Tuesday, April 26, 2016
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"You have heard the law that says, 'love your neighbor and hate your enemy'. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45(NLT)
25 Years Ago
Our church youth choir was a girl's quintet. They sang during every Sunday evening service. Two of the girls, Jaimie and Kathy, tend to enjoy being in the center of things. They stood at the pulpit while the other girls used microphones on stands nearby.
On this particular Sunday night the girls were in hyper-drive. It had been a wild and wooly afternoon of youth activities; they were tired, but still going wide-open! When it came time in the service for them to sing, Kathy and Jaimie came to the center microphone as usual.
While our Youth Minister was attempting to get the girls ready to sing, Kathy reached up and adjusted the pulpit microphone downward, towards her and Jaimie. When she let go, Jaimie reached up and pulled it in her direction. With an exasperated, fiery glance in Jaimie's direction Kathy reached up and straightened it back towards the center.
Meanwhile the congregation watched intently as the Youth Minister waved her hands to get the girl's attention, and Jaimie reached to pull the microphone back toward her. In a stage whisper that measured about 9.6 on the Richter scale, Kathy ordered, quit it! Jaimie quickly pulled her hand back, while Carrie (another youth quite related to me) rolled her eyes and lamented, oh Lord!
When the Youth Minister finally got their attention, the music started and the girls sang a wonderful arrangement of: There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place.
There is a vast difference between acting as children and acting as children of the Father in heaven!
Watching what transpired between our youth that night 25 years ago is a pretty hilarious memory of sad irony. Those girls are grown with families of their own now. I'm still in touch with several of them and I'm very happy to report that they act much better now!
But thinking about this reminds me (sadly) that some folks never seem to grow out of it.
For some, the command of Jesus to love our enemies falls on deaf ears; indeed they have a hard enough time loving those who are their friends. And that makes for a lifetime of microphone-grabbing drama; it is anything but sweet-spirited!
How "sweet" is your spirit?