"Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." (Matthew 10:40)
When I ask about magic words what do you think of? For some of us the first thing we probably think of is "abracadabra" - right? I want you to instead think of your grandparents, or parents, asking you what the "magic" word is when you want something. I can hear the adult saying "what is the magic word?" and expecting a "please, thank you or I'm sorry" in response. How are you doing at saying "please" or "thank you" or (maybe especially) "I'm sorry"?
The readings today are about trusting God's presence with us through all the changes and challenges. In Genesis Abraham looks up, sees the ram, sacrifices the ram (instead of Isaac) and names the place "the Lord will provide." (Genesis 22:14) In Romans we are reminded God IS with us, helping us to learn grow and make the changes needed. (Romans 6:22) In the Gospel reading Jesus is pointing out how welcoming people welcomes Him. Welcoming Jesus welcomes God (v. 40) so Emmanuel - God IS with us. With us, and "will provide" for us, through all the changes and challenges happening in our lives.
So.... Are we asking God? Are we TALKING to God? Are we saying "I'm sorry" for NOT asking? And...when we DO ask.... Are we REALLY believing God IS with us? As Caregivers we have busy schedules that are, pretty much, constantly changing. Are we taking the time to s-t-o-p to feel God's presence with us? Do we REALLY believe God will provide the strength? Something to think about...
"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roof tops." (Matthew 10:27)
How often are we told, lately, "if you see something - say something?" Any of us who have done any traveling, especially flying, have been told it at regular intervals. Many of us not only "say" something we look around for help or step in ourselves. I have been known to stand either in front of, or at least block, a small child I see running but I don't see an adult with them. My first appointment the parking lot, and a corn field, were right outside the door - not good places for toddlers. Another time was at a National Park gift shop - child the width of the building ahead of the parents. What about where we see God working? Are we talking about that?
The readings, today, are pointing out God IS with us. God is with Hagar in the desert, giving her water and encouragement, and "with the boy as he grew up." (Genesis 21:20) In Romans we are told to "count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (6:11) And Jesus, in the Gospel reading, is telling us not only is God with us, and we ARE important to God, we are to talk about it - "proclaim from the roof tops." (Matt. 10:27) I don't know about you but I'm probably NOT going to get on the roof!
At the same time, as we go through all the changes, all the confusion, the unexpected changes in schedules are we talking about where we have seen and felt God's presence with us? Are we talking about what God is asking us to do? Where God is asking us to go? As Caregivers we are busy, we are trying to follow, and do, what God is calling us to but do we TALK about it? Do we "proclaim it"? Something to think about.......
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:38)
Have you thought about your attitude while you are waiting, or working, on something. Last week we talked about how long it could take until you did, or finished, something. This week I am wondering about your attitude while you are waiting or working? Or when someone asks you to do something - what is your response? Are you looking at them and laughing? Are you ignoring them - especially if they want you to try something new? What about if God is asking you to do, or try, something new?
The readings today are about reaction and attitude. In Genesis we are reading about the angels telling Abraham and Sarah about the baby they would have in the coming year. Sarah's reaction is to laugh, then lie about laughing. (Genesis 18:15) In Romans we are told even if it is difficult to do what is before us things will happen "perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:4) In our Gospel reading Jesus is pointing out the work needing to be done and how we should be asking the Lord "to send out workers into his harvest field." (9:38)
I would ask for you to think about something here. Yes, Sarah laughed, and lied, but she also laughed quite happily again when Issac was born. Issac's name even means laughter. Following where God is leading, doing what God is asking, leads to peace and laughter. As Caregivers we can be very busy trying to do all the things we need to get done. What is our attitude while we are doing it? Are we following where God is asking us to go, doing what God is asking? Something to think about.......
"Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak." (Matthew 9:20)
How long does it take you to finish something? It depends on what you are working on - right? Some of the projects I'm working on have been "in the process" longer than I like to think about. Some projects get finished pretty quickly. What about something you are really looking forward to, working on and ready for it to be finished and/ or happen. For instance it took me 14 years to get my two year associates degree - but I did it.
The Scripture readings today are about working toward what God is calling us to. In Genesis God is sending Abram "to the land I will show you." (Genesis 12:1) Abram (note he isn't Abraham yet) doesn't even know where he is going, he is older (75), but he packs up and follows where God is leading. In Romans we are reminded of Abraham's faith "but through righteousness that comes by faith." (Romans 4:13) And the Gospel reading, in Matthew, is the story of the woman "who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years." (9:20) We know the story - Jesus tells her her "your faith has healed you." (Matthew 9:22)
In this 'microwave' world it is difficult to think of how l-o-n-g something can take to get finished. These readings remind us God IS with us, WILL help us and we need to keep moving forward - one step at a time.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19)
Today is Trinity Sunday - reminding us of 3 in 1 and 1 in 3 - "Lord God Almighty, blessed Trinity." There are so many ways we can remind ourselves of the Trinity and be thankful, praising God. One way I especially think of is the prayer shawl/prayer quilt ministry I have been involved in for most of my ministry, Each scarf, shawl and quilt is worked with a multiple of 3 -- a multiple of 3 stitches, for knit or crochet and 3 layers, for a quilt. Each is also filled with our prayers, God's love and our love. They carry our love, and prayers, going out to others.
