Friday, April 18, 2008

Another clay pot kind of day

Today is another clay pot kind of day, the skies are grey, and even though the ice is finally leaving the lake, it's hard to remember that it is Spring. the kids are sick, someone stole my purse, and it's the last weekend at this call...

So it's helpful to read today's lesson: Acts 7:1-16 reminding us about Abraham, and Sara, Joseph and all those slaves in Egypt.

The reminder is: God was there, and God is here too.

I don't know what the official governmental take on this year is, but according to my family and friends and personal experience, we're in a recession. People are loosing jobs left and right, the housing market makes it impossible to move down to a smaller place, and gas prices keep shooting through the roof. UGG!
Abraham and Sarah trusted God through some pretty impossible promises: You will be the parents of a great nation, even though you have not yet had any kids in 90 years. You will Bless all Nations, but your descendants will be slaves of a great nation for generations. Even your attempts at circumventing my promises will bring a great nation into being.

What does God promise us? I will send you my Spirit, and I will be with you always.

Even when your position is eliminated 6 months before retirement.
Even when the bank forecloses on the house you've tried so hard to keep.
Even when all the medicine and diets in the doctor's book can only keep your child's seizures in the single digit range per day, not the 30's.
Even when you loose everything, or what feels like everything.

God is there. God's Spirit is with you, God's promise is everything, and no one, and nothing can separate you from that promise!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Food, food, and more food...

Wisdom has built her house,she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,she has also set her table. (Proverbs 9:1)

Following the story of Jesus sharing a meal with his friends at Emmaus, Monday's lesson recalled Abraham's meal with the Lord, and now Wisdom is setting the table.

We build families around the family table.

We build relationships over dinner.

We invite new friendships to blossom in the context of a picnic.

We bring food when a baby is born.

We celebrate a wedding with fancy food.

We support the mourning with casseroles.

Christ comes to us in the breaking of bread. Not only at the communion table, but in the simple acts of sharing sustenance with others.

When we entertain strangers, new friends, or family, the Lord is present.

Wisdom has set her table and invited us, simple foolish people, to learn wisdom. To drink from the fountain of life, and share in the feast of heaven.

No wonder we say "thanks" before a meal.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

it's finally here

spring has sprung and the kids are playing in puddles with no coats on

a long time ago, i memorised this poem by e.e. cummings,
it still rings in my ears, especially when it's spring...

in just-
in Just-spring
when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

baloonMan whistles

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jonah was a prophet, Ooo, Ooo! But he never really got it!

If you don't watch VeggieTales movies like I do, that title won't make much sense.

Synopsis: If you were Jonah
  1. Run away from God's call to save your enemies.
  2. Cause a huge storm, and get thrown off a boat.
  3. Get swallowed by a big fish.
  4. Pray like mad, since you are sure you are dead, but really don't want to be.
  5. Get spit out by the big fish, and finally go where God sends you.
  6. Give God's message of salvation to your enemies, and have it accepted.
  7. Wait for God's destruction of your enemies.
  8. Get taught one more lesson by God about accepting other people into God's Kingdom.

If we don't get caught up in the big fish/whale argument, one big lesson to learn from Jonah is that God can, and will, save whomever God pleases. Our judgement of whether a person or a people are worthy of God's mercy has no impact on God's work, and indeed, God will save someone in spite of our protestations.

Jesus uses this illustration in today's Gospel: Matt. 12:38-42. God gave plenty of signs in the early days, Jesus' presence should be enough to prove his heritage. But people, like Jonah, don't really want to see thier enemies saved. We'd rather see our enemies take it in the jaw than give them the chance of a lifetime in Heaven.

Who are your enemies? Who would you rather see on the goat side of the fence, than in with the sheep? Don't risk the belly of the whale for a day's pleasure in retribution. Go with God and show mercy.