Greetings from the Moderator JULY 2022
A Summer Smile
It is summer, can you believe it? Time for a break for all of those who worked really hard and those who did not work that hard to continue with their break (-: So, let’s do something fun this summer – let’s all...smile!! At least people can now see our faces.
Look around you and you will see them - crowds of people in malls, planes, terminals, sidewalks, busses, restaurants and - no one smiles. No one looks directly at anyone else. Mostly they stare, mesmerized in their own private thoughts. Some anesthetize themselves with earphones and cellphones that tune them into a different world. With no hint of a smile or a glimmer of joy.
In this very complicated world, it can be easy for us to lose our joy, for we are constantly surrounded by so much pain and hopelessness. Add to this our own personal experiences of dealing with the challenges of life and the next thing is that we feel trapped:
Trapped in a dead-end job that we do not like.
Trapped in relationships that seems so unfulfilling.
Trapped in a sense of loneliness.
Trapped in boredom.
Trapped in the never-ending cycle of un-nerving news.
It seems there is really nothing to smile about.
But a smile, is a sign of hope. Of hope in another person. Of trust. A smile is a sign of humanity. A sign that we are willing to communicate. That our sadness or problems no matter how deep, will not overcome us.
So- I wonder how Jesus looked?
Did he walk around with a sense of grave devoutness? With a proper reserve? With a clearly defined distance from soiled humanity? No. He felt the jostling of the crowds. He touched the unclean. He stopped and inquired, "Who touched me?" and I believe HE smiled. He was not afraid to meet people's eyes with his own. I think he smiled into their soul a smile of hope that would ignite hope within them.
Jesus, I think, is God's smile towards his world, towards his very lonely, divided and fearful world. One Man began to smile and refused to stop until he had the attention of all who dared lift their eyes to his. And then, one by one, the crowd of people began to smile, too, for his was a contagious smile, an open smile. And they began to smile with him in a new and friendly freedom.
God's smile in Jesus begets faith in us. God's smile through our faces communicates that faith, as well. And that tenuous faith, that hope-filled faith, once rooted in a human heart, produces a joy that cannot suppress an ever-widening smile of its own.
Want to help change this world for Jesus? Start with a summer smile – it will catch on and maybe someone will ask you where this joy comes from and then you can share a story of faith, safety, hope and joy in the living, loving and smiling Jesus Christ.