I vacillate on how I think of people (that is, people as a whole, not specific people).
Are people selfish and judgmental or are they giving and forgiving?
Are they overwhelmed and overworked and need some ease in their lives, are their lives so easy that they buckle when something moderately difficult arises, or are they amazingly resilient and demonstrate surprising strength in the face of unexpected challenges?
I think the answer to all the questions above is yes.
At our staff meeting this week, some of us were frustrated by a few areas of ministry not being supported by enough servant-leaders. One of the staff members responded that she's actually amazed by how much people do at Central. She said things seemingly "just happen" here. The Communion Table gets set without any of us having to ask that it be done. She said one morning she thanked the servant-leaders who did that and their response was, "No need to thank us. It's our ministry."
I hope I can be forgiven for being all over the place on how I perceive people - sometimes frustrated by them, sometimes amazed by them. Jesus seemed to see people in different ways.
At times Jesus was incredibly gracious and gentle with people who had all sorts of short-comings. At other times he was tremendously challenging.
This weekend's gospel reading (Luke 14:25-33) is one of his strongest challenges to us-a challenge to make God our top priority.
Read it, reflect on it, and come hear Rev. Kathy Campbell's take in the sanctuary services or mine in The Well. I know it's a weekend that tempts you to stay away. If you can be here, it will honor the Lord who called for and deserves to be the top priority in our lives.
I hope to see you Sunday.