As I prepare for yet another opportunity to deliver God’s message, I am tempted again to fixate on my inadequacies. How ironic that the first message I ever delivered in front of my fellow Christian Education classmates was on Moses's call (Exodus 3–4) and his focus on “I am not” rather than “you are God.”
Goodbyes said to guests. Linens washed. Christmas decorations taken down and stored. Fridge restocked. Time to organize myself and my new year. Set up a planner. Select a journal. Reflect on the previous year and the new one. And choose a word for the year.
This Advent season, I focused on the descriptors of Jesus found in Matthew’s account of the Christmas events.
The desire to figure everything out, to fully understand, and make sense of my world is strong in me. However the events in our nation's capitol last week proved that even more fleeting than the loss of control over my schedule and calendar (due to a pandemic) is any control I thought I had over the beliefs and actions of others. Four guiding truths emerged as I pondered a quote from Emily P. Freeman.
I am an aunt to some lovely young women and men. I have cultivated individual relationships with them and enjoy my unique role in their lives. Being their aunt gives me a certain advantage over their mothers.
“Cancer, most likely stage four,” announced the email. Since older women compose the majority of my Bible study group, a notification of someone’s hospitalization was not unusual. But this one? She seemed too young, healthy, and vibrant.
"How will I know this for certain?" Zechariah asked and God called his question unbelief. Mary asked "How will this be?" and God said she believed. So why was Zechariah’s question not acceptable and Mary’s was?
I am amazed by the parallels and applications to our current crisis in this encounter of Jesus with ten men who had leprosy. The "disease" of our world feels overwhelming. Many in unhappy circumstances have shared their stories lately. Like Jesus, I am moved pity.