Dear Church,

What a beautiful weekend we had. Thank you all for hosting such a
delightful and lovely baby shower for my family in preparation for our baby girl and for an awesome Welcome Back Sunday. 

You make my work not feel like work. You make my work feel like non-stop fun.

$5 to pelt Lydia, Frank or Jeri

And I feel honored to work with such fun-natured staff. 

I was thinking about how special my baby girl must feel, my girl who hasn’t yet been born, who hasn’t even seen the light of day. And yet you showered her with blessings, gifts and love. She hasn’t made any contributions to the world but she is already, so valued. 

This upcoming Sunday’s gospel lectionary passage animates this idea.
Jesus is once again rebuked by the Pharisees for eating with the outcasts of society and Jesus responds to them by teaching them that God cares about every single person, not just the most important and valuable
members of society. He provides this illuminating example: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after that one until he finds it?” A
similar idea is expressed in the Psalms, where the psalmist says that
God knows our every thought and formed us in our mother’s womb
(Psalm 139). 

A dominant ethical theory in western philosophy, which made its way into our political system is a theory called “The Utilitarian Theory,” which can roughly be described as the greatest good for the greatest number. This utilitarian calculus is what’s often used when political leaders decide whether to go into war or commit egregious murders. Well, they reason, if we only kill a thousand people instead of one million, it’s worth it. 

God, however, offers a different ethical way of thinking: a way of thinking where every single person, even the least of these, are considered.

Let us consider this idea together on Sunday morning. 

See you soon,

Rev. Lydia