Saturday, August 5 - Invitation to Worship from Pastor John Hartman
“The Star Thrower”
Loren Eiseley tells the story of spending the night in small coastal town. That night there was a violent storm which shook the building where he was sleeping, but he got up early the next morning to go for a walk along the beach. What he saw was that millions of shellfish, starfish, and other sea life had been cast out of the sea during the night. And as he walked along that wet strip of sand, he stepped over all these crabs and shellfish, and starfish.
He said, “I began to see a kind of metaphor of life itself. That life is a jungle where only the strong survive -- and might makes right. And to reinforce that point, every once in a while, a circling gull would swoop down in front of me and gobble up a small hermit crab that had been thrown out of the ocean. Here was the battlefield of life, strewn with the wounded, punctuated by the cannon roar of pounding waves.”
Completing the scene on up ahead he could see professional shell collectors, bent over with their gunnysacks, collecting the finest specimens of sea life that had been thrown onto the shore. With the threat of a second storm looming, Eiseley hurried on past the collectors and then, he came upon a lonely figure. He assumed it was another collector who had struck out on his own, but he noticed there was something different about this person. He noticed that this man was stooped over, like a collector, but he didn’t have a gunnysack. And every once in a while he would stand up, and he would take a starfish and fling it back into the ocean.
Puzzled, Loren Eiseley walked up to the man and asked, “Are you a collector?” The man said, “Only like this. The stars, they throw well. You can save them.” And he threw another one, and more, and more. Eiseley walked on, but stopped in his tracks a few minutes later, turned around and jogged back to the side of the star thrower. And that morning he said, “I lost myself in the task of throwing stars.” He said, “I found my purpose among the stars. I became a simple thrower of starfish.”
Jesus Christ was a star thrower! He spent his life amongst the cast-offs of life’s sea; the homeless, the friendless, people who lived on the fringe of town, and on the fringe of society. And picking up each one of these, he would throw them back into the vast ocean of God’s love. My friends, Jesus is still in the business of coming up alongside people in pain on life’s shore. He’s still throwing stars. The only difference now is he is using us and our hands as the Church of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday, August 6, I will continue my summer sermon series, “Red Hot Topics,” with the sixth of these highly emotional and controversial topics, -- the issue of the Social Justice. Please come and join us in the sanctuary for our one and only worship service at 10:00 am, which include celebrating around the Lord’s table for Holy Communion. The 10:00 am service will also broadcast on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.
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