Friday, November 3, 2017

The law of love is bigger...

"But they kept silent; so Jesus took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them, 'Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?'"
Luke 14:1-6

Pray-As-You-Go asks whose words or actions strike us especially as we read this Gospel? I think it's Jesus' actions, even more than his words. He went against his own religious cultural rules to be compassionate to someone he didn't even know. The laws of the sabbath were in place to give people rest from their daily toil to eke out their living. But, according to Jesus, compassion can overtake the sabbath rule and human beings, even those we may not know, are more important than rules. Jesus' law is the law of love and it must be our law, too, as followers of Jesus. In my own little Silent Sunday Sabbath world, if someone needs me on that day, compassion and love must take over and I must put myself and my day aside. As lovely as that silent time is for me, other people are more sacred and important. The law of love supersedes everything. What does that look like in our own lives? Let's think about it this weekend...Love, heidi

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All Souls, All Saints, Halloween candy...

"Brothers and sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
Romans 5:5

Some days, we may not feel it, though; the reading should go on to say. Some days we just may feel disappointed, in ourselves and others. Our hearts may not feel the Holy Spirit present there and we may find it difficult to love others or ourselves. That's exactly where faith comes in. "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). We may not feel it, but it's there. God's infinite mercy and unconditional love for us are there. We can hang our hat on that. Today is All Souls Day and thinking about our loved ones can feel sad. Yesterday's All Saints Day can make us feel we are coming up short. We may well be, but the Good News is that God loves us even so. And God rejoices in our loved ones, perhaps gone from us, but present with God. And all will be well with all. And, if that doesn't make us happy, Halloween candy is 50% off! Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What upholds our faith?

"When all around me seems to be falling apart, what upholds my faith and what gives me hope?"
Pray-As-You-Go, 10/31/2017

Yesterday, being a typical Monday, was frustrating. It seems like there are always new reporting requirements coming down from Boise and they seem nit-picking and overly time consuming.  As the frustration piled up with those, I drove off to see a new client who recently and completely lost her vision. Despite our fumbling over the language barrier I could tell we were making exciting progress and, as I drove away, something became clear to me. God has placed me right where I belong, doing what I am to be doing. Sensing that upholds my faith and gives me hope, clearly. It doesn't make all the frustrations go away and the reporting stuff was still there at the office when I returned, but the sense of purposefulness in my life and work made it all more tolerable. Things do seem to be difficult all around me. But I cannot place my trust in institutions or government. My faith has to be in God, who has guided me exactly where I can serve God's people, using the gifts God has given me. In between answering the door for Trick-or-Treaters tonight, can we sit with this question and see where God leads us in our answers? It sure is a great question! Love, heidi

Monday, October 30, 2017

Rejoice! For the right reasons...

"When (Jesus) said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him."
Luke 13:17

Pray-As-You-Go invites us to pray with this Gospel and consider who we identify with in the story. Are we the bent-over woman, cured by Jesus on the sabbath? Are we the leader of the synagogue, who calls Jesus out for curing on the sabbath (again!) Are we the stunned crowd, who witness a woman, disabled for years, rise up straight and glorify God? Oh, I found myself immediately. I am in the crowd, rejoicing, but for all the wrong reasons. I'm rejoicing, not because the woman is set free by Jesus. I'm rejoicing because the adversaries of Jesus are humiliated. Sad to say, Friends, I like it when the "bad guys" get their comeuppance. But that is the wrong reason to rejoice, certainly. It's highly dualistic for one thing. It separates Us from Them and divides, rather than unifies. Instead of rejoicing with the woman, who had so much reason to rejoice in her healing, I'm pointing a wagging finger at the adversaries. How do I know the guy didn't come around and say, "Nice healing, Jesus. Next time you could just do it on a Tuesday?" I know nothing of him and shouldn't judge him even though he is painted as the unenlightened in the story. The unenlightened are not my adversaries. The enlightened are not my "team." I need to rejoice in healing and unity and live my life accordingly. Love, heidi