MUSINGS FROM MIKE
Giving kindness and faith a try…
Fr. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest in one of the roughest gang neighborhoods of LA tells the story of Jermaine in his book; ‘Barking to the Choir’.
Jermaine was a 40-something former gang member who had just finished 20 years in prison for gang violence and he was sitting with Fr. Greg, and as they talked Fr. Greg noticed the kindness and gentleness in this man’s speaking and actions.
He asked Jermaine, ‘How come you are so gentle and seem so kind, how did you end up in prison for 20 years?’ Jermaine answered, ‘Rough childhood I guess.’ Both of his parents were gone from his life by the age of 10 and he was left to care for himself and two brothers. They would often sit on a neighbor’s steps and Jermaine would say, ‘We ain’t leaving until you feed us.’ That is what it took for them to survive.
Another part of the surviving was gang life and 20 years of prison. But then Jermaine told Fr. Greg, ‘I decided to give the world kindness and I am hoping it will give some back.’
That is the story of Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father. Did you know that Joseph does not speak one word in the whole Christmas story? Did you know that he is an important character that we know very little about?
But he gave kindness, he lived faith and it brought the Savior into our world.
I doubt that anyone will be quoting me 20 or 25 years from now, but I have decided to give the world kindness, to live my faith, and to trust that God will use that in ways that I cannot imagine.
When you reach the end of your rope in this busy and distracted season, when you are not sure why you are doing all this, try kindness, live your faith, God can work with that.
A MONTH OF SUNDAYS FOR DECEMBER
December worship is all about reflecting on the story of faith that Joseph lived and the difference it can make for you and me right now.
December 3rd: 1st Sunday of Advent and Holy Communion.
“Whose Child Is This?’
December 10th: 2nd Sunday of Advent
‘Raising a Child Not Your Own’
December 17th: 3rd Sunday of Advent
‘The Journey to Bethlehem’
December 24th: Christmas Eve 10 a.m.
Bi-lingual Service of Las Posadas
December 31st: New Year’s Eve 10 a.m. Bi-lingual Service of Communion
‘The Rest of the Story’