Friday, December 19, 2014

God--the best giver!

  "If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him."
Matthew 7:11
A friend and I stopped by the Christmas basket assembly last night to see if they needed any help.  We were able to do a wee bit of wrapping, but things were already nearly finished, thanks to the many, many angels and elves who have been working on this for weeks.  As I waited for scissors, I had a chance to just stand and take in the panoramic scene before me.  It seemed like miles of beautifully wrapped gifts, food, and bikes all ready for families to take them home.  I got teary.  It was such a sight.  It is a lesson in love.  I thought that, as vast as this sea of gifts seems to me, God's gifts are even more plentiful.   I imagine it being like Jesus' miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.  It was its own miracle--the gifting of the five hundred.  The image will stay in my heart forever, I hope.  And I will always compare it to God's desire to give good things to those who ask. Amen! Love, heidi

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Giving and gathering

"All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up;
you open wide your hand, they are well-filled."
Psalm 104:27-28
While the Israelites wandered in the desert, God literally fed them with manna, quail and water out of a rock.  God gave it and the people gathered and ate it--just like it is described here.  But something shifted when Jesus came along.  God still feeds the people, but the actual hands opening and nourishing are our hands.  Jesus tells us to do the work of the Father and feed the hungry.  God still feeds the hungry, but now it is through our hands.  Today is Pope Francis' birthday and last year on his birthday he invited several homeless men to mass and breakfast. Today, let's celebrate his birthday by doing something for special for those who may be suffering in our own communities.  And as we open our hands in giving, let's pray for many more happy birthdays for Pope Francis!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Just do it!

"Jesus said, 'What is your opinion? A man had two sons...'"
Matthew 21:28
Jesus poses the hypothetical of a father asking one son to go into the field and work.  The son says "No," but goes and works anyway.  The other son says he will go but does not.  Which one does the will of the father?  The ponderous question looms...which one am I? It's so much easier to talk a good game than it is to actually do it. If I am truly honest with myself I know I am more like the second son than I'd like to be. I avoid the difficult people. I shudder at reaching out.  I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, to quote the old song. It's not as easy for me to actually do God's will as it is to talk (or write) about it each day.  So knowing and recognizing this, what am I going to do about it?  This is why we have this period of reflection and reconciliation called Advent.  To prepare ourselves and become the people God created.  To become the people who actually do God's will instead of just talking about it.  We have our marching orders, let's go!  Love, heidi

Monday, December 15, 2014

God will help!

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it."
1 Thessalonians 5:24
This reading yesterday really struck me.  It reinforces the message I have been receiving lately that when God calls us to something, God gives us what we need to complete it.  When I read it yesterday, I was reminded of my first semester in graduate school in Michigan.  I was just a little Montana girl, coming to this huge school, to this renowned program and I was so afraid I couldn't cut it.  I expressed my fears to a second semester student who knew the ropes and he reassured me.  "They selected you for this program," he said, referring to the faculty.  "They'll help you through it."  What he said in secular terms hit home spiritually for me. God had called me to the field of blind rehabilitation and this particular program.  I had a higher calling then and I feel I have a calling from God now.  So, God, who calls us will definitely help us accomplish it, whatever it is!  We need to show up with willing hands and an open heart.  God will help. This is so reassuring as we continue with the tasks God has given us as well as when we embark on new ones.  God is faithful and God will help.  Love, heidi