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  • Wayne Chasney

Who Gets the Credit?

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that Jesus did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became angry…(Matthew 21:15)


              It seems Jesus was stepping into the territory of the chief priests and the scribes, and they didn’t like it.

              How dare he do great things in God’s name?

              How dare he teach the people about God’s love for them?

              How dare he receive the praise and the glory and the hosannas? That’s their job!

              In Luke’s gospel, the disciples tell Jesus they saw someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name and they tried to stop him, “because he was not one of us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

              The benefit of growing God’s beloved community isn’t in the credit we receive for our good deeds. The benefit of growing God’s beloved community IS growing God’s beloved community. It’s building a better world, and overcoming the demons of the world, and uplifting every child of God. All of this makes others’ lives better and as a result makes our lives better, too. Who cares where the credit goes.

              This week we will celebrate the 4th of July, and we will invoke the names of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and others. They are the ones who get the credit for establishing these United States. At the same time, let’s not forget all those whose names are forgotten but who, in ways big and small, are just as responsible as Madison, Henry, and Adams.

              The little things we do to grow God’s beloved community don’t often come with accolades and awards. The reward is not in the credit we receive, but in the world we build and the world we leave for generations to come.

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