Monday, March 9, 2015

Just Like Riding A Bike??

My favorite Christmas gift one year was pair of powder blue ice skates with a grey fur cuff at the top.  I had seen them at the hardware store and was thrilled to find them Christmas morning in my very own living room!  We skated a lot.  Growing up in Minneapolis, everyone skated.  My dad used to flood the back yard and built a special wooden step cover to go over the back steps so we wouldn't dull the blades coming in from the cold.

This weekend we went skating again, but indoors, as part of our second grandson's birthday celebration. Originally, I think I was intended to sit this one out with the youngest of the family, watching.  But I wanted to skate!  As others were laughing, I made the comment, "It's just like riding a bike, you don't forget!"

It's been several decades since I went skating---some of it came back quickly, some may never come back!  But just like riding a bike, you need to get used to it again.  The slippery blades on the ice, the balance that needs adjusting, bend the knees and stay flexible---then try helping out a youngster!  Surprisingly, I'm not sore the day after!  But anxious to try again and get back the old rhythm and freedom of flying across the ice.  I'm also thrilled to pass on my love of the ice, and the fun of watching the Zamboni, to the next generation of our family!

As Easter approaches, there are some who will take the chance to get on the "ice" again and return to church for worship.  The "experts" will whiz right past them and show off their tricks, the hesitant will cling to the boards of the rink and slowly make their way, the adventurous will slide into the mainstream slowly perhaps, and there will be those who quickly take off the skates and sit on the sidelines, or exit the rink.  

I saw a number of young skaters yesterday in tears; tears of fear, tears of pain from an unexpected fall, and some afraid of being left behind by those they came with.  I helped a few back to their feet, guided a few around to the safety of a reunion, and encouraged a few with assurance they could do it!

I hope we can be as welcoming in the arena of church life.  Lace up your skates and get out there, it really is fun!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Seeing the World Through Different Eyes

Image result for black and blue or white and goldThis past weekend, a great deal of time and controversy has centered around a dress.  Is it blue and black or white and gold?  It's hard to believe that thousands of people engaged in discussion and argument over the color of a dress.  

Maybe it stems from our high need to be right.  Maybe it stems from our disbelief that we are ever wrong.  Maybe we can't possibly believe that someone else could see the world differently from the way we see it!  Those who study visual illusions and the way the brain works are less certain and sure.  They know that we often see the world as we perceive it to be, not as it really is.

I wonder if it was that way with Peter.  Peter had a certain vision of the world and himself and Jesus.  When Jesus began to teach about his suffering and death, it just didn't fit Peter's picture; Jesus said, blue and black and Peter saw white and gold.  The miraculous healing times, teachings, and events all pointed to a leader who had come to throw down the oppressive power of the Roman government and establish a new rule with power to those who had been oppressed.  What they interpreted as acts of power, were God's manifestations of love.

Maybe we are too quick to make the judgement of black and blue vs. white and gold.  Perhaps upon closer examination we can learn to see the world both through our eyes and the eyes of our neighbor. I wonder what colors God sees?