Another look at Lesotho

So the following is the outline of notes that I made for another sermon that I gave at a local Lutheran Church in my area. I had figured out beforehand what the lectionary texts for the week were so that I could try and connect them to what I had experienced in Lesotho. The scripture texts in this outline are those lectionary texts, not just random texts that I chose from the Bible. It was kind of crazy actually that the things I wanted to say about Lesotho fit so well with the text. All of the following are notes from the sermon:

Numbers 11:4-6; 10-16; 24-16 – we need to realize that in the calling that God has for all people, we will not be comfortable just as the Israelites, in their calling, were not comfortable and began to complain in their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. In many ways and times, I was not comfortable in Lesotho. Uncomfortable things I experienced included:

–  Basin baths and an outhouse for a bathroom

–  Being mocked by students who didn’t understand me in the school where I worked

– Feeling helpless to do anything for the people there because their lives seemed so different

– Living in a five room house with no electricity or running water; no central heating or air conditioning; few of the things I took for granted here at home

– Washing all of my clothes by hand

– Eating boiled cornmeal, heavily cooked green leafy vegetables, and canned meat for most meals

– Going to church for over 3 hours sometimes or just walking an hour to get to a nearby village.

Just because I say these things does not mean that you have to travel across the world to feel uncomfortable though. Daily living following the way of Jesus can involve many uncomfortable experiences no matter where you are living.

James 5:13-20 – God is calling everyone to follow His ways, so often, a community of people will develop around you as you seek to live out God’s kingdom; in Lesotho, I saw this community in:

–  Church every Sunday morning from 11 to 1ish pm

–  Prayer every evening with my host family before we went to bed

–  The hospitality that was shown to all guests no matter when or how they arrived

–  That all children are everyone’s children because there isn’t much of a government social structure to support the weakest of society.

–  Visitors coming to your home to pray and sing a few songs in the event of the death of a family member or loved one

–  The help in burying the dead at a funeral as well as people speaking about the loved one at the funeral

–  The slow pace of life contained by walking, fetching water, washing dishes, cooking from scratch, staying at home, farming with a hoe, and possessing few amenities.

Mark 9:38-50– while I may have thought that some of the Basotho beliefs were not congruent with my own faith, that incongruence does not mean that God is not working in mighty ways or has already worked in mighty ways there. How often do we in our small towns and small lives get caught up in our differences rather than our similarities? Are we all trying to follow Jesus?

Jesus says that we should gouge our eyes out and cut our hands off if they cause us to sin. God calls us to a radical lifestyle that sometimes calls for radical responses to sin, suffering, and injustice. Going to Lesotho was radical for me in more ways than I can count.

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~ by randallkoehler on December 14, 2012.

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