My apologies for not being regular in these postings. I will endeavour to be more regular from now on.
Yesterday an Houston icon was buried. His funeral was at congregation Beth Israel and took several hours and was broadcast on channel 13 in Houston with no commercials. A truly interesting part of this funeral were the religious speakers, who were his Rabbi, David Lyon, Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell (Windsor Village UMC), Pastor Bill Lawson (Wheeler Ave. Baptist), Joel Osteen (Lakewood Church) and Bishop Joe Fiorenza (Archbishop Emeritus, Houston-Galveston Roman Catholic Archdiocese).
Pastor Caldwell and Pastor Lawson in particular did a fantastic job of remembering Marvin Zindler. What they did was preach a Christian sermon in a Jewish synagogue without mentioning Jesus Christ, using only Old Testament references. I need to mention in passing that Marvin Zindler was for 35 years a consumer affairs reporter, who did a lot of good for a lot of people over the years. In addition to consumer affairs, he took medical brigades all across the world and solved people’s problems with government and other agencies. His father owned a big clothing store and Marvin was known for dressing to the nines.
Rabbi Lyons began his comments with a verse from Micah, “Do justice, love goodness and walk humbly before your God.” Pastor Caldwell continued by stating that Marvin Zindler reminded him of God Almighty. Now some of us might take issue with that remark, but as Christians we should consider it carefully. Pastor Caldwell tells us that Marvin was like God in that he was concerned with helping the downtrodden, and in seeking justice. Marvin Zindler was behind the law in Texas making it illegal to run odometers back. He was also behind the law making sneeze guards mandatory over open food in buffet and salad bars in Texas. In other words, he cared about justice, and he cared about other people’s health. Marvin was always looking to help those in need and had a crew of Marvin’s Angels who contributed time to helping those in need.
Now in the Christian east, we have a term, theosis. Theosis is the process in which we become more like God. Now I ask each of you. Are you becoming more like God? That is the reason why we study his word, receive the sacraments and pray, so that we may become more like God, more like Jesus. Are we willing to sacrifice for others? Are we willing to serve others as Jesus served? Will anyone say of you, after you pass on, that you reminded them of God? A friend of mine, Bishop Barry Ferguson who has a growing ministry, told me, we just feed the hungry. Well, isn’t that what Jesus did? He fed the hungry, healed the sick, proclaimed the kingdom. Shouldn’t we be doing that as well.
Theosis should be a goal for each of us as Christians. We should seek those commandments from the old and New Testament which apply to Christians and apply them to our lives. We do need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our strength and all our mind. We need to love our neighbours as ourselves, and to love justice, love goodness and walk humbly with our God, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, visiting the downtrodden, telling people that God cares and died for them that they be free.
Now how far should that go. Interestingly, Pastor Caldwell also mentioned Marvins fastidiousness relating to his clothing. Now this is something that we do not often think about, but do we dress as God’s representatives? And here I am not talking so much about dressing provocatively, or sleazily, but do we dress in a way that indicates that we represent God Almighty, that we are children of the King? Do we behave as children of the King? Now you do not have to be rich to look good. Clean and neat count for a lot.
So let us put on Jesus Christ. Let us imitate him, as the Bible commands us. Let us be holy as he is holy, and let us learn to be Jesus to those around us.
For those interested in seeing the funeral and hearing the different pastors for themselves, please go to: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news&id=5531004
and follow the links.
Shalom b'Yeshua haMoshiach,
Mar Michael Abportus