Sunday, May 1, 2016

Peace and Pieces

This morning my colleague Pastor John spoke of the peace of Christ and the pieces we try use to make peace in our lives.  I was reminded of this lovely pottery that I have seen. The technique is called kintsukuroi.  It's a Japanese technique of repairing pottery that is broken, with gold.

Usually when something is broken we try to repair it or fix it as if had never happened.  In the wisdom of these artists, they know that breakage is a part of life; a part of the history of that object. They believe that things are more beautiful with their imperfections.  Go ahead and Google the word and see the bowls, vases, cups...  They are breathtakingly beautiful!  And so are we!

Life breaks us all.  We are chipped, broken, scratched and sometimes believe that we are beyond repair. Not so.  Made in the image of our Creator, we are breathtakingly beautiful! When life breaks us apart, God, the master of kintsukuroi, sets about to repair us...with gold!  I know that I haven't the skill to make this repair myself, and trying to pretend that there are no breaks requires more than I have; it only breaks me more.  But letting the peace of Christ and the hand of God fill me in, I become more beautiful and show the history of my life.  

Let your life show the cracks.  But more importantly, let your life show the kintsukuroi wrought by God.   

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Signs of Spring?

Yesterday, as I sat at home, pondering the weekend sermon, there was a thumping in the house.  I knew I was alone, and at first went on with my activities; laundry, reviewing sermon stuff, a bit of knitting...the thumping continued.  It was irregular, but kept on. Finally getting up to investigate I heard it coming from the kitchen. Our kitchen has a large picture window looking out over the back yard and there on the evergreen bush outside the window was a robin.  Periodically, she flew into the window trying to get in! Crazy bird!   I remembered the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!
I have since heard from a reputable source that the robin is not the most intelligent of birds (in other words not so politically correct)--kinda dumb.  Well certainly we had evidence of that!

I pondered this as I was looking at the lessons for the week and reading the lesson from Acts 11 I wondered if that was some of the problem in the church today; are we just doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results-beating our heads against the window?  The passage in Acts for this weekend talks about Peter going to the Gentile community, eating with them and being critiqued by the early church.  They were a closed group at the time and this was the beginning of seeing what God was up to and out-of-box thinking.  Something we're still not too good about.

Back to the bird.  I stepped back and noticed that she was flying into the window right where I have an Easter wreath.  Stop it, we are only in week five of Easter, I can still have an Easter wreath up!
The twig wreath with pastel eggs on it, must be the attraction.  She was trying to get to her nest and the eggs in it!  Suddenly, this was not so dumb.  Call me crazy, but the Gospel for this weekend is the passage of the new commandment, that you love one another as Jesus loved!

The unrelenting love of God is manifest in the world each day.  God loves us so much, smashing into a window, time after time, with the tiniest prospect of getting through is not even a deterrent.

So there you have it!  Lessons for the weekend, courtesy of one slightly confused and misplaced robin.  How is God speaking to you this week?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome to the Journey

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to join with 48 other clergy women on a cruise for a Continuing Education event.  Yes, I know, "tough life--a cruise for continuing ed"!  We can talk about that later...
What I remember after boarding the ship and leaving shore was that my phone went all crazy!  We were advised to put our devices on "airplane mode".  Since then I've learned a lot about this wonderful mode!

Airplane mode turns off the wifi and data connections.  No texts, calls, or email.  So while away, sailing the sea, there were no texts alerting me to the latest sale, or emails from--well anyone!  Handy thing, since these would have added to an already growing bill from my provider!

Turns out it has some other great advantages.  According to those who know...first it can save battery life.  Yep, didn't hardly use any power during airplane mode.  So if you're low on battery at the end of the day before you reach your charger--airplane mode!  Second, it speeds up charging.  Bingo!, charging your phone on airplane mode charges faster!  Your phone isn't busy doing all that other stuff and concentrates on the job at hand!  The third advantage is that it helps you avoid distractions.  Sure enough a week without email or texts to distract me, left time to really focus on the conference and meeting new people.

Lent - is the ancient version of airplane mode.

A time to disconnect in order to reconnect.  Disconnect from the busyness of life, to reconnect with God in a closer way. Our batteries are constantly being drained and at times, it's hard to get recharged because we're constantly still going; minds working, driving everywhere, calendars full.  We need this time; to go on airplane mode and save battery life.  To recharge and connect with God through prayer, worship, reading scripture, doing acts of love, giving to others.  Lent helps us to focus on what's important and put aside the distractions that bombard us day in and day out.

So stow that extra baggage for the journey, go on to airplane mode and focus on God; listening, looking, and loving.  When the journey's done, you'll be able to turn on your devices again and collect your baggage.  Be forewarned...some of it may have shifted during your journey!