Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shepastor: “What the Papal Visit Meant to America…Maybe”

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4: 18-19, NIV

Whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or some other religious persuasion, at least for a few days, it appears that our Nation was drawn together by the visit of Pope Francis. Intrigued by his humility amidst “rock star” popularity, his resistance to “royal treatment,” opting rather to mingle among everyday people and his graceful requests for prayer, endeared Americans not only to him, but seemingly to his message.

What was the Pope’s basic message? It was the centuries old message given by Jesus… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, ‘‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27 NIV). Somehow the Pope’s visit made that ancient message relevant and fresh.

Thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse of this elderly, white robed man whose gentle spirit, sincere engagement and poignant words subdued even the fiercest of objectors. Even one of the most partisan and divided Congresses in recent history sat amicably and respectfully as the Pope delivered his challenges regarding climate change, immigration reform and the sanctity of life (as relates to the death penalty).

Hearts seemingly convicted, tears flowing, blessings given, dreams rising, untouchables touched, the rejected embraced, the impoverished lifted, hardened hearts softened, humility revisited, prosperity re-evaluated, families celebrated, a whirlwind of hope leaving a fragrant trail of visions for a brighter tomorrow.

Will it last? Maybe…maybe in the hearts and minds of those drawn closer to God and challenged to re-evaluate the ruminations of their inner beings.

Truly the Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform!

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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