I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour,
if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver
During our last worship service of the program year, I spoke to you of the Apostle Paul, and his message for the budding Christian communities around the Mediterranean basin. These first Christians were trail blazers really. They were trying hard (and Paul was doing his utmost to help them), to figure out who exactly this person Jesus was and what relevance he had for their lives.
Paul spoke out of his experience of God, out of his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, and was absolutely convinced that in Jesus, God had thrown open the doors of God’s heart to everyone. But Paul was equally convinced that each and every person had a choice to make. Each had to decide whether or not to walk through those doors into God’s embrace. And this decision, he claims, doesn’t just happen once, it not just one altar call and then we are good to go. Instead, he says, life itself becomes a continual process of looking for and saying “yes” to God.
And then we reflected together about how hard it is to say “yes” for there is this pull in our world towards so much that is not life giving. It easier to be annoyed than it is to be forgiving. It is easier to feel hassled than it is to feel compassionate. It is easier to let the spark of rage rage than it is to whisper peace. It is easier to feel righteous indignation than to feel humility. It is easier to feel put upon that it is to feel grateful.
But I assured you, every time we do not acquiesce to our baser responses. When we look rage and compulsion in the face and say no more, we are saying “yes” to God and when we do the sacred enters in and expands us. When we choose compassion, compassion rushes in. When we choose peace, peace floods us. When we choose humility, grace lifts us up to places we could never go on our own.
And then, I asked you to make saying ‘yes” your summer homework. I asked you to pay attention to those decision points where you feel yourself being asked in some subtle or not so subtle way to say “yes” to God. Has there been particular experience of beauty that invited you to linger just a bit longer? Did you face a difficult situation and instead of retaliating, which may have been your right, you chose instead to forgive? Has there been a moment looking in the mirror in the morning when you asked your hard inner judge to be quiet for just a moment and in its place felt a new and sweet compassion for yourself emerge?
I invite you to take a moment and jot down what your experience was like. What did it feel like to walk through those wide open doors into God’s embrace even if it was just for a moment? Jot it down, send it to me so that when Advent comes, as we prepare our hearts again to say “Yes” to the coming of Jesus into our lives we can be enlivened by your experiences, much like those first Christians, were enlivened by Paul’s. Peace to you — Stacy
Lunch Bunch, Tuesday, August 19th 12:00 -1:30.
Waban Health Worship Service, Friday, August 19th 10:30. If you would be interested in attending or helping to
lead worship with Stacy for the residents at the Waban Health and Rehabilitation Center
please send me an email [email protected] or a call at 617-965-3893
Summer Service, August 21st. 5:00pm followed by a light supper.
Thursday, September 8, 6-7:30pm. CE invites you to a "Welcome back to
Sunday School" dinner and get-together. Pizza will be provided and
donations graciously accepted. RSVP to Kathy ([email protected])
Local Mission Initiative, Saturday, September 10th 8:30-3:00pm, Location TBA. Please rsvp as soon as possible to
Brita Gill Austern or Stacy Swain know if you are interested in attending a day retreat to do some work on finding out about local projects
that might give us inspiration for exploring a local initiative for the Capital Campaign Mission Fund related to non-violence, incarceration,
enhancing education in the inner cities and disabilities as it relates to all of the above.
Gathering Sunday! Sunday, September 11, 10:00 a.m. It will be wonderful to be together again for worship and communion.
This will be the first day of Sunday School for the new year and as always there will be professional infant and toddler care.
Stay Tuned for information on a special September 11th service of remembrance and reconciliation.
Zambia Taskforce Meeting, Sunday September 18th at 11:30.
NICA Task force meeting, Sunday September 25th at 11:30
Thursday, September 29, 10am to noon. Service day at Cradles to Crayons in
Brighton. This is a school holiday for Rosh Hashanah. Anyone five years
old and older is invited to come. Let us know if you need a ride or can
give a ride (and for how many). For those under 18 coming without parents,
permission slips will be available come September. RSVP to Kathy