Friday, December 7, 2018

Waiting, for what?

"If we believe with all our hearts that we are infused with the presence of our liberator God, why do we cry out to be set free?"
Fr. Ed Hays, "Meeting Christ at Broadway and Bethlehem"

Fr. Ed has a great point. "Has Christ come, or are we still waiting?" (same book) Indeed. What are we waiting for, really? Do we believe that the risen Christ resides within us or are we waiting for something new to happen? Advent doesn't beckon us to welcome a baby...that's too easy. I think Advent calls us to look deep inside and see that we already have what we think we seek. Jesus is already there. We just may need the quiet darkness of Advent to look inside. In reading back on old journals, I can see a pattern in my journaling. I get really fed up with the waiting of Advent around the end of Week Two. And now, perhaps, I can see why--the conundrum of seemingly waiting for what I already have. Jesus, who patiently waits with me as I impatiently wait...for what I have already. There's a little something to ponder this weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Faith in practice...

"The (Christian) whose practice is really sufficient for the Kingdom of heaven has to practice not only in Church but also in life...The Lord is still walking among his people and cannot but be astonished at how little faith he finds."
Karl Rahner, "Everyday Faith" (as quoted in Give Us This Day)

I wonder how we got so church-dependent for our salvation, when Jesus spelled out so carefully for us that all we really need to do is love each other. Jesus didn't tell us to go to church, Jesus told us to feed the poor. It's so much easier just to go to church, though, isn't it? But how and why do we think that suffices? Fr. Richard Rohr often laments that the most frequently confessed sin is missing mass. Missing mass, like Jesus said, "Never miss mass!" Instead, Jesus told us exactly what we are to do as his followers (Matthew 25:31-46). We go to mass to receive the fuel and courage to go out into the world and actually "do" Matthew 25:31-46, but going to mass, in itself, isn't all we are to do. Our first reading from Isaiah (26:1-6) tells us that God will trample the proud city with its protective high walls and ramparts...trample it with the footsteps of the needy and poor.  Yikes, that! No wonder Jesus walks among us astonished at the little faith he finds! Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Enter in...

"But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted."
Isaiah 11:4

If we believe these words of Isaiah are foretelling the coming of Jesus it's interesting to check the Gospels for how this actually played out. Seeing how Jesus judged the poor with justice and decided aright for the land's afflicted, we have all the answers we need. Jesus took special interest in the poor and afflicted. Those were the people he looked for--people on the fringe, people others had already written off. And then, in Matthew 25:35-40, we hear Jesus say, "For I was hungry and you gave me food..." Jesus not only sought out and ministered to the poor and afflicted, but Jesus identifies himself with them! So Jesus judges and decides aright for the poor by becoming poor and afflicted himself. Phew, that's a lot to take in! What does it tell us how we are to behave and live our lives? For me, it seems to make it harder to serve God's people from an ivory tower. We need to identify and become one with who we are to serve. It means living more simply and generously, rolling up our sleeves to help whomever, whenever we can. Providing monetary support is one way, but maybe we are to enter in more fully than just writing a check. That seems to be the lesson for me this sunny, yet frosty Boise morning! Love, heidi

Monday, December 3, 2018

Teach me, O Tree...

" me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day."
Psalm 25:5

Even though I now gaze at my tree from the warmth of a comfy rocking chair instead of from the balcony, the tree continues to teach me. There are many leaves still clinging to the branches, pale green and reluctant to fall to the earth. No wonder they're reluctant to fall, who knows what awaits them down below? I wonder if I'm like the clingy leaves, reluctant to let go and embrace the season of winter. I am more of a fair-weather fan and winter has always sort of scared me. Some of my fear may be realistic, but most is just silly. I look at the lingering, clinging leaves and they seem to say to me, "This is nuts, we should just let go and fall already!" As should I. I should let go and embrace the mystery of creation as it enters into the beauty of winter. Love, heidi