"Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs." Psalm 100:2
It is hard to believe but we are to the end of May. Today is Trinity Sunday, for those of us who follow the Liturgical calendar, the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost and Memorial Day Weekend. A time to remember the Trinity -- our God is 3 in 1 and 1 in 3 -- and celebrate the Holy Spirit being part of the 3. It is also Memorial Day a time of remembering the ones who did NOT come home. That is a lot to remember but it is especially a lot to be praising God for!
This Psalm reminds us to "make a joyful noise" (verse 1) and come into "His courts with praise and thanksgiving." (v. 4) As you think (remember?) about the celebrations going on this weekend what is the favorite hymn you think of? I, personally, think of "Holy, Holy, Holy" because of the "Lord, God Almight all thy works shall praise thy name." Yup, Trinity is the first thing, for this Sunday, I am thinking of. I must admit, however, I also love hearing - for Memorial Day - the songs/hymns of the various branches of our military.
What is it you think of? What do you remember? Can you share it with friends and family? Can we celebrate the special day of "remembering" with praise?
"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability. (Acts 2:4)
Filled? What do you think of? A full glass of something to drink? A sink full of dishes? A container full of your favorite thing to do -- books to read, yarn to knit or crochet, fabric to quilt? What about full stomach - like at Thanksgiving or Easter? Or a full tank of gas? Or even "over full" like when we are at a buffet table or the commercial for which kind of paper plate we should be using?
The readings today are telling the history of the fulfillment of Jesus's promise from last week. The gift of the Holy Spirit God promised (Luke 24:49) we spoke of last week. Pentecost - 50 days - as in 50 days after the Resurrection, after Passover, and 1 week since the Ascension. We usually point out the Disciples being able to speak in "other languages." Today I want you to think of "ALL of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" (v. 4). As in full!! As in think of the difference being full might make! As in the fruits of the Spirit, spoke about often but I'm going with Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
As Caregivers we are already showing our love - at least to our receiver and to our families - but if we are FULL of the Holy Spirit, to over flowing are we showing these gifts to others? CAN we show these gifts to others? If we are FULL of the Holy Spirit to others see it (the Holy Spirit) in us? Something to think about......
"And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven." Luke 24:49 NLT
"Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20 NLT
What have you made promises for? I'm thinking of Girl Scout, Boy Scout and there are probably other organizations we have belonged to. We make promises in worship also..... Think of what we say when there is a baptism, how we all agree to be there for the new person - baby or adult. Promises we all make. I'm wondering how we do at actually keeping the promises we make.
These two Gospel readings are as Jesus is ascending into heaven. In the Luke reading Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit "just as my Father promised." In the Matthew reading Jesus is promising to "be with you always." We spoke, through Lent, about what we believe - Emmanuel, God WITH US. These verses are reminding us of both Emmanuel AND God keeps God's promises. The question is - do we believe it. If we believe it do we live it, follow where God is leading and share God's love?
We are caregivers, promising to care for "our" person. We do keep this promise - right? We do take care of, to the best of our ability, the person (or people) in our care. Do we rely on God for our strength? Do we remember Emmanuel - God IS with us -- "even to the end of the age"? Do we help others to see this? Something to think about........
"She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy." Proverbs 31:20 (NLT)
Today is Mother's Day -- hug your Mom if you can. Celebrate your Mom - here or in heaven. Think of the things your Mom has given to you -- like showing you how to help others and open arms to the needy. AND we can be praying for, and looking forward to, when we can hug again. We can be thankful, especially today, for the special Moms in our lives. We can show them, especially today, how much we appreciate them.
Meanwhile this Scripture verse is in Proverbs 31 and we all think of it as describing a wive. Verses 11 and 23 both refer to husband and verse 28 to her children. I think we can all agree this was a very busy woman as "she watches over the affairs of her household." (v. 27) She is taking care of property, family, leading and guiding so her family has "no fear of winter." (v. 21)
Yes, this is a good description of mothers but I would also like us, today, to think of this in regards to Caregivers. Caregivers are also busy with the "affairs of her household" and with taking care of the care "receiver." There are schedules to coordinate, meals to prepare, and jobs to make sure are completed. In this wonderful age of technology there are also things to be checking on "through" technology (when technology is working!).
Yes, today we celebrate Mom's. It is an excellent day to celebrate Mom's! But I think it is also a good day to celebrate Caregivers. Something to think about.........
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitfull unless you remain in me." (John 15:4 NLT)
Connected.... how many ways are you connected? Most of us have cell phones so it is one way -- right? Then email, Facebook and other social media. What about actually talking to someone - regularly? I connect once a week with two clergy friends - we check on each other because each of us lives by ourselves. What about face-to-face which I know is more difficult right now but.... do you have it as a connection for say coffee?
The Gospel reading, today, is Jesus speaking to the Disciples and us. This conversation takes place during what we refer to as the Last Supper. Jesus has already washed the Disciples feet, sent Judas to "what you do, do quickly" (13:27), spoken of Peter's denial and is now answering questions. He is reminding the Disciples (and us) of the strength they have by "abiding" in Him. He is reminding the Disciples (again) of His upcoming death and resurrection. He is pointing out, to them and to us, how things will change AND be difficult. He is, however, also pointing out Emmanuel -- God WITH us - as we "abide," get strength from and grow with the "vine."
So..... How often do you connect to the various things you thought of? How often do you have to "charge," connect, your devices to a power source? How often do YOU connect to your Power Source -- Emmanuel, "the Vine"? Something to think about..........
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.