August 18th Meditation
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you...(Matthew 7:12)
"Wayne, you have a lot to learn about respect."
Due to the passing of time I no longer remember exactly what I did to earn this rebuke from my favorite teacher in high school. It was my senior year, back when I knew everything, and I suspect some friends and I were messing around and crossed a line. We didn't get sent to the office. There were no detentions handed out. Just a simple rebuke and the obvious disappointment from a man I looked up to, which was far worse. His words have stuck with me.
To me, respect means showing appropriate regard for others. It begins with recognizing our common humanity and acknowledging that every person is a child of God, made in God's image. Because of that, each person deserves at a minimum to be treated kindly, fairly, and with dignity.
As I said, I do not remember exactly what I did to earn my rebuke, but I know I did not treat this favorite teacher in the way he deserved, or how I myself would want to be treated. It was an important lesson, perhaps even the most important lesson I learned in high school. And while I have on too many occasions fallen short, treating others with appropriate respect has long been and still is an important value in my life.
Last Wednesday evening, one of our local schools held a public meeting to discuss how to begin the school year. Parents and students alike spoke of the need to bring students back to the classroom in spite of the recommendation from the Board of Health that schools begin the year online. I feel great compassion for local school boards as I believe this is a very difficult decision.
According to the write-up of the meeting in the Sandusky Register, when the school's Superintendent stood and made the case in favor of starting online, the crowd of parents and students were booing at him.
Reading this saddened me. I am sure this Superintendent can take it. Being in the public eye means accepting plenty of criticism and it does thicken one's skin, I know. Rather, I feel sad for our society where respect is no longer afforded to those we disagree with. We show little regard for those on the other side and we do not treat "them" kindly, fairly, and with dignity.
Years ago there was a fad where people wore rubber bracelets with the letters, WWJD, "What Would Jesus Do?" The Golden Rule would be a good place to start, but in the words of my favorite teacher, "We have a lot to learn about respect."
Worship This Week
Thursday, August 20, 6:30pm. We are now gathering outside in front of the church facing Chapel Street.
Sunday, August 23, 9am in the Peace Garden and on Facebook Live
This Week: A Letter TO the Apostle Paul
If you choose to join us in person, please wear a mask and practice social distancing
Keep In Prayer:
Lorrie Watkins, Lyle Rhoad (brother-in-law to Betty Rhoad)
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne