“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:32-34)
All or a majority of people are good citizens during this time of pandemic, following the orders of their state governors, county and city officials and the Centers for Disease Control, churches included.
Although there are sporadic pockets of protest in opinion over the safe at home orders, in general most people are decent and observing orders, including face masks being mandatory. More importantly, our church members have been good and generous, faithful and trustworthy. Of course, we are not only citizens of this country but also citizens of God’s Kingdom.
I believe most Christians are living up to our dual citizenship in both worlds—the earthly and the spiritual, the United States and the Kingdom of God, contrary to the perception by some that the church has become less viable. In time of challenge and scarcity, we are ordered “do not be afraid” for God is ready to give us the kingdom… something better, yet it is not fully disclosed. The orders from the Father have us also to “sell our possessions”, “give alms” and “make purses… that do not wear out.”
Though with a 10.2% unemployment rate and loss of many small businesses, we are keeping these orders, living a life detached from greed and possession, with generous heart in our giving and sharing.
This is good citizenship for the Kingdom of God.
In my meetings with pastors, I felt our churches have been faithful to keep up the good work God had begun years ago. Pastors and staff are getting paid. Bills and expenses are caught up. Ministries are still happening. Whether our churches remain closed or have been reopened, we strive to be good citizens of the Kingdom. This is encouraging and worthy of commendation. What a blessing to know the church is still the treasure where our heart be, regardless.
Thank you all for being good citizens, faithful and trustworthy.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.
Cov mivnyuas yaaj, txawm yog mej tsi coob los mej tsi xob ntshai, rua qhov mej leej Txiv tub rau sab muab nwg lub tebchaws rua mej lawm. Ca le muab mej tej qhov txhua chaw muag, hab muab tej ntawd faib rua cov tuabneeg pluag. Ca le xaws lub naab nyaj kws tsi txawj ndluag ntim mej tej nyaj rua sau ntuj ceebtsheej, qhov ntawd mej tej nyaj yuav tsi pluj, rua qhov tubsaab nyag tsi tau hab ntsaum kaabris tsi noj. Mej tej nyaj txag qhov txhua chaw nyob qhov twg, mej lub sab yuav nyob qhov ntawd.” (Lukas 12:32-34)
Tuabneeg taagnrho lossis feem coob ua pejxeem zoo nyob lub sijhawm muaj tug kaabmob sibkis nuav. Puab ua raws le tej Tswv Xeeb , tej thawjcoj nyob huv khaubtis hab zejzog tau xaaj hab raws le Center for Disease Control tau has, xaam nyob rua cov pawg ntseeg tuabsi. Txawj tas muaj qee qhov chaw kuj muaj tuabneeg tsi txaus sab hab sawv tawmtsaam, kuas feem coob suavdlawg yeej ua zoo hab fwm nomtswv tej lug saamfwm, hab khwb ntsej muag. Qhov tseemceeb tshaaj, peb cov tswvcuab huv pawg ntseeg los kuj coj zoo, muaj sab dawb paab nyaj txag, muab sab rau ntseeg hab tso sab tau. Tseeb tag, peb tsi yog pejxeem nyob rua lub tebchaws nuav xwb tabsi tseem yog pejxeem nyob rua Vaajtswv lub Tebchaws hab.
Kuv pum tau tas cov ntseeg feem coob yeej ua lub neej raws le peb yog pejxeem rua ob lub tebchaws—saab nqaj tawm hab saab ntsujplig, tebchaws United States hab Vaajtswv lub Tebchaws, tsi yog le kws qee leej tau xaav tseg lawm tas cov ntseeg yuav tsi tseemceeb zujzug. Nyob rua lub sijhawm kws muaj kev txhawj xeeb ntau yaam hab kev tu ncua Vaajtswv tseem saamfwm rua peb has tas “mej tsi xob ntshai” rua qhov Vaajtswv tub txaus sab muab Vaajtswv lub tebchaw rua peb lawm… yaam kws zoo tshaaj, tabsis tseem tsi tau qha rua peb paub meej. Tej kev saamfwm ntawm Vaaj Leej Txiv rua peb tseem has ntxiv tas, “ca le muab peb tej khoom qhov txhua chaw teejtug muag”, “muab pub rua cov tuabneeg pluag” hab “xaws lub naab nyaj kws tsi txawj ndluag.” Txawm yog tas muaj 10.2% tuabneeg poob haujlwm hab ntau lub laagluam miv tau kaw los peb tseem ua raws le tej lug saamfwm has sau nuav, ua lub neej tsi muab sab hlub tabsi ua lub sab dlawb sab zoo tso nyaj txag hab faib rua lwm tug.
Nuav yog ua pejxeem zoo rua ntawm Vaajtswv lub Tebchaws. Thaum kuv ntsib nrug cov xwbfwb kuv pum tau tas peb cov pawg ntseeg yeej muab sab rau ntseeg, ua tej dlejnum zoo kws Vaajtswv npaaj rua puab ntau xyoo dlhau lug. Cov xwbfwb hab cov ua dlejnum nyob pawg ntseeg tseem tau txais nyaj. Pawg ntseeg tseem them taug tej nujnqe hab tej kev siv nyaj. Tuabneeg tseem ua Vaajtswv dlejnum le qub. Txawm tas tej pawg ntseeg tseem kaw lossis tub rov qheb lawm, pum tau tas cov ntseeg yeej tseem muab sab ntseeg hab ua pejxeem zoo rua Vaajtswv lub Tebchaws. Qhov nuav txhawb zug kawg nkaus hab tsimnyog qhua. Yog koobmoov dlaabtsi kws tau paub tas cov ntseeg tseem nyob lub qhov chaw kws peb lub sab hab peb tej nyaj txag nyob nraim tsi muaj ib yaam dlaabntsi yuav tshuav tshem tau, kws yog kev ntseeg hab Vaajtswv lub tebchaws. Ua tsaug rua cov ntseeg kws ua pejxeem zoo, muab sab rau ntseeg hab tso sab tau.