Minister Speaks: Trick-or-Treat?
It’s nearly that time again… Trick-or-Treat! But those words have been on my mind for quite some time. Actually, every time I hear a political ad or hear a politician speak, I wonder to myself, “Trick…or…Treat?” Who can you believe? What can you believe?
“Spooks, Spirits and Shadowy Shapes” seem to come out of the darkness and appear in broad daylight! Vampires prey upon unsuspecting victims of a different political “color.” Grinning Jack-O-Lanterns line our streets, fill our televisions, newspapers, and computers. And those tangled webs… they seem to be everywhere! Walter Scott wrote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.” And of course, we must not forget those wolves who come dressed in sheep’s clothing. Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” It is looking pretty creepy out there, isn’t it!
We are encouraged to “get out there and vote!” But we need to know who is “behind the mask” of the ballot.
The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate upon these things.” These words are just as much for us this very day as they were when Paul wrote them to the people in Philippi, approximately 60 years after the death of Jesus, from where he was imprisoned in Rome. Paul was awaiting trail for his life and yet, he gave these beautiful words of advice.
Proverbs 6: 16-19 says, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren.” These words are words that can help us find our way through the maze of madness. We cannot change another person, but we can live by these words and change ourselves.
Paul writes in verse 9, of the same passage in Philippians, “These things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of Peace will be with you.”
I Corinthians 14:33 tells us that God is not a God of confusion but of Peace. In these very confusing times — times of question and chaos — we can find peace when we follow the words of scripture.
Think upon “these things” as Paul has directed. Ask God for direction. He will guide you through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. (Yes, the Holy Ghost.) Now, that’s a Halloween term that fills me with assurance and joy! Jesus said, “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” John 16: 13a. Amen.
Cheryl Mishler4 Posts
Cheryl Mishler serves as the Area Minister for Churches of the Brethren in Abilene, Topeka, and Washington, Lincoln and Carleton, Nebraska. She has served as minister for the Washington Church of the Brethren, Buckeye Church of the Brethren in Abilene and as associate pastor for the Rochester Community Church of the Brethren in Topeka. She was called to serve my home church in Sabetha, at Second and Main Streets, in 2011.