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Spirit-Centered Moment: by Rev. Callie Torres

A Reflection on Luke 16:19-31

by Rev. Callie Torres of Saron Lutheran Church, Escalon, CA

My daughter was born five months ago and it has been so much fun to watch her experience the world. As the wind blows, she marvels at the sounds of the rustling and the way that the light dances through the leaves, her eyes dart around the room as she tries to find the origin of every sound that she hears, and she carefully ponders the taste of applesauce and appreciates the way it smears across her high chair. For her, every moment is a chance to learn, to experience new things, and to pay attention. I too find myself trying to look at the world with fresh eyes and take more time to notice the small things, the things that before had simply passed me by.

While her life at the moment is full of bright colors, warm snuggles, and lots of smiles, as she gets older she will begin noticing things that aren’t quite as joyful. There is a part of me that wishes I could shelter her in a positive bubble where she never had to learn the realities of poverty, inequality, illness, and hunger. But these things are important to notice too, they are close to God’s heart. And when we notice them we can then respond with compassion and with justice.

In this week’s gospel text we read of a rich man who wore fine linens and feasted sumptuously while Lazarus, who lay at his gate, wasted away with hunger. It seems as if the rich man didn’t even take the time to notice that Lazarus was there. Perhaps if he has noticed Lazarus’ suffering and had paid more attention to the words of the law and the prophets he would have been moved to act differently, sharing much more than the scraps that fell from his table.

As you move through this week, in the busyness of your day-to-day life I encourage you to take some time and simply notice. Maybe in the noticing, God will be there, inviting you to marvel, to experience joy, and to share love.

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