Sunday, March 08, 2009

Measured Out to You

March 9, 2009

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you…But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Daniel 9:7,9

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Luke 6:37-38


Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. Psalm 103:10a


There is an expression…the acorn does not fall far from the tree. The compassionate God of the Hebrew Bible gives us constant reminders and hints into the divine mercy and forgiveness that will mark the life of Jesus when the Son is sent to serve.

This spirit makes me recall the uniforms of the Salvation Army. Not the Christmas season bell ringers but the permanent staff members who make up the officials of the church. The Salvation Army’s uniform is recognized as a symbol of commitment and a sign of availability and accessibility in times of need or crisis. Salvation Army officers always wear the uniform when they are on duty in the corps, the office or the community. At the two sides of the collar, you will find the letter “S” embroidered into the uniform. This pair of letters symbolizes their mission in the world…”Saved to Serve.”

So whether they are measuring out soup for the hungry, clothes for the homeless or any one of a myriad of ways they assist others, their uniform is a visible sign of their mission in the world…a mission which is rooted in the same compassion that God shows to the people in the Hebrew Bible and Jesus imparts in the New Testament.


How are you saved to serve others? If the measure we deliver according to Matthew 25 is how we will be judged with justice, what are your service plans for this week?

Lent provides a special opportunity to fast and give alms. While we will do this with special emphasis for 40 days, let us also not forget the other 325 days of the year.

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