WEek ending october 4, 2020
sunday service online
Gaddis UMC presents the 8-27-2020 Sunday Service at this link:
There is no video for the 8-27-2020 Children's Message this week.
Sadness in the Heart of God
Matthew 22: 34-37
There is a Jewish parable that both parallels and illumines Jesus' story, and it has helped to clarify my understanding greatly. This one is about a "farmer who lived in Poland. For generations before him, his family had been very poor. One night he was awakened by an angel of the Lord, who said: "You have found favor in the eyes of your Maker. He wants to do for you what he did for your ancestor Abraham. He wants to bless you. Therefore, make any three requests that you will of God, and he will be pleased to give them to you. There is only one condition: your neighbor will get a double portion of everything that is bequeathed to you."
The farmer was startled by this revelation and woke up his wife to tell her all about it. She suggested that they put the whole thing to a test. So they prayed. "Oh, blessed God, if we could just have a herd of a thousand cattle, that would enable us to break out of the poverty in which we have lived for generations. That would be wonderful." No sooner had they said these words than they heard the sound of animal noises outside. Lo and behold, all around the house were a thousand magnificent animals!
During the next two days, the farmer's feet hardly touched the ground. He divided his time between praising God for such great generosity and beginning to make practical provisions for his newly acquired affluence. On the third afternoon, he was up on a hill behind his house trying to decide where to build a new barn when he looked across at his neighbor's field, and there standing on the green hillside were two thousand magnificent cattle. For the first time since the angel of the Lord had appeared, the joy within him evaporated and a scowl of envy took its place. He went home that evening in a foul mood, refused to eat supper, and went to bed in an absolute rage. He could not fall asleep because every time he closed his eyes, all he could see were his neighbor's two thousand cattle.
Deep in the night, however, he remembered that the angel had said he could make three wishes. With that, he shifted his focus away from his neighbor and back to his own situation, and the old joy quickly returned. Digging deep into his own heart to find out what else he really wanted, he began to realize that in addition to some kind of material security, he always wanted descendants to carry his name into the future. So he prayed a second time: "Gracious God, if it please thee, give me a child that I may have descendants." With that, he and his wife made love, and because of his experience with the cattle, he was not too surprised shortly thereafter to learn that she was expecting.
The next months were passed in unbroken joy. The farmer was busy assimilating his newly acquired affluence and looking forward to the great grace of becoming a parent. On the night, his first child was born, he was absolutely overjoyed. The next day was the Sabbath. He went to the synagogue, and at the time of the prayers of the people, he stood up and shared with the gathered community his great good fortune: now at last a child had been born into their home. He had hardly sat down, however, when his neighbor got up and said, "God has indeed been gracious to our little community. I had twin sons born last night. Thanks be to God." On hearing that, the farmer went home in an utterly different mood than the one in which he came. Instead of being joyful once again he was filled with the canker of jealousy.
This time, however, his envy did not abate. Late that evening, he made his third request of God: "Please, gouge out my right eye."
No sooner had he said these words than the angel who had initiated the whole process appeared again and asked, "Why, son of Abraham, have you turned to such vengeful desiring?" With pent-up rage, the farmer replied, "I cannot stand to see my neighbor prosper. I'll gladly sacrifice half of my vision for the satisfaction of knowing that he will never be able to look on what he has."
Those words were followed by a long silence, and as the farmer looked, he saw tears forming in the eyes of the angel. "Why, O son of Abraham, have you turned an occasion for blessing into a time of hurting? Your third request will not be granted, not because the Lord lacks integrity, but because God is full of mercy. However, know this, O foolish one, you have brought sadness not only to yourself, but to the very heart of God."
Why are we so worried about what others have compared to what we have?
God has given us the greatest gift, the gift of his son who was willing to die on a cross so that we might have life and wholeness. We are called to want the same for our neighbor, life, and wholeness.
We serve a God of love, and we called to love others. We should not sit around worried if someone else has more than we have. Change our hearts of God so that we might be more like Jesus and love our neighbor as you love us. Amen.
...and Jesus wept.
Gaddis Church is a United Methodist Congregation.
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141 Hwy 87 | P.O. Box 566
Comfort, Texas 78013
9:00 am Worship Service
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Monday - Thursday | 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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