May 16

“’From the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations,’ … says the Lord.”  Malachi 1:11

“And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:11

“God’s country” is bigger than any one nation.  We are indeed glocal.  In our little corner of the world we are connected with other nations everyday as we get dressed, drive our cars, and purchase goods, many – if not most –containing at least some parts made in other nations.  We are connected by land, seas and sky; the same sun and moon warm and light all nations.  We conceive and bear children in the same way, laugh and cry.   Though by different means, we all meet the same last breath.  And other nations have moved into our neighborhoods bringing ethnic foods and traditions to appreciate; and hope for work; and needs with opportunities for us to assist. 

Recently on the radio I heard a builder/remodeler excitedly talk about recycling and using leftover materials that others, seeing no purpose, left to be discarded.  He saw value, and kept them.  He added this is the same way he sees humanity.  Rambling on with building projects, that little aside stayed with me … how we categorize peoples into unworthy “piles”, those people – unsavory neighborhoods and “wha-cha-ma-call-it” countries – all criminals and terrorists, lazy and unmotivated.

The theme of this year’s ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly is “In this Together … What the World Needs Takes All of Us.”  What am I called to do?  Our response is … glocal.  We have various gifts and strengths, emotionally and physically – to preach, heal, teach, or to support and encourage others in their vocations, near and far away; called to hospitality, kindness and generosity; to see value and worth and assist to the best of our abilities.  There is no calling to indifference. 

“America, America …. God shed his grace on thee” … and on those tilling fields by hand, and walking miles for water; and on those sleeping in tents, and under bridges; and on those feeling lonely and afraid.  Help us to honor your name and example, to serve and take/send your grace to all the ends of the earth, for your glory.  Amen

Verla Olson