Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Roadtrip South! did ask for prayers for this journey! Travelling for days ina medium sized car with three stubborn men aged 13, 17.5, and 82 is not the average person's idea of a vacation. (and I am a middle-aged woman, so there is that dynamic, too!) but as it turns out, this is amazing! What fun! I am geeking out on watching the trees I am so accustomed to morph over the miles to trees that are not at all what I know! And Spanish Moss! And palms, and little lizards everywhere! Fabulous! Who would have thought this would be so full of wonder when I agreed to go to a wedding in the Land of Disney!
Truth be told, I was dreading it. Fighting, sweating, negative progeny who are not interested in all the educational and inspirational gifts of an iconic American roadtrip was what I expected, and not at all what I least today, two days in! 

The whole concept of a journey through wilderness and trusting is clearly a theme here....I'm not sure I'm good with Disney World being my shikinah cloud, that's taking the imagery too far, but wandering is scary and good at the same time....and that is a tension that God seems to know pretty's part of the whole story!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The puppet takes a trip to Uganda!

Well. VBS is full of wonderful surprises....but this summer takes the cake! The adorable, colorful, live wire puppet known as "Rivet the Ant" has....departed! Err.....yeah....he's gone alright!

Yes. Somebody stole the VBS mascot! Nothing else. No candles or crosses or sound equipment (thankfully)....Just the mascot that we use for the openings and closings.....weird.
It couldn't have been a kid...I don't think.....Rivet is like 20 inches tall, he's not a puppet easily stuffed under a size 8 t-shirt. So, we made do with pretending he went on a quick trip to Uganda where the church funds a school which we were going to talk about anyway. So we managed to cover up his absence. We had the "voice of Rivet" call in on the cell phone which we pretended to put on speaker. Funny. We can be pretty creative, but still. This is super sad. We kind of miss Rivet. And I find myself wondering. Just wondering.

A Rivet replacement is being shipped overnight, so tomorrow we can just pretend it never happened. But it did. My only hope at this point is maybe this situation will work out to be like that great 1953, Victor Mature, Richard Burton classic "The Robe"! Which was about how, at Christ's crucifiction, when the soldiers cast lots for his robe, the owner of said robe was converted....and each successive owner also was strangely moved to acts of love and eventual conversion to Christianity! My hope is that whoever is in possession of Rivet will mystically come the God! Let's pray for that! Blessings on Rivet and whoever holds him! We love you Rivet!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

It's VBS eve!

Well! There is nothing like knowing people are looking to read your blog to motivate writing!

This is a tough night...Tomorrow begins the marathon that is Vacation Bible School. So, the week has involved a lot of coloring and cutting and pasting and memorizing with the anticipation of the little darlings having such a fun time, and learning songs that will be, for most, the theology that carries them through their life (sorry to be so negative....just being realistic)

And this joyful preparation is happening half a globe away from war; from cultures killing for control of land, and passenger planes shot out of the air.

I have always, and will always, find this tension difficult. How do I act like there is nothing wrong, yet what could I possible do to change events so far away and so much bigger than me?

This week's lectionary text tells us the story of God choosing Jacob: "Heel Grabber", hang-out-in-tent-whilst-your-brother-does-all-the-work, sneaky trickster Jacob is who God speaks to in a dream....a dream of the very gate of heaven with angels coming and going....God likes the broken characters. Go figure.

Psalm 139 that reminds us how this God of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob knows us...from the very start of us...all around and through and totally there in it all.

Of  Paul reminding us in the Letter to the Roman church that we are adopted by this same God. So Jesus is our brother....and like equals to Jesus, we are inheritors of all God has. Wow. Equal with the Divine. Wow.

And then....there's the Matthew text! Of Jesus' parable about the wheat and the weeds, the explanation involving burning and gnashing of teeth for the weeds. Ouch. We don't want to be the weeds, right?!?! This is sort of an icky text. It's violent. It feels uncomfortable. Did the seed ask to be bad? Or good? Yikes. But, we are told not to separate the weeds and the weed. We're not to worry.

Not to worry?! We hear the news and we worry. We want to know why God let's all this bad stuff happen. Evil. War. Violence. Injustice. Why? If God can do anything, then why is there any bad?
Who is the wheat, and who are the weeds? 

Well. That theme runs throughout the Bible, the story of this Relational God and us stiff-necked people, and still we wonder and we write, and we worry.

With the weeds and the wheat parable we have let God deal with that in God's time.
I don't know how that applies to Israel and Palestine and Russia and The Ukraine. I really honestly can not even BEGIN to know the politics of those places. Tempers here flare at discussion of those places.
There is evil and there is righteousness and the weeds and the wheat look the same.

As always I have to simplify and look to what Jesus thought was the most important thing:
Love God, love neighbor, love self.

I cannot effect the middle east tomorrow, but I can effect my community's kids.

And through my prayers, I can love. Because prayer is how we relate to this Relational God.
Let your wondering and worrying be known!

Pray has power and changes things....and so does VBS!