Today's readings are about remembering who God IS. The Genesis reading is the creation story - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." (John 1:1) The Trinity - God the Father (creator), God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - is what Jesus is telling us, in the Gospel to be teaching and baptizing in the name of. (Matthew 28:19 & 20)
The question is where are we going? Can we think about "going" to our families? Maybe our friends? The coffee shop? Our favorite place to grab a bite to eat? Where are we sharing God's love and telling people about KNOWING God IS with us? As Caregivers we rely on God's strength but do we share how we do that with others? Something to think about.........
"By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive." (John 7:39a)
When I say Pentecost what do you think of? The Sunday everyone wheres red? Being the one who has to read all the names, and countries, in Acts 2? The rushing wind, and fire, in Acts 2? The dove descending on Jesus at his baptism? The symbols - fire, wind, dove - used for people to think about the Holy Spirit? Today is the day we celebrate Pentecost which is why I'm asking the question.....
The reading, in Acts, is about Peter standing up to answer the questions of the people gathered together asking questions. There is the wind, and the fire, described on, around and in each of the disciples. There is the ability of each of them to be able to speak in languages the people gathered can understand. There is the description, in 1 Corinthians, of how we can all work together as one body, like the disciples in Acts 2, to help others understand God's love. Jesus is pointing out, in John 7, the gift of the Spirit, to help each of us who are "thirsty for more" to be filled. The Holy Spirit filling us, to overflowing, giving us strength.
In "Dynamite Prayer" (that we read back during Lent) the Greek word for the Spirit is given - dunamis. We get our word "dynamite" from this word. The POWER of the Holy Spirit! Being filled to overflowing with the POWER of the Holy Spirit! Is this what we think of? Can we think of it this way? Definitely something to think about.........
"if you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-" (John 14:15-16)
Doing? How often (sometimes daily) do we answer the question "what are you doing?" Sometimes it is followed by "can you talk for a few minutes?" Sometimes, like as I left for vacation, it is about what plans are -- "what are you going to do on your vacation?" (I read and knit.) Sometimes, like with the new graduates, it is "what will you be doing now?" So...what is your answer?
The readings, today, are about doing. Are we doing what God is asking us to do? In Acts we are reminded we are "God's offspring" (Acts 17:29) and God "commands all people everywhere to repent." (v. 30) In 1 Peter we are told we need to "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you" why you are following where God is leading. (1 Peter 3:15) In our Gospel reading Jesus is telling us "if you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15) Are we "Loving God with our heart, soul, mind and strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5) and keeping the Commandments? IF we are doing these things are we able to answer questions about "why"?
As Caregivers we are pretty busy "doing" every day. Are we taking time to stop and listen for what God is asking us to do? Can we answer the question of "why"? Something to think about......
"Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?" (John 14:9)
Show me...what are you asking someone to do when you say that? We've talked about it as a way of learning. I know I need to watch what you are doing before I understand something. But what other ways do we think of "show me"? What are some ways we can "show" someone something?
The Scripture readings today are about living our faith. In Acts Stephen is stoned for telling people what he sees while he is "full of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 7:55) Peter is pointing out the need to continue to be fed as we "crave pure spiritual milk" (1 Peter 2:2) so we can be "built into a spiritual house." (1 Peter 2:5) And Jesus is asking if the Disciples have been paying attention because Jesus has been with them so "at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves." (John 14:11) Living our faith as a way of "showing" what God is doing, how God IS with us and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Is this what we are doing? Are we listening for what God is asking us to do AND doing it? Caregivers are busy and tired - I know - but can we at least share when we have felt God's presence and strength? When have we felt closest to Christ? Something to think about.........
"They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened Scripture to us?"" (Luke 24:32)
How are you doing with reading Scripture? Is it something you've done for quite a while? Is it something you added for Lent? If you started for Lent are you still reading Scripture? Do you use a Bible study with the scripture -- either a book on your own or with a group? I found, with my study of Dynamite Prayer and Draw the Circle, done together daily, that God was definitely "opening" Scripture. (v. 32)
Today's readings are about following Christ. The one I especially want to look at is the two Disciples walking to Emmaus. There are three things I want you to think about with this reading. First..... Jesus joins them where they are. Yes, on the "road to Emmaus." (v. 13) He also is with them as "they stood still, their faces downcast." (v. 17) THEN he walked with them and "opened Scripture." (v. 32) The third thing to notice and think about is after "their eyes were opened" (v. 31) "They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem" (v.33) to share what had happened.
So....... how are you doing with reading Scripture? Are you understanding, following and doing more as you continue to study? Are you sharing where, and how, God IS with you through it? Something to be thinking about..........
"Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher"). (John 20:16)
We have talked, before, about the names we answer too so I want you to think for a minute about the name you answer the fastest to. It kind of depends on who is calling your name - right? I can answer, pretty fast actually, when I hear "Grandma!" We don't always, especially when we are upset, hear our given name though. I can remember hearing, but not connecting and answering, to the full list of my names from several people. It usually ends with our full name - first, middle and (sometimes) even our last name - especially when we are upset.
The readings today are talking about following where God is leading, doing what God is asking us to do. In acts we are hearing how the Disciples were "witnesses of everything" Jesus did, of Jesus' death AND of Jesus resurrection. (Acts 10:39) In Colossians we are reminded WE are supposed to thinking about what God is asking us to do because we are "hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3) Then, in the Gospel, Jesus calls Mary, by name, and she "turns toward him." (v. 16) Mary changes direction from upset and confused to listening and doing.
So..... are we? Throughout Lent we have looked at the POWER we have been given, through the Holy Spirit, to do what God is calling us to - are we doing it? As Caregivers we are tired, upset (a lot of the time), and confused so have we heard God calling? Is our "full" name being used? Something to think about.....
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.