Respect seems to be an endangered species in our world today. It’s easy to point out a myriad of examples of lack of respect. They’re everywhere – at home, in schools, on the job, toward elected officials, in the church, and on the road, especially where rage sets the tone far too often.
Let us together see if we can impact the world around us to restore respect. Consider the following ingredients as steps toward restoration.
When our focus centers on privilege, without adding the ground work of responsibility, the balance is thrown off and becomes self-centered. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as much as you can learn about the joy of accepting responsibility as a means toward being personally fulfilled and as an avenue of service. Follow the example of Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve. What you learn, teach others.
Ask the Lord to deliver you from two extremes: thinking you already know all you need to know and not caring enough to learn more than you know. Look upon life as a learning experience and see the world as a great big school of life. Present yourself daily to the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. Don’t hesitate to gather with fellow students to share insights.
God loves us so much, He created authorities and placed them over us for the good of our society and for the sake of order. Anyone can criticize our leaders. It is our calling as children of God to pray for them that they lead well and earn the respect of those they serve. Show a humble readiness to be under their authority. Practice this in whatever stage of life you are now and for the rest of your life.
We make time for what we want. If respect has a chance of making a comeback, our attention must be riveted on the things which are important to God. Choosing instead the things that satisfy our creature comforts is a poor second best and turns us inward. Anyone who is wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.
The Bible is summed up in two parts: Love God with all you might and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Isn’t it amazing that when we dedicate our energy to serving our own needs and pleasures we are exhausted? When our energy goes into serving others, we experience a surge of renewed power and purpose.
Disrespect is spawned by insecurity. When we perceive others as having something we do not have, it stirs up jealousy and anger and our world is shaken. Confidence means “with faith.” Live life with the confident faith that you are missing absolutely nothing. God’s provision is your security. Now others are not a threat to you. You can respect them.
When you take the time to get to know people, relationships develop. The time spent interacting and communicating erases misunderstanding and diminishes the distance between us. Acquaintance buds into friendship, which flourishes into love. In time, there is no room for disrespect. This is the goal.
It would be easy to say, “Parents, teach your children respect.” It is not just children who need to recapture this priceless commodity. Learn well, that we might, by God’s grace, lead respectful lives.
RELATED TO “RESPECT”
Those of us who have to use both hands to count the decades we have lived life remember forms of respect differently than how we see things today. Those days are long gone. One of the things we cannot afford is for us “older folks” to be overly critical of what we see in younger generations – especially when we are talking about it while sitting in church shaking our heads over what we see and hear in church.
Wouldn’t it be better if we focused more on the good things we see our children and youth doing around the church? Let’s be encouragers to our young people. Thank them for participating in Youth Sunday as readers, acolytes, ushers and singers. When is the last time you expressed gratitude to our Sunday School children when they sing for us to praise God? Let’s commend our confirmation students for the meaningful Statements of Faith they are sharing with us. By all means enjoy the Lenten Soup Suppers they serve us. Look for other ways to complement them. Let them know that we are so glad they are learning to be active in the life of our church. They are our future. If we have an outburst of crying now and then, remember back to when we were raising our kids. Church might be a lot quieter with no children learning how to sit still, but then again, it might be too quiet ten years from now.
Pastor Bill Zeige has been in the ministry for 45 years since being called out of the St. Louis
Seminary to serve at Our Redeemer in Cohasset and Trinity Lutheran in Hill City in 1973. He
and his wife Sue grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they met in college.
After moving to Grand Rapids they raised five children: Lynne, Lisa, Laurie, Sarah, and Mark
and cared for a foster daughter for several years. Sue has been involved as a director of
Independent School District 318 for several terms and is seeking re-election currently. She also
served on the Grand Rapids City Council for seven years – five of those years as mayor.
Pastor Bill served Trinity for 13 ½ years before becoming full time pastor at Redeemer where he
served for 38 years before retiring in 2011. Since retiring he has served interim ministries at
Detroit Lakes, MN., Nevis, MN., Our Redeemer in Cohasset, and at First Lutheran since
February, 2018. He also served the Minnesota North District as the Iron Range Circuit
Counselor for 16 years. He also currently serves as City Councilor for the City of Grand
Pastor Bill, although being not so successful at being retired, is grateful to be able to use the gifts
God has given him to be a spiritual leader for the members of First Lutheran congregation and
the people we can reach out to to be part of the family of God.
4/14/19 Abridged Worship Service
Selected Start Times:
0:00 Sunday School Kids
7:45 Scripture Readings
15:20 Sermon by Pastor Wm Zeige
Lent VI- 4/10/19
1:00 Theme Scripture readings
3:15 Christ's Passion account-pt 6
11:40 Sermon (Pastor Wm Zeige)
4/7/19 Scripture readings and sermon
0:00 to 5:40 Scripture Readings
5:40 to end- Sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
3/31/19 sermon; Pastor Bill Zeige
Lent IV, 3/27/19
Time index of readings and sermon:
2:40- Comprehensive Readings of Christ's Passion- Pt 4
9:50- Sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
3/24/19 sermon; Pr. Bill
3/17/19 sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
Lenten II, 3/13/19. Beginning of service through sermon (Pastor Wm Zeige)
Time locations of readings and sermon starts:
06:00- Theme scripture readings
12:20- Combined readings of Christ's Passion, Pt 2
3/10/19 sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
Ash Wednesday, 3/6/19. Beginning of service through sermon;
Pastor Bill Zeige
06:10- Theme Scripture readings
11:43-Combined readings of Christ's Passion, Pt1