Become a Servant

So relaxing sitting by the fire.  #iseethismom...
So relaxing sitting by the fire. #iseethismoment via tiffkei

PRAYERFUL RESPONSE TO LECTIO DIVINA – MARK 10:35-45

Phrase:

“Whoever wants to become great must become a servant.”

Thoughts:

The tone of text is not “where you nice to someone when you didn’t have to be” nor is it “did you do your volunteer time at the kid’s school this week?” We are listening to a conversation between people who are going to die for their faith! So, when Jesus says, if you want to be great you must be a servant…we are not talking about a few volunteer hours here and there! We are talking about some serious sacrifice.

I put more than my fair share of volunteer time in but is it enough to consider myself a “servant.”  I spend my days interacting with really (really, really) smart people, learning about things I love to learn about, I have a husband that supports me, emotionally and financially, I have kids that are smart and confident, I have books…(and more books)…and all of this can only come if I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and I eat when I am hungry. Doesn’t sound very much like a “servant” to me!

Good thing I am aiming for humble not great!

Because I really don’t want to give that all up. I love my God, I (kind of) have given my life to following this path. (But I didn’t really “give” anything. I love what I have, where I am at, and where I am going. ) This faith walk has never asked me to give my life, not like they talk about it in these verses.

So, this is the question I asked during prayer time: am I a servant?

On the one hand no. We all know that I am no servant. I will not be giving my life for my faith, I will probably never be asked to even seriously consider it. On the other hand, this stuff is hard, challenging. I give up time with my kids and my man; I struggle to keep my stress level to a manageable level; and I face myself…my fears, my joys…all of me. Leaning on “the Bible says it…so I believe it” is not an option. I have to face my fears, question my faith, I spend my life being vulnerable…so I can spend the rest of my life being vulnerable with the people who call me “pastor.”

So no, I am not a servant. But I am willing to keep striving for humble.

Prayer:

O Holy God, thank you for not asking me to give up everything. I want to say I would be your servant…no matter what…but we both know that wouldn’t be very honest. I like my cushy life. Even though this is where I am today, please walk with me again tomorrow and help me become a bit more like the Christ that didn’t want to go…but walked to the cross anyway.

 

 

 

 

You have one wish…make it count!

If you had one wish, what would it be?

Lectionary for July 15, 2012 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

#Fight via tiffkeiMark 6:14-29

I had quite a few questions I read this text for the week.

Like:

Why does Mark interrupt the story of Jesus sending the apostles out to tell us about the death of John?

Why did the daughter listen to Herodias?

What is Herod really afraid of?

This particular verse leads me to look within myself: “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” What would I wish for? What would you wish for? Offered almost anything the nameless girl seeks the council of family and ends up with John the Baptists head.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would end up with someone’s head.

Take a moment to answer these three questions:

First question: what is your wish?

Second question: try to remember your thoughts over the last week or two. If your wish was built only from the thoughts you’ve had…what would the resulting wish be?

Are your thoughts dominated by money or stuff? Would this wish be an endless supply of cash?

Do you spend your time in bitterness, angry with someone that betrayed you? Would this wish be someone’s head on a platter?

Do you spend your time in gratitude and thanksgiving? Would this wish be for other’s joy and happiness?

Third question: do your answers match?

May God’s light lead you way today and every day. Peace and Blessings to you.

 

 


Holy Chaos

For the last week and a half, my life has consisted of planned…controlled…maddening…CHAOS. First, we planned and prepared Christmas dinner for fourteen people. Dinner was amazing and wonderful, even if my house only holds six or seven people at one time. We somehow made it work. Christmas Day was chaos but it held a Love that embraced us all.

A short twelve hours later the Christmas tree was down, decorations were stored for the year and we were ripping the carpet out of our living room. A different kind of chaos maybe…but chaos non-the-less! After spending most of the week creating a level surface, we finally laid our new flooring. Our new living room floor is flat, clean, new and beautiful. We still have chaos, little things that need to be done (like baseboards and bringing the furniture back in) but I am thankful that most of the dust is gone.

I would guess that my life over the past week had quite a bit of influence on how I read the lectionary text because chaos jumped off the page with every word. Genesis 1:1-5, the beginning. Chaos reigned; there was darkness, void, water…CHAOS. Then God brought light. Psalm 29 is a song that speaks of God’s power to create chaos. The wilderness shakes, the voice of God flashes forth flames of fire, God makes the oaks swirl and strips the forest bare. (We had a tree fall on our house last year during an intense windstorm, when the bible tells me that the LORD “strips the forest bare”, I can almost taste the chaos!) The next reading, Acts 19:1-7, Paul asks the people of Ephesus if they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, which sounds a bit like “was their chaos at your baptism?”  Paul lays his hands on them and “they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” This scene is almost as chaotic as 14 people packed like sardines into my little living room! Finally in Mark 1:4-11 “[Jesus] saw the heavens torn apart.” More chaos!

Occasionally a theme shines through the lectionary texts. This week the theme could be the Breath of God, the coming of the Holy Spirit, or maybe the power that the people feel when they encounter God…but with a chaotic Christmas Dinner and the absences of a living room floor in my recent past, I see chaos in these texts. A God that comes into our lives and brings light into the chaos (Genesis 1:1-5), a word so powerful it frees the forest of its leaves (Psalm 29), a God not bound by language (Acts 19:1-7) and tears the heavens apart to acknowledge Christ (Mark 1:1-11). Our God is a God that is not afraid of chaos.

Chaos on the web: