DH Update 23, Wed. May 10, 2023Wednesday Meditation (1 Peter 3:13-16)
Wednesday Meditation (1 Peter 3:13-16)
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame..
“Do it with gentleness and reverence.” How do you remain gentle and offer reverence to those who are suspicious of us and at times violently hostile towards us? This is one characteristic of being Christians that we struggle with all the time, especially when we feel that we are justified in our anger and response.
Gentle part is okay. We can always be gentle. It is when we are told that we not only have to be gentle, but also be reverent. How are we to give reverence to those who keep distance, ill intentions, and at times harm against us? Do we not have the right to fight back? If not fight, then, at least let others know that we won’t stand for their host aggressive ill will?
The trouble of many Christians missionaries today and in the earlier centuries is that they felt very superior. For example, they, the civilized ones, were in Africa, Asia, Americas or elsewhere in order to enlighten the savages who did not know how to find salvation. They call places other than the Western European countries dark places. Instead of reverence, these well meaning Christians dealt with those whom they encountered in the rest of the world with contempt, condescension and disrespect. Christians were gentle, but hardly were reverent towards these people who were in other worlds.
Today we do something similar unconsciously if we are not careful. We are the chosen ones, we say. We are the ones who have the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while others require our patience. In other words, like many of our foreparents who were missionaries, we are gentle, but not receiving others with reverence.
The author of 1 Peter is very clear. Even against those who are hostile against us, even when we encounter violent opposition, we are to be gentle and reverent toward them. That is, we treat others with deep respect as if they are better than us in all aspects of life. This is not just a posture to lure them into Christianity. This posture of gentleness and reverence is the very being that demonstrates to the world that we are the followers of Jesus Christ who call them in love.
Cutting grasses, weeds and dandelions
It’s the time of the year when our lawns are blossoming with unmistakably yellow flowers. I don’t know when it began, but everywhere in North America, dandelions were the scourges of precious lawns. However, the war against dandelions is over due to the laws that prohibit us from using certain herbicides. In the meantime, I noticed that many of us are still pulling them out.
In Canada of the past, having an impeccably green lawn was the sign of good neighbours. We don’t know when maintaining well manicured lawns was the standard by which we judged ourselves and neighbours. We knew that somehow allowing dandelions to flower made us less than who we were as neighbours.
Today, there are many neighbours who scoff those whose lawns look unkempt. It is a similar contempt as if someone does not groom their hair. Usual association is that those whose lawns are not cut must be lazy, indifferent or perhaps apathetic. No wonder each spring, we see so many of our neighbours streaming to nurseries or markets to buy ornamental flowers or vegetables to plant.
Our little gardens, flowerbeds or lawns used to be our attempts to control and reshape God’s creation into something that represents who we are and what we enjoy in life. This is why in many countries where lives were too busy or poor did not have laws or gardens. In my neighbourhood, however, we still like to see clean and well kept lawns, gardens and front yards.
I have been reading a bit about efforts in many cities where people who want to grow natural native plants in their front yards were fined by city bylaw officers. It appears that many cities have not kept up with new environmental movements where growing native plants and trees are encouraged for fostering better natural surroundings for all animals and people. Things are very slow to change even when these changes can make our world a better place.
Similarly, Christians are also having difficulties adapting to new things that can help us to be better churches where true communities can flourish. We are so used to our ways of living and doing things that we still stick to our old ways. We forget the world we are in is a very different place. To survive we need to adapt or will soon disappear altogether.
Challenges of Helping Newcomers Learn English
One of our challenges in helping people to learn English is the transitory nature of the newcomers’ life. Many of them are now able to work or search for jobs. Once they start, then, it becomes difficult for them to come and learn. Some of them moved away to Mississauga to live and work. That means for volunteers they had to learn quickly to adjust to new people who want to learn English.
Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14
This coming Sunday we will be celebrating Mother’s Day Sunday with lunch. Soup and Sandwiches will be on the menu. If you would like to invite your mom, feel free. Treat your mother on our account on Sunday.
Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays
We will be re-starting the Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays on Tuesday (of course) May 23 at 10 am. Please mark your calendars. Let others know. Come and join us.