Good morning all! Well, it must be Advent…because I have come down with a cold…blech. Hope you are doing alright in your part of the world. Drink oj and rest! Take care of each other!
Micah 4:6-8The Message (MSG)
6-7 “On that great day,” God says,
“I will round up all the hurt and homeless,
everyone I have bruised or banished.
I will transform the battered into a company of the elite.
I will make a strong nation out of the long lost,
A showcase exhibit of God’s rule in action,
as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity.
8 “And you stragglers around Jerusalem,
eking out a living in shantytowns:
The glory that once was will be again.
Jerusalem’s daughter will be the kingdom center.”
It is a classic story line. A rag tag group of people come together to create something no one expected. I call this the bad news bears storyline. Remember that movie? This group of kids needs to make up a baseball team and it is all the wrong kids with the wrong coach.
I guess we could look at some other examples as well…
The girls that no one wanted on their team in an all girls baseball league….remember that one? No one cries in baseball! Thanks to Tom Hanks for that amazing line. A League of Their Own.
There is this hockey team of perennial loser kids. They are the worst! Then this attorney gets pulled over for drunk driving and must serve in community service. The pull together this play like ducks do and become the flying v…..Mighty Ducks is just classic!
A group of guys in Jamaica decide to start a bobsled team….what craziness! They train even though they have NO SNOW in Jamaica. What will they do? Cool Runnings gave us a classic slow clap…..what a team!
You get the idea. We love a good underdog story when all the wrong people become the right kind of team and rally for something better. Some are even based on true stories which is even better. It calls out the hope that humankind, when the right people and the right circumstances happen, can do better and come out on top. I love these kinds of movies! They bring a tear to my eye and make me feel good about humanity again.
I also love when I see this play out in my own life. If I look closely, I can see where the underdog story occurs. I helped to start a choir four years ago. When we started there were 12 of us (how biblical!). We were the most rag tag group of women you could imagine coming out in McMinnville for McMinnville Women’s choir. We ranged in ages and abilities. We had the woman who was older than we expected. We had the two women who were hippier than we expected. We had the women really concerned about everything. We had two or three music readers and brand new musicians. And we sang our little hearts out. We sang because we believed in this thing.
Four years later and there are 45 of us in the choir this year….still pretty rag tag but varied more. Still an amazing community and this year we have enough music for our own concert for the first time.
We had a meeting at the church last Monday night for our “everyday congregation,” especially the 7 people living on site in tents right now. What a mix of people! At the beginning of the meeting it was awkward and kind of uncomfortable. One of our homeless folks brought soup for everyone. That helped the comfy level. We introduced ourselves and that helped. We had conversation about the rules we wanted to keep for each other. By the end, we were laughing and felt more like a flying v than a scattered mess. Still a work in progress…
So when I read the Micah passage, I have some images in mind about God gathering together the ragtag group of people to become a team that is ready to come out on top and do good work. Micah tells us that God cares about those on the outside. Certainly Jesus reemphasizes this over and over again in the gospel. If we are to do God’s work it is about listening and working with the underdog, the team unlikely, the ones who will sing their heart out if given the chance to be worth something.
Put on this lens and walk around today. Where will you see God work?