Storytime with Pastor Jeff, Part 2: “Soul Nudge”

We are living in an upside down world right now. We may be tempted to return hatefulness with hate. To retaliate. To alienate. To judge. To have the last word. But there’s a better way. Every time we leave our homes to go to Kroger, or Target, or Home Depot, or wherever, we do so thinking that we need something. The lady in our story thought she needed dorm stuff that day. Turns out she needed reminding. Maybe we do too. So let us be slow to judge, and quick to pay attention to the Spirit’s leading. Let us, as the book of Proverbs urges us, trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways let us submit to him, and he will make our paths straight, and send his Holy Spirit to lead the way. The human heart—created by God, inspired and guided by the Spirit in the path of love—will not lead us astray. Trust the soul nudge!
The image on the right is from works by Robert Indiana.

First Reading: Proverbs 3:5-8, 13-18

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
   and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
  fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be a healing for your flesh
   and a refreshment for your body.
13 Happy are those who find wisdom
   and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver
   and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
   and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
   in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
   and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
   those who hold her fast are called happy.

Gospel Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 11-13—The Gift of Love

1 If I speak in the tongues of humans and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable; it keeps no record of wrongs; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three, and the greatest of these is love.