Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Friday, July 24

Today’s Readings: Psalm 129; 2 Samuel 5:17-6:11; Mark 6:14-29; Ephesians 6:18-24; Psalm 4

When I was in my twenties, I worked with a woman who – for the purposes of confidentiality – I’ll call Susan. Susan was a person who made a point of talking about what a huge role her faith played in her life. She had been active in her local parish for her entire life (over 60 years by that point!). She went to Mass every morning before work. And each election cycle she made sure we all understood how her faith was informing her vote. While Susan and I belonged to different faith traditions, I certainly respected how devoted she was to living out her faith. And then something happened that made me wonder about Susan’s faith. Susan lived near the city’s downtown, and there was a group of advocates for the disabled who wanted to build a group home in Susan’s neighborhood since the area provided access to all the services the residents would need. When Susan heard about the plan, she spent time going door to door in the neighborhood circulating a petition to stop the construction of the group home. And what was her reason for opposing the home? “It would drive down the property value of our home,” she said. I couldn’t understand how someone who spent so much time participating in her faith community could be opposed to a plan that would have met the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of society. I was reminded of my experience with Susan as I read today’s passage from Ephesians. “Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words,” the author began. “Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life” (Ephesians 6:15-16 from The Message). Those words reminded me of one of the tendencies we have when it comes to our faith. That tendency is to talk about the importance of having the qualities manifested in Jesus – love, mercy, compassion, justice – yet we don’t often talk enough about the importance of actually putting those qualities into practice in our day-to-day lives. Today I would invite you to contemplate the way you live your own life. Are there areas where you profess one set of values, yet live by another? Til next time…

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