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In recognition of sane accomplishments

Jesus saw the good in people and complimented them. Jesus recognized the positive accomplishments of men and women of his time and publicly acknowledged it. Jesus had an eye for just and empathetic movements of seeking citizens who were drawn to the uplifting events demonstrated by care, compassion and long-term loyalty.

I call attention to a somewhat hidden verse in the Bible. In the New Testament book of Luke, a scene in the Upper Room, we see a bedraggled group of aspiring listeners. The message of Jesus is presented to those gathered in what is called the Upper Room. Let us set the stage — listen — the One affirmed as Our Lord speaks: “It is you who have stood by me through my trials.” Note: Even at that table, contention arose among them. And we recall, do we not, the rooster story; the crowing that was released after Peter denied Jesus. And don’t forget Judas. And we who read the Gospels know of the struggles among the early disciples. The following applications can be made:

ONE: The Upper Room event, often termed the Last Supper, points to gratitude. Holy Communion, the Lord’s Table is called the EUCHARIST. And what does that Greek word mean; how applied? It means, “Thank You.”

TWO: Think with me please, how we might take this ancient scene and apply it, see it, in our own lives. Look at the near impossible as transformed by positive communication. A story: George Washington faced struggles and near defeat in the Revolutionary War. Recruits from Connecticut were inexperienced, fearful, and lacking proper equipment. What words might inspire the wobbling knees? Washington spoke: “I have great confidence in you men of Connecticut.” Did not Jesus exercise a similar word? A group of disciples, arranged around a table of thanks, hearing the words: “….you have stood by me……..” A lot of failures may yet lie ahead, but there was One who believed in them.

THREE: What is it that gives dignity and mature motivation to living? Hearing or knowing the notes of approval, of affirmation, breaks a person out of mediocrity. Next Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m., the Austin Symphony Orchestra will be in Knowlton Auditorium of the Austin High School. Being there will be the lifting time. Beethoven will greet you with one of his grand creations. An aside: As the last movement of the Ninth Symphony ended, Beethoven, who was completely deaf and unaware even that the music had ceased, was also unaware of the tremendous burst of applause that greeted it. One of the singers took him by the arm and turned him around so that he might actually see the ovation. Ovations are like a thunder of acceptance to a pleasing investment. Even a subtle or quiet ovation. Applause. It’s to say we’re on your side.

FOUR: The thoughtful “Austin Daily Herald,” our area newspaper, has recently extended thank you’s to a variety of persons and groups. The appreciation continues to echo.

Special attention has been given to: the arts, building plans, sports and academic achievement, church events, an active Y, education, particular leaders, political areas, the larger employment entities such as Hormel, the Austin Clinic, public entertainment, Riverland Community College, and don’t forget, the graceful person (our stained glass specialist for over 60 years), Charles Van House, who was recently recognized by the Masons for the gift of membership for 60 years.

More can be named as well. I place the newspaper in a theme of the person Jesus: “It is you who have stood by me……”

For the columns printed so wisely, like those advocating for children, Maryanne Law Sunde, we are a community that polishes its Greek words: Eucharist.