Sunday, October 05, 2014

MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK: SCS No. 22


Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 22

(We at Project Dream Again hope these sermonettes bring some measure of peace to your soul and maybe spark a thought you then share with someone else in your life. Stoney Creek Sermonettes are not meant to replace your participation in a faith community.) 



Scripture Lesson for Today:

Psalm 34:17-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.



Sermonette for Today:

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2014

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

MIAW coincides with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (Oct. 7) and National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 9.)

Faith communities can play a major role in helping people with psychiatric labels and their families find hope, recovery and community while dealing with one of the most stigmatizing suffering a person and family can face.  I use the word suffering because every person labeled does not have a psychiatric illness or disorder, but once they get the label they become a member of the stigmatized group.  Being welcomed into a community such as a church goes a long way in lifting the weight of that stigma off the back of a labeled person.
Our scripture lesson says “the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”  God’s people need to hear the cry of folks like me who have a psychiatric label.  They need to hear the cry of my wife and family who support me.  The truth is my suffering may be harder on my wife than on me.  For example, when I am manic and on one of my adventures I am high on life and everything is grand, but my wife sitting at home wondering where I am at is not having such a wonderful time.

God’s people should be listening for the cry of hurting people. Jesus makes His wishes known in the following passage.

Matthew 25:31-40 (ESV)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Prayer for Today:

Our Heavenly Father, May we learn to see each other as persons and equals and start to include all Your children in Your kingdom so as to honor You as You honored us by sending Your Son to live among us. It is in His name we pray this prayer. Amen.



© Ed Cooper, October 5, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
    All rights reserved



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