Yesterday, those of us who use the lectionary for our teaching had four Bible passages.
- Psalm 23, about the Lord being our shepherd.
- Part of Acts 4, where Peter starts talking to the religious leaders the morning after telling a man begging in the temple courts that he was healed in the name of Jesus.
- John’s words in 1 John 3 about the loving others in the way that Jesus loved and laid down his like.
- Jesus’ words in John 10 about being the good shepherd.
You can read them if you’d like. And let them be your message for today.
I talked for awhile from those texts, about Peter, about Jesus, about the care a shepherd provides, about the money Peter and John didn’t have but the experience with Jesus they did have.. And then, after all the unpacking, I ended up with a short summary, which can be your message for today:
Having God’s love means using what you have to meet the needs of the people you see, in the name of Jesus. Not what you wish you had, not what they think they need, not in the name of a church or group.
We will see people who are in need. With God’s help, we can see the real need. With the resources we have, we can offer real help to meet that need. Not just words about the need, but with actions that meet the need.
And God will work with that person and us because he loves us both.