Friday, March 4, 2016

The First and Second...are One

"The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself..."
Mark 12:31
The connectedness of the First Great Commandment--"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and with all your strength" (v. 30) and the Second (above) jumped right out at me this morning. What I realize is that the love of God is necessary for us to even begin to love one another.  We cannot love others unless we tap into the deep pool of God's love in the first place.  I feel completely incapable of loving on my own.  The circle of me loving God and then God giving me all I need to love others is very visual in my mind.  I need God to help me love others, but God also needs me to put action to that love so that others experience it. It's all the same Love.  This is a lot to take in on a Friday, my Friends!  I hope to set aside time this weekend to sit with God and really pray about how I can be more open for God to love through me. I can get so in the way of that, myself.  Blessings on your mid-Lent weekend...after this, we'll be on the downhill side, inching toward Easter! Love, heidi

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The voice of love...

"If today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts."
Psalm 95:8
As often as I have heard (and even sung) this Psalm, today was the first time I really considered this: it presumes we hear with our hearts.  Actually, we hear with our ears, but respond with our hearts.  So, eventually, our hearts need to be open and pliable to respond to God's voice, not hard and closed off. Just hearing the voice of God with our ears won't cut it, because God's voice always calls us to action. God's voice calls us to mercy and forgiveness, love and compassion, justice and peace.  God's voice calls us to serve others, not just considering our own interests or well-being.  God's voice is often very hard to hear because it makes us look beyond ourselves into the bigger universe.  God's voice points out to us that it is not about us.  And that may be a difficult song for us to hear.  So, if today you hear God's voice to love the difficult ones, to forgive the bitter hurt, to reach out to the one who is suffering, harden not your heart.  It's God's voice you are hearing and it is a voice of pure Love.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The law of Love...

  "Jesus said to his disciples, 'Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets...'"
Matthew 5:17
As often as Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees to task for their misunderstanding  and misuse of the law, he understood that the laws of Moses were there to help people live together in peace.  I remember a homily likening the laws to the structures of a huge suspended bridge, that one was very grateful to see holding the bridge up!  They were necessary for people to live and work together, caring for each other and not mistreating one another.  Jesus knew that these commandments were necessary for the people and he sure didn't want to topple that underpinning structure.  But Jesus also knew the Spirit of the law and he was able to condense the commandments into two Great Commandments: loving God and loving each other..  Gracious God, you give us all the tools we need to live with each other peacefully.  And that is, simply, living the law of love.  Please help us to love better every single day!    Love, heidi

Monday, February 29, 2016

Another chance to bear fruit!

"Sir, leave it (the fig tree) for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.."
Luke 13:8-9
We had the Gospel of the non-productive fig tree on Saturday evening and, let me tell ya, it was a relief to me! The week had ended with me feeling quite inept in my job.  Not necessarily the mechanics of the job, but what I am learning is the real purpose of my job: to love others.  I had loved dismally. There, I said it.  There was the lady who called at 4:45 on Friday afternoon, needing me immediately.  I didn't love her well at all.  And the lady with less-than-perfect hygiene earlier in the week.  I couldn't even begin to love her.  It's a grace that I can recognize these failures in myself. But, an even greater grace is the fact that I will have another chance with both of them this week! Just like the fig tree, given another chance to produce by the gardener in this Gospel, God cultivated me over the weekend and now, with God's grace I can love better.  Thank you, Great Cultivator! Love, heidi