Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

I have a practice each year beginning Holy Week. I start to play Jesus Christ Superstar on whatever device I am using, wherever I am using it. In the car it's the CD player. In the kitchen it's another CD player. Upstairs, I'll put on the movie version and simply listen to the music while going about my chores. Sometimes, like this year, the music sounds a little dated, a little old. But the message is always the same and it helps me to focus my thoughts on this week as nothing else does.

I told someone this once, about this practice. They smiled condescendingly at me and proceeded to inform my poor lost self all the reasons why using this musical as a focal point was not a good idea. I listened politely and left them to their opinions. I am a firm believer that whatever you need to do to bring God into your world, short of human sacrifice is probably okay. I know that's a sweeping statement and many would not agree with me. But c'mon, if you need to be reminded that Christ is indeed in your life and you aren't too sure about it, isn't something better than nothing? I don't sit and read the bible every day, but I have daily devotions sent to my e-mail so that whenever I turn on the computer, those thoughts can reach me. I may not get down on my knees each morning or evening, but the simple prayer that Jesus Loves Me, this I know, follows my heart and mind whenever I happen to think of it. Am I the most pious or religious of followers? Nope. But my belief is sincere and I'm doing the best I can each day to remember to thank God for his many blessings and ask God to be with me.

And I do this without the singing. Which is probably a very good thing. So what do you do?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Now and Then

I was struck by something this morning during the readings of Palm Sunday and the Passion. I was moved, as I almost always am, by the events surrounding this depiction of the last week of Jesus' life. How could this happen, I wondered once again. How could the people who knew him, loved him, watched him heal and bring back from the dead, how could THESE people just stand by and watch the events unfold and not do anything. The gentleman in front of me, during the sharing of the peace, said how moving the story was. And we discussed how this could have happened.

And then I thought, but that's just it! It happened and could still happen today. People aren't really all that different from the people of Jesus' time. We still fear those things we don't understand. We still struggle to believe in a world that both shows us the miracles and shows us the mundane. We deny the existence of the Almighty while marveling at the beautiful spring flowers adorning our neighbors lawn. We fight against believing that a Supreme Being could possibly love us so much that he would torture his only son in an effort to MAKE SURE we understood the depth of that love. We are the same people all over again. And yet, God loves us still. The mystery of that love, that eternal grace is so beyond my comprehension that even now writing about it, I'm confounded. I look for something which would cast those persons of the past in such a light as to show me that I'm better, more evolved. But I'm not. You aren't either. None of us are. Which is why the Passion is still the Passion. The passionate love of a God for the people of his heart. I can't understand it, but I'm am thankful for it. And hope one day to be able to grasp the hand of the savior who died for us and say, Amen.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now What Happens?

I have been reading a lot of devotionals lately because I decided to devote myself during Lent. HA! I liked the way that sounded, but it does have a ring of truth about it. I found recently that I felt farther away from God than I had for quite some time and knew my heavenly father hadn't moved, but I had. So I wanted to get in touch with him a little more intensely during the Lenten season. My mother, getting into the spirit of things (so to speak) sent me a small devotional booklet entitled, The Sanctuary for Lent. I started re-reading, Walking on Water by Madeline L'Engle, one of my very favorite books. I am receiving daily devotional writings from the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. And a friend of mine is sending out prayers that are inspirational and seem divinely inspired.

So, guess what? I'm not feeling any closer, more spiritual, or heavenly than I was before. Maybe it's because I have a cold. My head is clogged and my nose is running and I'm sure I'm not a very nice person to be around (I'm a terrible patient!). But I really can't blame this not feeling closer to God on anybody but myself, really. And no, I don't really think it's because I have a cold. You see, so many times I expect the "Shazam!" moment to arrive and when it doesn't I'm sort of miffed. What do I mean by the Shazam moment? The Saul conversion moment? The veil is lifted and I am stunned and amazed by...? And that is the problem. Something BIG.

Instead, I have become aware of a series of really great things in the past few weeks. I was away while the rest of my fellow workers were still slaving over a hot desk recently. My children are safe and healthy and comfortable (yes, I know they would like to be MORE comfortable). I have a wonderful husband who is considerate of my health and well-being (he even e-mails me to ask me how I'm feeling when I know he's busy at work). But I kept thinking that something BIG would happen with my spiritual life. Some great awakening I suppose. What I got instead were small steps, hardly even noticed. And that was when I had a real Shazam moment. For real! I have heard for years on end about God's still small voice. Except I'm partially deaf, and that analogy doesn't work for me. I was afraid he was whispering so low I missed it. Instead he showed me the wonders of my life right now. Not in winning the lottery, although I have to say, I wouldn't mind that. But he has put some pretty wondrous people and things in my way to take notice of lately and I've been so self absorbed in my pouting I almost missed them!

So in some ways, that's what happens. You go out looking for God and he's right beside you the whole time, showing you stuff. Poking your side and asking if you saw the daffodils, the birds, your children, your husband, your friends. And never once did he say, Shazam!