was carrying a heavy load and she needed someone to help her. The grandfather who doted over the child how small she was did not know that he needed to take the baby to his home and care for the baby for the baby was in danger. Sometimes it is difficult to know—to see how heavy a load a person is carrying? For many times the person carrying the heavy load fought the reality of their circumstance---that the objections to their life were stronger than their ability to carry their load and fight the objections as the objections presented themselves each time---time and time again, so they do not speak out to ask for help, for they, too, like Jesus are falling down under the weight of the cross that they are carrying.
You know the old folks use to see when a person was crossed with change on the horizon and the old folks would ask, do you need help?, let me take that baby home with me so you and your husband can get some rest?, you can come by later once you get some rest---sort things out---get everyone use to the new beginning of life changing in everyone’s life, in your household. Some, who were not spiritual just called it a woman’s intuition but spiritual folks called it their seeing eye---the ability to see a person’s future---whatsoever was urgently revealed through a touch—anything of contact? The grandfather did not see to take the baby just to visit and to love the baby. However, the modeling of love that he showed for the baby did not stop the father from killing the baby, denying he killed the baby, placed the baby in a knapsack and took the baby to the woods. Later, the peace officer said, “It is sad.”
Do not fear asking for help when you see that the load you are carrying is too heavy for you to bear the weight? Jesus needed help---for he kept falling down trying to bear the weight that only HE could bear, spiritually but in the flesh, his flesh was weak---just as weak as any man for our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus was a God man. Do you understand the impact that the death of one baby who was taken away without cause has on the families of the world? It is just another dead baby---not a cataclysmic impact of unforeseen proportions bearing down on the earth to destroy it as the earth opened up in rage over the death of Jesus. There are so many dead babies killed each day without cause. What does this say about our humanity ---that we ourselves are still, savages, without proper growth and development incapable of taking care of God’s earth, much less the children of the world and God would do better to totally destroy the earth and start over like He did when he destroyed the earth with the flood---that the earth will never duplicate or replicate heaven?
Most importantly, I did not let the look alike plants take away from the mustard green plant even though most people know a mustard green does not take much to grow and will come up in a crack in a pavement if a seed fell there. However, in a garden—in my garden where I care for each seed---I weeded out the look alike plants so that the mustard green could receive all the care, not to say I do not love the beautification of God, how he grows other plants near that look similar or blend those others gracefully with the plants that I plant, for I love working with God and I know God is trying to tell me something about family---HIS family, to be careful what you discard---cast out as not important for maybe they need to be there to protect the plant that I planted and the amount of nourishment or care will increase with the need for God is working there. You know I look at my bruised hands that sometime harden under the work demand of weeding. Believe me I have seen God’s work and it is such a beautiful array of flowers---flowers we call weeds because we do not know their names growing in our plants spaces with our plants. It is tradition to plant what we plant and to weed---cast out those that we do not plant.
Is all of this a lesson? More importantly, do we learn the lesson now or do we learn the lesson later---claiming our time---right before we die, how much time we spent weeding—time taken away from our life span. The big gardens need weeding, don’t they because the saying is that the other plants will take away from their growth—choke them out---even make more than would die, die from the crowding out and different needs of care for the different plants. We do enter in to confusion don’t we, imaging all sorts of reasons why and why not. Maybe we deny the beauty of them all growing together like that---though they are all different with different needs yet they all grow together, sharing the same supply, coming out of the wealth of riches of what God gave Jesus for us. Yet, in the woods we see some plants even growing on top of each other, still surviving because no one comes into the woods to weed out—cast out until a person decides to develop the land for some purpose he/she decided to do or you just might see plants so carefully spaced out magnificently in the will of God, but done so, without man’s work---not needing to be cast out for they appear to be the way man likes them spaced out with enough space to grow for the roots of each plant beneath the ground’s surface.
In closing, this weeding out—casting out---whose purpose does it serve? Did the 14 days old baby get cast out by her father for there was not enough money to care for her? Did the father only have enough money to care for his wife and himself not enough for a child? Why did the father give up hope and not lean on the LORD, our God? We can not act outside of the will of God or was it the will of God as the will of God took David’s and Bathsheba’s child that was conceived in sin and the sin of the conception created even another sin to hide the conception---such a dark hour of humanity, one hour after the other hour? We say they were married. May Christ be with you? Amen.