A blessing for this day…
let all stand still
Sun and moon
Let the ground
gape in stunned
Let it weep
as it receives
what it thinks
it will not
Let it groan
as it gathers
who was thought
—Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
Read slowly and with great care the account of Jesus’ crucifixion as found in John’s Gospel – John 18:1 — 19:42
For a couple of years I got to preach on a regular basis in a couple of United Methodist Churches, alongside of some really amazing college students. I haven’t been doing that now for a whole year, which is crazy to think about.
Lately I have been looking back over some of these sermons.
And one of the things I’ve been thinking about doing is to begin to share some of those here, every so often. It’ll give me a chance, one at a time, to review and edit some of the work I’ve done over the last couple years – to keep letting it do it’s work on me. And it’ll allow me to share this work in a broader way.
I also have some sermons from the season before that – I may get to sharing them… but it was a difficult and heavy season and I’m working my way up to revisiting them.
Anyway, I think this will be a fun place to start.
Grace + Peace,
I’ve been back from the two-week pilgrimage to Israel for nearly a week now. And there are many signs that things are getting back to normal.
For instance – today for the first time since I’ve been back, I didn’t get up before my alarm. When it went off today it scared the CRAP out of me!! I’d forgotten what it sounded like. I was beginning to wonder if I was magically going to be a morning person now… but I think false “alarm”…. I was just adjusting to the 8 hour time change still. I have mixed emotions about this.
Another thing I’m noticing about my “normal” – I’m not nearly so physically active as I was for those two weeks. I sit a lot here. I drive some. But mostly I sit. For two weeks I was walking, hiking, climbing ALL over. And I’m indoors a lot, too. A lot. My emotions aren’t mixed about this… I don’t like it.
Also, I am reading, writing, reflecting less on my days… the pace is beginning to go faster, again. During the two weeks there were times when we didn’t have anything to do or places to be and so I thought and prayed and listened. Something happens in my “normal” that wants to rush to fill anytime that may be “in between time” or “down time” durning the day.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I do love being back. I love my life and my family and my work. It is SO good and SO full of meaning and beauty and the best kinds of challenge.
In some ways “normal” IS really great. There’s a lot about my day-to-day and especially the people that God has given me in this season of life and work that it is plain to see how this is all a gift and it only takes a moment of holding this in my mind for me to have a sense of gratitude begin to well up in me.
And yet, what I know about myself is how I let the other parts of “normal”… the settling back in, the almost playing victim to, “that’s just how it is.” “that’s just my schedule,” etc… I let that take over and dominate my way of moving through life.
What I have been thinking is that the pilgrimage wants to continue to play out in me, reminding me that I have been given a great deal of power to keep shaping the journey and following the Spirit’s work… letting my days, here and now, do something other than just go with the flow, settle back in to those parts of normal that tend toward not paying attention, not noticing God’s ongoing movement in and around me.
So here’s to “normal”, in all the best ways! It’s great, it’s what we’ve got, it’s going to be what most days are.
But here’s to staying awake to each day, each opportunity, each moment – knowing how to make the most of the time – to walk around, to get outside, to listen, to let some time be slow time, to notice God in the “normal”.
Guest post today! Dr. Jason Borders is our guide on this pilgrimage. Please check out what he wrote for our Auburn Wesley Discipleship Blog. It really does a good job at cutting to the quick of a lot of what we are learning and wrestling with in these days…