Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
We continue on our journey, women, men and children. In the faith journey our lives are shaped, impacted and daily we are reminded to find trust and hope for living. As we’ve begun this Black History Month, these word’s of the prophet Jeremiah remind us that our lives cannot be placed exclusively in men, persons who cannot provide the fullness of what we need and what God has for us.
I am reminded how we are called to impact the lives of those who suffer, those who struggle and who find their life’s journey a challenge. As I look over just this past week, I can see how we can only find true meaning and ability overcome, the hatred, racism and degradation while supporting those who are victims of the hate by remembering where the source of our strength and ability to walk together as God’s children. I witness children who were lost and in pain at least for a moment allow that to be transferred to joy. Hatred is overcome with love. Let’s find in our scriptures an insight into what we are being called to as God’s people. Jeremiah says in17:5
Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Our Black History reminds us that we have been hurt, we have suffered, and we have struggled. I reminded a group of high school students of this as they grapple with and confront racism, prejudice and the continued disregard for black lives. But let us not forget we celebrate. We celebrate that trusting in God as a people has always brought us through. We know that Trust in the creator God who loves us and created us in His divine image has not left us. Jeremiah also says.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It is this Blessedness that we hear from Jeremiah as well as from Christ in the Gospel of Luke this weekend. We are so blessed. So often we turn our focus on what others have and what we have not, or we emphasize on our need to obtain and to have, we forget that we are so blessed. I often remind the depressed and complaining, take a moment, and make a list of all your blessings. All that is right in your life. As you recall how blessed you truly are be willing to step out in faith and trust again. You see this trusting in God’s mercy and love will bear abundant fruit in your life if you’re willing to trust Him.
The brief beatitudes of Lukes Gospel one might place into to question. Being Blessed as Luke writes, would be the complete opposite of what the world calls blessed. Jesus shows that in the midst of the realities and pains of life you can find blessedness.
Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
These words of Jesus go completely opposed to worldly values. The world would say not blessed are the poor, but blessed are the rich, the world would say blessed are those who are full and satisfied beyond their hearts content, and the world does not see the weeping as blessed but rather as a burden. The world seeks to tear us down, and we seek so much approval from others that being hated we couldn’t live without worldly acceptance. Jesus shows us a new way of being Blessed. We belong to Him and that is our blessing, so Trust Him to lead and guide and then step into your rejoicing like you’ve never seen it before.
Our worship in celebrating eucharist can lead us to that place of rejoicing as we gather and bring our brokenness of our present and our past and offer it to God. It is there that like bread and wine that is transformed and become new in the body and blood of Jesus, so to our lives can be changed if we allow Him to come in and lead us to the Trust calls us to remember how truly Blessed we are!