By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Matthew 27:15-50; Psalm 22
YouTube: https://youtu.be/ekYw0PN-Ag4 and https://youtu.be/dQWdjf6wVBI
When my husband and I were in seminary, Britt worked part-time as a nurse. He worked the 3-11 shifts. One evening while Britt was working, I decided I’d go out to dinner. I didn’t go anywhere fancy; the Ground Round. When I walked in the hostess asked me, “how many?” and it sounded odd when I said, “Table for one, please.” I looked around at the other tables; all couples or families. I enjoyed my meal and I didn’t feel insecure. It just felt a little odd. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who can’t stand to be alone. I once did a six-day retreat in an eremitical community in a remote area of Texas. I didn’t speak for six days… I know; hard to believe. And, aside from the dining room and morning prayers, I didn’t see anyone either.
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Luke 7:36-50
A story is told of a family out for a Sunday drive. Suddenly the two children in the back seat begin to shout, “Daddy, daddy, stop the car! There’s a kitten back there on the side of the road. You have to stop and pick it up.”
“I don’t have to stop and pick it up,” says the father.
“But it will die,” plead the children.
“We don’t have room for another animal. We have a zoo already at the house. No more animals.”
“We never thought our Daddy would be so mean and cruel to let a kitten die,” the children say.
Mother chimes in, “Honey, you have to stop.”
Dad turns the car around; heads back to the spot and parks his car on the side of the road. “You kids stay in the car.”
The little kitten is just skin and bones, sore-eyed, and full of fleas. When he reaches down to pick it up, with its last bit of energy, it bristles and hisses, bearing tooth and claw. Dad lifts the kitten up by the nap of its neck and brings it back to the car. “Don’t touch it,” he says sternly.
Back home, the children give the kitten warm milk and food… and a flea bath. They ask, “Daddy, can it stay in the house just tonight? Tomorrow we’ll fix a place in the garage.”
Father replies, “Sure, take my bedroom. The house is a zoo already anyway.” And the children make up a nice, soft bed for the kitten. Several weeks pass. One day dad walks into his bedroom, he feels something rub against his leg, he looks down, and there is the kitten. Checking to see that no one is watching, he reaches down. And, when it sees his hand, it does not bare its claws and hiss; instead it purrs and rubs its face in his palm. Is that the same cat; that dirty, ugly, hissing kitten by the side of the road? What in the world can effect such a change?
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