Friday, August 19, 2016

Be the miracle!

"He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life? I answered, 'Lord God, you alone know that.'"
Ezekiel 37:3

This dry bones reading always reminds me of doing "The Cup of Our Lives," a Sr. Joyce Rupp prayer/study, so many years ago.  The vividness of the description of the dry bones ("How dry they were!" v. 2) always sends me back there, to the field of dry bones.  Pray-as-You-Go this morning offered some good food for thought around this reading. First, we all have gone through a dry bones time in our lives--perhaps several.  When we think about those times, can we remember the dryness we felt, perhaps hopelessness, lifelessness, so dry?  Going back there, can we remember a person or group of people who were there for us, encouraging us, getting us up and moving, one foot in front of the other each day? In the reading, God uses Ezekiel the prophet to bring the dry bones to life.  Even though God worked the miracle, God chose to accomplish the miracle through Ezekiel, a human being.  And that, Friends-celebrating-a-summer-Friday, is how God works today.  God still works the miracles through human beings...real humans, like us.  Let's pray that God will find us open and willing to be used as a miracle for someone going through a dry bones time.  God can do anything, but God chooses to use us to make the miracles happen. And that can only happen when we are open and willing.  Love, heidi

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The spirit of God within us...

"I will put my spirit within shall be my people, and I will be your God."
Ezekiel 36:27-28

We are aware that Jesus asks such difficult things from us.  We are to love our enemies, forgive those who hurt us, turn the other cheek...basically act contrary to our very human nature.  We wonder how in the world Jesus expects us to do all this and then we come across the answer in the Old Testament.  God gifts us with everything we need to do the hard stuff because God's very own spirit is within us.  It's not so much us doing the good, it is God's spirit working within us.  This isn't the cop out it may feel like initially, either.  Our part in it is huge--we must yield to the spirit of God within us.  You know the times you are called upon to help someone, or bury a hatchet with someone, or maybe you recognize  the need of another and you are able to just step up. Those are the times you reach out of yourselves and reach out to others, giving them what they need.  Those are the times you yield to the spirit of God residing in you, that gives you all you need to do the hard stuff.  Yes, hard stuff is expected of us, but, more importantly, we already have all we need to do it--the spirit of our God, living right there within us.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It is all gift...

"What can we do for a God so generous that (God) died for us, created us, and gives us being?"
St. Teresa of Avila, "The Interior Castle," as quoted in Give Us This Day

What indeed? I thought about this a bit this morning and realized that it will take much more pondering. But I also came to an idea right off the bat. What we can do for our God who gives us everything is to love each other better. People come and go in our lives and they affect us.  Some are easy to love and we just enjoy loving them. Others may be a bit harder, but those are the people who have the most to teach us. Those are the people God specifically gifts us with to help us grow. We can go with that, learn to love them better and thus, grow. Or we can throw up a wall and keep them on the other side, thereby refusing the chance to grow.  Everything is gift. Everyone is gift. How we open, unwrap and appreciate the gift is up to us.  But it IS all gift.  Love, heidi

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beauty from fire...

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!'"
Luke 12:49

My first instinct, when this reading comes around, is to wonder why Jesus chose such a destructive medium to change the world--fire.  Why so harsh, Jesus? Then, when I look to the school of creation, there is the answer.  In a forest, for example, there are some species of pine tree that only can spread seed during a forest fire.  The heat of the fire causes the pine cones to burst and sends the seeds out all over. Only the heat of a blazing fire can make this growth happen.  Also, I remember how new little shoots spring up after the ground has been cleared by fire.  The nutrient rich soil nourishes the new growth and the previously scorched earth produces new plants and foliage.  From the fire, goodness comes.  Like a phoenix rises up from ashes, new life--healthy new life--can emerge.  Isn't that just like God? And isn't that just like Jesus to be so excited about the kingdom of God to wish it could hurry already?  Are there things about ourselves we would like to see seared away?  Think about our bad habits and harsh judgements...could we roast marshmallows on a campfire burning some of those away?  Only God can make good come from bad. Only God can produce growth from something as destructive as fire.  We can just stand in awe of in, heidi