2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Mark 6:303-34, 53-56
“Work & Rest”
When I think about the church living through the Covid-19 Pandemic, there are both negatives and positives that come to mind. Certainly, it has been very difficult for us to maintain community, to enjoy worship and sacraments together, and find new ways to continue our mission while keeping each other and our community safe.
But we have learned during this crisis that the church is a lot stronger, more faithful, and more resilient than we might have guessed. And we have experienced what we might only have known in theory before – that the church is not the building, but the people.
God is not confined to our sanctuaries, but meets us wherever we turn to God in praise and prayer. And our job as Jesus’ followers is not just to show up at God’s house regularly to give God glory with our worship, but it’s to glorify God in all the ways we let God make a home in our hearts and in our lives every day.
We knew all that before the pandemic, right? But when you can’t actually “go to church” for many months at a time, that’s when you actually start needing … Read more »
“Grace to Practice”
This year, I decided to begin a new activity. During my holidays after Christmas, I tried out a bunch of different yoga classes to see if yoga would be a good exercise program to add to my routine. I have to admit that I didn’t embark on doing yoga for spiritual reasons. I really just wanted a way to strengthen my core muscles and avoid some lower back pain issues that I was having some time ago.
But after trying out a few different classes, I settled on a Holy Yoga class that is offered at one of the churches here in Regina, and I began to think about what I was doing as more than just an exercise program.
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Yoga gurus from India introduced yoga to the West in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has … Read more »
“Grace to Practice”
As the weeks of Lent fly by, I am continuing the Lenten discipline that I began on Ash Wednesday. The United Methodist Church in the U.S. has provided a list of words – one for each day in Lent. So each day I reflect on the word, consider its meaning and significance, look around for inspiration, and then take a photograph that somehow connects with the word of the day.
Friday’s word was “practice,” which made me think about learning to drive a car, learning to make my own bread, and learning to write and preach a sermon – all skills that can’t just be learned from a book, but they take giving it a try, and trying again, and practicing over and over. As I was working in my office that morning, I heard Gillian giving a piano lesson in here, and remembered how I hated to practice when I was trying to learn to play the piano as a young person.
But as I turned my attention to this morning’s reading from Ephesians 2, I noticed another kind of practice that didn’t immediately come to mind. I’m not talking about an activity or skill that you … Read more »
2 Samuel 7:1-14a
I don’t really know what it feels like not to have a home. When I think of people who are homeless, my mind jumps to scenes of people waiting in line at a soup kitchen. I think of the folks that sit outside the grocery store and ask for small change. I think of the man that I often see downtown, who even on the hottest day in July, is wearing his winter coat, and carrying dozens of shopping bags. All that he owns, he’s carrying with him. When I think of the homeless, I think of young people who have run away from home – from abuse, from neglect, from broken or breaking families. I think of alcoholism, and drugs, and mental illness – the reasons why many homeless people have ended up that way.
What I rarely take the time to think about is the feeling of having nowhere to call “home”. An old friend of mine, and former resident at the home where I used to work, lives with the debilitating illness of schizophrenia. She is one of the fortunate ones. Although her illness is severe, and she cycles up and down between severe … Read more »