Hi everyone, Just a short extra note about my last post. I had spent time looking at several different scripture passages. As can happen with our computers, I mixed two different quotes together. The quote about Jesus turning the tables in the temple needs to read: “…but you have made it a den of thieves.” I send my thanks to Arthur for helping me see my mistake. Too often we see what we expect to see. That’s true of so many things in our lives. I hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful sunny day. Blessings Janet
The last few days I have been thinking about wounds. Kahlil Gibran says the “the deeper the well that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” While living a very emotionally flat life, certainly can shrink the depth of your sorrow, it will also shrink the depth of your joy.
For many years, I tried hard not to feel deeply. If I kept busy enough, I could ignore the pains of living. If the pain did seep through, I would make excuses. I remember often feeling on the outside as a teenager. Because I was two years younger than my school peers, I used my age as my excuse for not being included in the “in-group”. What I didn’t understand at the time, if I don’t let myself feel the pain, I wouldn’t be able to feel the joy deeply either. It’s not easy to feel sorrow, but I remind myself that my well for joy is deepening.
Jesus also experienced the pain of grief. He wept when he heard about the death of his friend Lazarus. We hear his disappointment when he says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37) His rage resounded in the quiet temple when he tipped over the tables of the moneychangers and roared, “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves.” Jesus didn’t hide from his emotions.
When we are wounded we will have scars. We can consider them ugly and try to hide them. Or we can learn from them, wear them as badges of honour that have taught us about life. We can wear our scars as the outward sign of a deep well within us, a well open to receive joy in all its abundance.
Creating a home is a sacred task given by God.
For the child, that home begins inside the mother’s womb. Doctors tell us that what Mom eats and does affects her child, long before he or she is born. For example: When Mom doesn’t take in enough calcium in her diet, the calcium in her bones and teeth is taken for her unborn child. Today research has also shown that the fetus can hear. Many mothers play music, sing, and read to their unborn child.
When I see pregnant women regularly at worship, I give thanks that once again a child is beginning with the love of a church family. Hearing the hymns, prayers, words that speak of loving one another, and living in peace and harmony, can make a difference in that child’s life.
God entrusts mothers with the special role of being the “goodness and mercy” of God, that is claimed in Psalm 23. Of course, mothers, fail at times. They’re human.
God’s intention is that mother, in her unique place in the family, will be a source of God’s love.
Like all humans, mother doesn’t fulfill her role in a vacuum.
Mom’s need affirmation and support. Mother’s day reminds all of us that it is our privilege to be that affirmation and support. On Mother’s Day and every day, really look at the mother in your life, your own or someone else’s. Let her imperfections slide by and focus on the wonder of her efforts to love and support her child. Give her a hug. Speak words of appreciation.
Mother’s Day tell the Moms in your life that she is God’s blessing for her child.
These last few weeks I’ve been helping my grandson apply for summer employment. He is particularly interested in being a junior forest ranger. We discovered that the name has been changed to Stewardship Youth Ranger.
For me, the name change is significant.
The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines stewardship as, “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
Seeing ourselves as stewards rather than owners makes a huge difference. Something that is ours, because we earn it, deserve it, inherit it, can be used as we choose. We can choose to hoard it selfishly for ourselves or destroy it. Or we can choose to be generous, using it to help others. When we understand our world, our time, our money as God’s gift entrusted to our care, our attitude changes. We know that wastefulness and selfishness will break the trust.
Bearing the name, Stewardship Rangers, these youth have ever before them the foundational statement: the parks, the animals, the people, are not owned, they are held in trust. The earth is not ours to ravage. As human beings it is our job to care for the earth, to work with the plants, animals and people. I may not appreciate all the new elements to the junior ranger program but this name change is important. It moves us from having dominion over this world to living responsibly within it. I am grateful for the name change.
God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” (Genesis 1:26 The Message)