Thursday, November 3, 2011

Occupy ONW 10/23/11

Occupy ONW 10/23/11. . .

Sunday afternoon on the way to Operation Nightwatch worship, I stopped by Occupy Portland again. Talked with a pair of guys holding signs and waving to cars at the stag fountain in the middle of SW Main Street. One remarked on the ironic location right between City Hall and the Justice Center jail. “I think,” he said, “that’s why Jesus told us to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.” He said we needed to stick together to change some laws. The other young man added, “We need to stick together to change some hearts.” We all agreed we needed both.

I thought about the demonstrator’s words as I drove up SW 13th Avenue to set up for Sunday worship. The words on the demonstrator’s heart came right out of the gospel text for the evening: Matthew 22:34-46. It was an easy lesson to preach. The evening brought us folks with some extra cares weighing on their hearts. There were some extra things to pray about. And there were some extra opportunities to do what the scripture reading said: to love those around us in prayer and the excellent meal we shared, thanks to Judy and Dave.

The picture on the worship bulletin came out of the Occupy PDX camp. A boxboard sign taped to a canopy reads “TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER”. I’ve seen people doing that for years at Operation Nightwatch. It was our mission of hospitality before it ever became a movement. Occupy ONW! Yeah, we do that! Amen.