Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Impossible Dream

In Man of La Mancha, a musical about the eccentric Don Quixote, he sings of the Impossible Dream, and in words composed by Joe Darion tells us he desires ...
“To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ... “

Sometimes living the Christian life in the way Jesus invites us to in the Sermon on the Mount seems like an impossible dream. We started reviewing that sermon last week with our message "Inside Out and Upside Down."  We'll be taking a look this coming Sunday at Luke 6:27-38. Do good to those who persecute us? Love our enemies? Turn the other cheek? C'mon Jesus, You can't be serious! His message has been described as the “Most quoted, least acted upon sermon, ever preached.”

It could be that He is telling us that we never set our sights high enough. It is a fact that the lower you set the barrier, then the easier it is to reach it. God sees our complacency and encourages to do more.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians writes, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." And James was quite stern about it: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead… As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

One of the joys of belonging to a Christian community is that you can work together with others to achieve things that can not be done alone. I've known people drop out of church involvement, complaining that their needs were not being met. 

I wonder sometimes if they understand, that one of the things God is inviting us to do, is meet the needs of others. When we do that, and we see the difficult lives many people have, then we realize we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams... and somehow our needs seem less needful!

We can't always solve the big issues of the day. We can't stop all wars. We can't force people to be truthful. We can't feed every hungry person. We can't single handedly clean up the oceans.

But we can seek to live at peace with those we share our lives with. We can be careful about the words we use. We can volunteer to help and donate towards causes that are blessing others. We can recycle and be aware of environmental problems.

Great changes are usually achieved by the combined action of many much smaller actions. Embracing problems as opportunities. Seeing challenges as things to rise to. Showing kindness. Paying it forward. Being a mentor. Offering forgiveness. Seeking to understand rather than judge. These little changes are not beyond any of us. These things help impossible dreams come true.


Prayer: Dear Lord, help me not try and save the whole world, but simply do the next loving thing You are asking of me. Amen.

The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.

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