Sunday, July 22, 2012

The World Still Turns

Based on routine regular activity this morning, I'm guessing the world continues to rotate on its axis.  I'm not a scientist in any way, but it sure seems that way.  Yet in private lives everywhere this morning it feels as if the world has stopped.  We gaze in wonderment at the traffic moving, the voices chattering, the life going on around.

In light of recent events in the news as well as personal news that I have received, we must remember that death is as surely a part of this life as birth, teething, puberty, aging, and the decline of our bodies.  Yet we always seem a little surprised, or at least I think I do.  It seems my reaction is that it just should not happen, at least not to those I love; death shouldn't cause suffering so in the human condition.  Yet, whether early or in old age, by natural causes or other causes, death will happen to everyone.  Our bodies weren't meant to last forever or to be bullet proof and can even be downright fragile.

Yet, my hope comes from the Lord who overcame the inevitability of death with life.  While in the midst of life we face death, just as surely in Christ in the midst of death we are in life.  Some people will not understand this.  It's okay.  I am not fully sure that I always get it, but I believe it. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heart Weeping

Have you ever felt like your heart was weeping? I know it sounds strange, but that is what I feel like. My eyes aren't necessarily weeping (although they do leak from time to time), but my heart is weeping.  It always amazes me how we continue to live on, even as our heart breaks.  I have a friend dying in a hospital and I am 2.5 hours away.  It feels helpless, even hopeless, but I know that those who are in Christ do not grieve as those with no hope, because our hope is in the resurrection.  But I will miss her terribly and that makes my heart weep.

Yet, I am reminded of the Psalmist who writes "Weeping may stay all night,but by morning, joy!" (Psalm 30:5b CEB).  It is the inspiration behind the Darrell Evans song "Trading My Sorrows" (sung here by Women of Faith).  We do go through ups and downs in this crazy roller coaster life.  Our sorrow is real and very painful, but it does not last forever.  Joy comes and we rejoice, give thanks, and praise God!  Our joy does not negate the emotion felt in our sadness, it does not invalidate the feelings you felt or the love for the person--in the instance of grief and loss--that you miss.  It is simply the assurance that life is worth living and is a precious gift of God. 

And laughter, laughter is healing.  I always tell families I counsel with at times of death to share stories and memories of their loved one.  Invariably there are always humorous anecdotes about that person and it gives them permission to laugh in the midst of their tears. 

So for now I wait while my heart weeps, because I know that joy is coming.  I know that true peace comes from God alone, and comes when we experience full healing in God's presence.

Prayers of comfort for all those whose heart weeps with mine.


Sermon: July 15, 2012

Children of God, sermon July 15, 2012 on Ephesians 1:3-14.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What does it mean to be a disciple?

In preparing for my upcoming sermon, and allowing my mind to run free with ideas for other things, I ask the question:  "What does it mean to be a disciple?"  Keeping in mind that the definition of disciple is student or learner, what do you think is required by those of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ?  What do you think it means to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" as the United Methodist mission statement says?  I hope you not only muse on this, but give me your thoughts, your ideas, even questions you may have.  Blessings!