Thursday, May 10, 2018

Endings and beginnings

"So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere..."
Mark 16:19-20

Today is technically the Feast of the Ascension, so the readings were geared toward that this day. Pray-As-You-Go had a wonderful little prayer this morning about endings and beginnings, which really landed on my heart. Especially this time of year, our lives are full of endings and beginnings, aren't they? Anyone working in the schools feels the cycle of beginnings and endings vividly. PAYG invited us to sit with what may be ending in our lives and what we may be called to begin as a result.  As we let go of one thing, something new emerges for us. The blessings of the past remain within us and we take them into the new beginning. So, today, our May Thursday, let's carve out some time to reflect on what may be ending in our lives and what new beginning we may be called to embrace.  Our comings and goings, our endings and beginnings are all so richly blessed by God! And God gives us the Holy Spirit to tackle them all...Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Don't wait til Sunday!

"The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything."
Acts 17:24

We little human beings build churches and try to confine God to them. "You stay there, and we will come to you! We'll get all dressed up and spend an hour with you and that should take care of that, right?" And God sighs deeply and shrugs. God doesn't want our fancy churches and one hour a week. God wants to be part of everything we do in between our weekly God Hours. We want to meet God on our terms, when we're ready and spiffed up for church, but that isn't what God wants at all. It isn't until we invite God to the messier parts of our lives that we can really get to experience God in the type of relationship God wants to share with us. God wants to clean the garage with us (probably to ask, "Why do you need all this stuff?") God wants to sit in the teacher lunchroom with us or around our dinner table each evening. God wants to be in on our book club conversations and with us in 5:00 traffic on a Tuesday. God wants to enter into our lives in the most mundane, insane, and arcane events we participate in.  God wants the Real Us, not the scrubbed-up us. Today, as we go about our May Wednesday, let's be aware and invite God into whatever we are doing this day. Let's invite God into our conversations and silences, our meals and recreation. If we wait until Sunday to catch up with God, we are the ones missing out. Love, heidi

Monday, May 7, 2018

"A lack of forgiveness is like..."

"A lack of forgiveness is like leprosy of the insides, and left untreated, it can take out tissue, equilibrium, soul, sense of self. I have sometimes considered writing a book called, 'All The People I Still Hate: A Christian Perspective...'"
Anne Lamott, "Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace"

Thanks to daughter, Sam, I have encountered Anne Lamott, a Christian writer of great wit and wisdom. The thing is I could never read her books in a quiet public place because I laugh out loud too frequently. The second sentence above had me howling. For some crazy reason, we think we abandon our own humanness when we take up our walk with Jesus. We think that suddenly, we will be in lockstep with God and be perfect little Christians, living, loving and doing it all just right. It's disappointing when we realize we are still so human, isn't it? People still bug us, we are still impatient and critical. We judge harshly and quickly, even though we should know better. If we look at how Jesus treated all those he encountered in the Gospels, we find that the only people he gets even a bit ornery with are the self-righteous people who think they are better behaved than everyone else. The people who know and acknowledge their weaknesses are comforted by Jesus. Ms. Lamott points out that forgiveness is one of the hardest things we ever do. It's hard and yet, so necessary. Our forgiving others heals us and frees us, whether the relationship with the other is restored or not. Let's think about that on a beautiful May Monday.  Love, heidi