Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/17
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”  (John F. Kennedy)  Our pastor often challenges us at the close of worship:  “Go in peace.  Remember the poor!”  The reasons for poverty are many, but the fact remains that being poor is no fun.  Jesus’s parable, the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), suggests a role reversal in the life to come.  I’m not blaming nor excusing.  I’m just advising, “Remember the poor!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that, Preacher!!  i think there may be some really surprised folks come the judgment... JACK:  That's what God's judgment is all about...surprises.  I like the Luther quote:  "When I get to heaven, 3 things will surprise me.  First, I'll see some people there I didn't expect to see. . Second, some will be missing that I expected to see..and third, that I am there myself."  (or something like that).

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My father was out of work for a few years during the depression in this country in the 1930's.  We children didn't know that we were poor, but my parents struggled, providing for us was difficult.  Later I understood we were "poor", and how Mom and Dad suffered from it.  There were a few in the community who were "better off" and they gave my father work tending their homes and gardens.  My mother did the laundry and ironing for others in the town to help with some additional income.  There were compassionate people who chose to help my parents' plight.  It's reprehensible what's going on these days.  Corporate executives getting multi-million dollar incomes, yet unwilling to keep workers employed, paying a fair income to the men and women doing the work.  Even those executives who can't keep the profits up get terminated, then handed millions of dollars in severance pay, their so-called "golden parachute".  It's a sad commentary on American society.====JACK:  I'm thankful for pastors who remind their congregation to "remember the poor."  Without seeming to be judgmental, I hope that the "religious right" ministers do that, as well.  The Great Depression was hard on my family, too.  In retrospect, I'm glad for the remembered experience.  It reminds me of the quote by Edward Noyes Wescott:  "They say a reasonable number of fleas is good for a dog--keeps him from broodin' over being a dog."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  However, the Bible tells us there will always be the poor.  Wouldn't be wonderful if they all had jobs and a place to live?  Something to work towards!! ====JACK:  That quote is often used for not facing up to the needs of the poor.  (ie:  The problem is too big.  It will never be solved.)  I think the correct interpretation is that there will always be situations where we need to help out people in need.  There are "poor" people who have jobs and have places to live.  There are different kinds of poverty.  I continue to keep my envelope of dollar bills in the car for when opportunities arise to hand them out.  Thanks for the suggestion.====JUDY:  I understand the passage but it is a reminder of the fact we will always have someone to help.  Glad you keep money in hand,  my grandkids take turns passing it out and that way we always have it available.  It definitely is more of a blessing to give isn't it?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We can just do our little bit to alleviate poverty and help those in need in the corner where we live; If everyone did that, what a bright world this would be! +As JayZ expressed it: "The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't have what you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden."  From one who knows firsthand...====JACK:  It's been my experience that the really poor don't often walk through the church least to worship. Maybe they don't feel that they can afford it, or that they don't have good enough clothes to wear.  BTW, my son often chides me when we collect food for the poor..."Dad, did you buy the store brand food?"  I justify it that you can buy more when you don't buy the name products...but he's got a point.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Kennedy said some amazing things; I wish I was old enough to appreciate some of them at the time.====JACK:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  Can you imagine that being said today?  The Kennedy presidency was a challenging time.====BB:  Society today is so focused on the self.  Kennedy’s quote is marvelous and remains timely.

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