Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 7:12 (ESV)
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’”
Matthew 25: 37-40 (The Message)
As most of us who have been awake for the last few days know, Pope Francis just completed an historic visit to the United States of America. And even in the midst of the spiritual impact of the occasion, there was the usual analyses of his agenda regarding what he said and what it meant—usually in the context of political overtones.
Whether we realize or not, or want to admit it or not, our tendency as human beings is to usually attribute some hidden agenda to the words we hear or read.
And that agenda we create or impose on the situation at hand often comes out of our own paradigms, our own view of life. Often hearing and then interpreting what we hear, from our own filters of our beliefs formed through the years on the anvil of childhood lessons and circumstances, and whatever family life we had. But many times it forms as an excuse as to why we don’t have to follow what may, in fact, be God’s agenda we are being called to follow in our lives.
That is very natural. That’s human nature. That’s what God expected us to do, when He allowed us free will. But when He created us, gave us free will, He also pursued us and hoped that the expression of our free will would be in alignment with His Word, His teachings, His call upon our lives to live the lives He gave us and created us to live.
Pope Francis has been among us, and in these past few days we have heard and seen God’s agenda—through the Pope’s example and witness—for our lives.
The Pope has been among us, sharing what has been on his heart. For some that has been right on. For others it has been political. For still others he didn’t say enough about other things which they view as fundamental teachings of Christ and His church. But no one can say that Pope Francis didn’t speak from his heart with no agenda other than to share some of the important things which he believed God wants all of us to be about.
The Pope has been among us, sharing, but also showing what has been on his heart. Welcoming little children to him, blessing them and kissing them. And notably as he left the Philadelphia airport on Saturday.
For as he was departing, he had them stop his tiny Fiat—a car which substituted for the usual limousine which visiting dignitaries normally traveled in—so he could visit with a family and one of their twin ten-year-old adopted sons, Michael Keating, who has Cerebral Palsy. The family knew of Michael’s disability when they adopted the twins, and did so largely because of that, knowing that no one else would.
The Pope came to them in the crowd, held Michael’s face between his hands, kissed his forehead and blessed him. Then he blessed Chris, the other twin brother, and then the boys’ sister and their parents.
It demonstrated, without words or any hidden agenda, the seminal message of his life, His Pontificate and his visit to the United States of America. It gave all who would want to characterize his trip and message in other terms, pause to think about not only his purpose in life, but ours.
What is life about anyway, at the end of each day, if it is not to love God and others He places before us? What is life about, if not to touch the world around us and lift others to a better place in life?
What is life about, if not to help those around us to enter into a relationship with the same God who sends His servants to kiss the faces of disabled children, and to encourage others to do the same?
What is life about, if not to help others to reach outward and upward to be all they can be, knowing that when they do they will touch the face of God?
God’s agenda—that’s what life is about.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.