Friday, January 4, 2019

What are you looking for?

"What are you looking for?"
John 1:38

As we grow older, and, perhaps more reflective, we can sense Jesus asking us this question too. We have reached some of life's goals, we have raised families, we have done what we felt called to do. Now what are we looking for? Ponderous, isn't it? No wonder older people seem wise! Maybe we've been too busy doing all the other stuff to sit for long stretches of time in silence. Maybe we are too stir crazy to think too deeply and come up with an answer to Jesus' question. But there is no time like the present to give it a think. What are we looking for? The old hymn "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" pops into my mind when I think on this question. I always seem to desire to be closer to Jesus, though Jesus living right in my heart should be close already, right? The problem is that I tend to fall back on the idea that God is out there, somewhere, not in here, in my heart. I can sit and hear Jesus say to me, "What are you looking for? It's right inside your heart, right now. Always. Sit still and go there." I think that is the gift of contemplation...sitting and finding, both what we're looking for and where it is. Blessings on the first weekend of the new year! Love, heidi

Thursday, January 3, 2019

More important than ourselves...

"Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone for those of others."
Philippians 2:3-4

The folks at Pray-As-You-Go used this reading today and it really struck me. What if everyone heeded this from St. Paul? Oh, I'm sure there are many who do live this way, in the quiet of their own lives, but what if those in power thought more of others than themselves? Can you imagine how the world could change and heal? There must be a deep survival mechanism wired within us that causes us to look out for ourselves. But there is also a grace deep within that urges people to sacrificially serve others. Think of the heroes and heroines we hear of whenever there is a tragedy...the helpers, as Mister Rogers would say. Those are the people who react as this reading suggests, for others, putting others first, not looking out for themselves. That grace is stronger in them than the instinct to look out for their own safety or need. Today, as we still bask in the freshness of the new year, let's pray for help uncovering that grace within ourselves. God put it within us; it is there. We just need to tap into it. Love, heidi

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

"Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another..."
Colossians 3:12

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family and this reading always seems to be spot on. Each time we celebrate this feast, it seems like a good time to hold our families up to the light and see how we measure up. The danger in that is that we may feel we've failed somehow. After all, whose family could ever measure up to the Holy Family of Nazareth, right? But if we flip back and dig into the Advent reading of Jesus' lineage (Matthew 1:1-17) we find all sorts of skeletons in those closets! Jesus being born into humanity--imperfect humanity--shows how God loves humanity, imperfections and all. There is no such thing as a "perfect" family, since families are all made up of imperfect people. Even Jesus' parents lost him in a crowd and accidently left him in Jerusalem...and what parent hasn't gone through THAT nightmare? The point is, that we take St. Paul's advice here and strive for compassion, kindness, patience and love in our families, "strive" being the operative word. Understanding that our families aren't perfect, we can ask for forgiveness and offer forgiveness to those with whom we struggle. That seems to be as good a New Year's resolution as any, don't you think?  Blessings and love to you as we turn the calendar 2019! May it be a year we all rejoice in and love God, and each other. Love, heidi