Comment from Ken: I never know what we will discuss on our walk – our conversation goes where it will. Always remember I am open to suggestions if you wish to make a comment. Love all of you. Ken
Scripture: Mark 2: 15-17
15Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16Andwhen the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Proverbs 1: 1 – 5
1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; 4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion— 5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
God gives us days that are just beautiful for the season, and this is one of them. The sun is shining this Thursday after July fourth, and the temperature at eleven o’clock is 78. I am so happy you have joined me for our walk. Some weeks are so busy even in retirement that I do not always greet you on a Tuesday, but I try to be sure we have a new walk each week.
Our July 4th was very quiet her in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, our first one living here. We had several visitors over the weekend and Monday – our sisters and brother-in-laws for an overnight and a delightful baptism on Monday of a little boy named Oliver Jack. One of the most memorable moments of that baptism was after the baptism when Oliver and his dad fell asleep together on the sofa. I wish I had their picture to show you.
So Tuesday was very quiet. Just Dale and I and Molly. Fourth of July’s over the years have not been so quiet. When I was a small boy, you could still purchase fireworks. How well I remember going into Boston with my dad to buy them. He would allow me to have a sparkler and some torpedoes. Torpedoes were small round pellets the size of a walnut which would make a popping sound when you threw them on the ground. I do not know of any injury that ever took place with those small noisemakers; firecrackers were a different matter. We could buy firecrackers that would make a loud noise and could do damage. We would put one in the hole of a telephone pole and light them and off and they would explode with a loud noise.
If you placed an empty coffee can over a firecracker with the fuse sticking out, and then you lighted the fuse, the coffee can would take off into to the Once to our amazement we set a coffee can under a light pole and the coffee can to our horror brought down a huge green shade that reflected the light. We did not stay around long in our neighborhood after that explosion and falling shade. It was a very good thing that fireworks became restricted and that one could no longer purchase the ones that could really do you harm. When you are young you do foolish things and it really is best that there are restrictions around the use of fireworks. Following every July 4th we always read of children or adults who had lost their fingers from a firework accident. It is much better now to have large firework displays under professional supervision, for then public, you and me, can safely witness, rather than to take a chance of harm by using them ourselves – especially our children.
Do you ever think back over the foolish things you did as a child or a young adult? I certainly know that in talking to a friend recently we agreed that we may still commit the sin of foolishness but many more were committed when we were young. A sin is defined as doing something against the will of God. Utter foolishness, putting our lives in danger is a sin. We are fortunate to have survived some of our young foolishness with the grace of God.
When I asked one of the men who helps me in a lumber and hardware store in nearby Warner what he was going to do on July 4th he told me he had planned to go kayaking but his plans had to change. He found that because of the storms in northern New Hampshire that the Merrimack River had arisen six feet and then twelve. He informed me that people did not understand how the current could be so swift after a storm.
Foolishly some young people in an aluminum canoe had been spotted on the swollen river by the police and brought to shore. The young people did not have on life jackets and there was a pack of beer in their canoe. They were risking their lives and thankfully the police prevented a boating disaster. Did you ever take such a risk of foolishness when you were young? I did, most adults did and we are grateful that our foolishness did not harm us more than it did.
Jesus, our Lord has something to say about this. He teaches us that life is precious for it is a gift from His Father. His ministry was to those who did not know that they were doing that which was wrong. Jesus to the horror of some of the righteous went to the poor and to the sinful. He even made the statement that those who were not sick do not need a physician. There are times in our lives when we really need the wisdom, the love, the forgiveness and the strength of our Savior. Do we not think that He is walking with us this very day? Every day He is that still small voice inside of us that tells us when we are being foolish and when we are being His follower with wisdom, love and care for others.
When we become Christian adults we have an obligation to teach understanding of our Christian faith to those who are younger. There was a time when most young people attended church or had a religious faith. Sports have now taken away most of our young people from Sunday school and religious teachings and activities. That means that if we are faithful to Christ we must bring His wisdom and teachings to those who are young and who are tempted to do foolish things, to even risk their very lives, as perhaps we did as young people ourselves. It is right that we speak of our foolishness and how God was good to carry us through those learning times. As grandmother or grandfather, as a mom or dad or as an aunt or uncle or a caring neighbor we should be there to tell of our own past and to seek to guide our young people in the right paths.
Yes I set off fireworks when I was a young boy and I was fortunate I did not lose a finger or even a hand. I believe it is a very good thing; that fireworks are restricted. Yes there are adults who still set them off legally or illegally but they are foolish and have forgotten the preciousness of God’s gift of a human body that can be marred and destroyed.
The summer is before us, our young people are out of school, and it is a good time to build a relationship of adult to child and child to adult and to bring the value of our faith in our own lives to them. Tell of your youth, of your mistakes and what you have learned and guide a new generation to an abundant God filled and guided life.
Dear God, help us to see the value of time spent with our young people over the summer. May summer be a time of close relationship of family members of all ages and of neighbors; all dedicated to bringing wisdom and love to the young children in out lives. Help us to teach by sharing our experiences that they may know of our failures and our triumphs, that they may learn from our mistakes and rejoice in our successes. May our faith and love of Jesus Christ shine forth in our lives and in theirs. Amen.
Benediction: And until our next walk, “ May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other”.