Friday, December 18, 2009
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
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Someone asked today what is one of gifts of this season. I was in a class of mature women doing group physical therapy and most had little positive to say about this cold, dark time period. After reading this passage, I am struck with how the authors of the Bible go to great lengths to show Jesus lineage and then this passage conveys a great mystery and reality. Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph and God inspires Joseph to parent Jesus as if Jesus was born of him.
We can take bad news, or challenging news such as an unexpected pregnancy, or cold weather or snow storms or darkness as unwanted news, or we can look for the gifts within these and adopt the gifts rather than the burdens.
Gifts of the season..briskness, the smell of fires in fireplaces, music, snowflakes, mittens, hot cocoa, sharing hearts, friends, most relatives.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you." Then he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, 'Look there!' or 'Look here!' Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation."I just looked at lectionary for the 29th and began to talk about my next preaching gig at wonderfully warm urban church. First gig after thinking about taking on Disaster Ministry for my vocation. Of course cart is before horse, as so far it is just between me and my town. And I haven't accepted yet. I suppose I need to seek guidance. Okay so all of that is the backdrop personally. Meantime, pianist has gotten her first punctuation mark, we are busy declutterizing to have our house on the market, the home inspector for the dream house called to say he is on page 36 of his report and still has more to go...... Life feels overwhelming and yet, there is H1N1 looming, global warming, 2012, financial crises for many, basically, I have heard it said recently, what other signs do we need.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, 'Give this person your place,' and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
This piece of scripture feels very close to me right now. As I finish seminary and watch my colleagues and compatriots prepare for ordination and for call, I find I am terrified that there is no place for me. I am disabled, legally and I cant jeopardize that. I need my medical benefits. I am also differently abled and living with chronic illness. With the condition of multiple sclerosis and I find each day, each changing season brings new challenges for my weak and bumbling body an soul. I have been trying to "pick" ministry which accomodates for my situation. In really reflecting on that, it seems somewhat disingenuous that I would have to work so hard to find a ministry. If I have the faith I profess all should have, then maybe I can let go of my fear and listen for God's message. I can choose the lowest seat and wait for God to show me where I am supposed to sit.
God grant me the ears to hear your words in me, the courage to know they are meant for me and not someone else and the grace and fortitude to not be distracted by fear.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
After a week with what feels like wall to wall meetings, and Synod looming on the horizon for tomorrow I find myself pondering my own need to recharge my batteries. This afternoon Tim and I are setting off to explore the countryside around our new home, I always find that walking in the fresh air away from phones and e-mails recharges me. But that is not the only thing that restores my soul, so do some people, books, pieces of music etc....
So I wonder what/ who gives you energy?
1. Is there a person who encourages and uplifts you, whose company you seek when you are feeling low? My bff Tara usually makes me smile when I am down along with my bff&h Pieter. They can usually zero in on what the issue is an offer me a lift out of it or comfort if there is not lift.
2. How about a piece of music that either invigorates or relaxes you?
3. Which book of the Bible do you most readily turn to for refreshment and encouragement? Is there a particular story that brings you hope?
I enjoy the book of John for it's mystical undertones and mischievious invitations to come and see.
4. A bracing walk or a cosy fireside?
5. Are you feeling refreshed and restored at the moment or in need of recharging, write a prayer or a prayer request to finish this weeks Friday Five....
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
I can study and read books. I can write 20-25 page papers. What prepares you to face your mortality? How do I say to my 11 year old and my 8 year old....things are going to be okay..but if not, take care of eachother. Not like now. But like if you didn't have a momma. Pieter is cooking my favorate meal tonight. I can't eat again until after surgery. I profess that I feel a call to ordained ministry..and yet, right now, I am hoping to just make it through the week. All prayers, well-wishes and casseroles welcome!