Do you like fireworks? I do. They light up the sky with bright colors and are just plain fun. As I stood in my yard on a warm 4th of July evening with friends watching the colors explode before me- I couldn't help but think about how something so good can be such a source of hardship for others. Veterans who wince at the loud booms and all the pets that get so nervous and upset- just a name a few do not see fireworks with the same joy that I do.
It seems that walking in faith is like that too. The things we love about being part of church family, the traditions we celebrate and the the words we use can all be sources of pain and discomfort or confusion to those outside of ourselves. Yet Jesus calls us to to be light and salt - things that help others and make life better. Yet too often we are blind to the needs and concerns of others. We can get so caught up in all that we so love that we miss the least of these in our midst. We overlook how even when things are not overtly bad, that they are still not helpful in sharing Christ love and hope to others. Sometimes this then leads us to become defensive about our faith. But this is not the example of living that Christ gives us.
May we be reminded that just as Jesus restored sight to the blind, our vision is also healed in Him. That seeing others, listening to others and being with others who do not share our faith does not weaken our faith, but opens us to follow the ways of Jesus himself as it opens us to see past ourselves and to value others and see them as God's created ones.
Living as Christ Ones calls us to always be looking out for others and not just ourselves.
May the Spirit move in and through you this day and may we all have hearts and eyes to see.