Monday, April 18, 2016

Jesus Calls His Disciples

Dear Christa—

Luke 5:1-11

Jesus had started his ministry. He had driven out demons and healed the sick. He’d angered the people of Nazareth and had gone to Simon’s house.

Now, Simon and his partners, James and John, pulled their boats to the shore. The nets were so full of fish they nearly broke and the boats so full they had begun to sink. And, with these plain words from Jesus, “from now on you will catch men,” they left it all. They walked away from the financial gain and the notoriety of becoming hometown heroes with such a catch of fish.

“They left everything and followed him [Jesus].”

It’s easy to think they held this world’s accolades so loosely, but perhaps this world paled in comparison to the realization that this—this man—was far bigger than anything they’d ever seen. Perhaps, they got a glimpse of a world beyond what we see.

For Jesus to function in the spiritual realm was easy. He knew the other side. He was from the other side. He saw all things. We don’t.

It’s easy for us to forget the work of God that we have seen. Before we know it, we’re right back to our day-to-day life, head bent down looking at this earth. God sometimes uses pain to call us back, but we also see His hand in the good. Simon and the others saw a miraculous catch of fish. They knew this was none of their doing.

We, too, should look toward the blessing and follow Him.

—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Where's the Spring in Spring?

 Dear Christa—

Maxine posted pictures of her beautiful Tennessee yard on Facebook—daffodils, tulips, etc. Spring is really the only time I miss Tennessee. I have exactly two daffodils, slumped over in the below freezing temperatures, and tulips that are, at most, two inches above ground.

Colorado winters seem to linger on and on. The cold wind is like a bad April Fool’s joke that lasts all month. I get weary in spring because it seems that spring never comes. It’s true the sun is shining, but even that’s deceptive. I keep my winter coat in reach until the middle of May; and even then, it’s not far away.

I always feel a little cheated in spring.

Life can be like that. Things don’t turn out the way we think they should. We desire the comfort of a warmth that is just not there. We look longingly at someone else’s yard.

But, after living in Colorado for 30 years, I know in my head that this winter’s chill doesn’t last forever. It’s like knowing what reality is but wishing something a little bit different. It’s like acknowledging God has a plan, but scowling at it. It’s just not the warmth we desire. It just feels cold out there.

Cold Colorado spring days force us to trust what we know. We know that somewhere around June 8th we’ll wake up and it will be summer, just like we know that God reveals His plan at His set time.

And, there are hints that good is on the horizon: It’s daylight when we leave for work, and little birds are singing a happy song in the mornings. The Bible tells us God is good, and we know that to be true.

Regardless of how cold it is outside, two-year-old Samuel pops up each morning with hands lifted high and states, “I wake up!” as if giving the world permission to begin the day.

The blank bulletin board in my classroom is waiting for me to staple the words “Spring into Poetry” on it. I suppose I should shake off this chill and go in there and do that.

—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything