The movie scene has been carefully set-up: it is Christmas morning. The "Little Women" (did anyone not see the 2019 movie re-release?) are already up and dressed, the presents have been opened, and a simple breakfast has been set on the table – but mom is missing! Finally, mom returns and tells them about an impoverished family she had been helping that morning. As they make their way to the table, she pauses and asks: "My girls, would you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?" A skilled cinematographer then brilliantly captures the actress's exceptional expressions, and you believe they are giving careful consideration to the request.
I know, it's only a script, but the portrayal of careful consideration struck me as a timely one. In a world that seems prone to hastily spoken words and careless actions, it is refreshing. Personally, I can recall times when I have quickly agreed to do something before considering whether I had the time or interest in doing so. At other times, I have proceeded to act before carefully considering if it is something that God would have me do.
There's much to consider carefully in today's readings. In Exodus 23-24 there are laws of justice, mercy and Sabbath along with festivals and covenants. These instructions are so detailed and specific that they require a careful response. We note the Israelites' reply (24:3,7) and hope they have given it due consideration for they are responding to a covenant sealed by sacrifice. Mark 3 records a parable which also requires much thought, so much that Jesus explains it. But even with his interpretation, the disciples don't quite get what he is saying through his parables. Thus, a few verses later (24), Jesus issues the challenge to consider carefully what they hear. He is pointing out that the more the disciples pay attention to what they hear from him, the more they will understand. This remains true of us today. Carefully considering God's word and listening attentively to his voice leads us to a greater knowledge of God and what he would have us do.
Are you wondering what the "Little Women" did with their breakfast? After careful consideration, they packed up their Christmas breakfast and happily delivered it to the struggling family. I'm sure this brought much joy to a mother's heart. Our thoughtful responses, in the same way, bring much joy to our Father's heart.
What might God be asking you to consider carefully today?
Faithful wife to one and generous friend to many