Over these past 4 months, I have been unbelievably grateful for First Street Methodist Mission for a variety of selfish reasons. I wanted to offer this love letter to the ministry that has ministered to me in these past 4 months. So to Linda, Bernie, Kathryn, the volunteers, the board, and all of you have donated: thank you.
This week in Family Sunday School we’ll be talking about anger. Anger, like sadness and fear, is a teacher, a protector, and part of the complex, God-made way we move through the world around us. May we respond to the anger we encounter with the compassion, gentleness, and potential for healing it deserves.
In Family Sunday School this week, we’re talking about resilience, and dandelions growing up through pavement, or in my case, irises growing around the base of my deck. We’re also talking about our obligation to teach our young people that they, too, can grow, regardless — and that they are tougher than they look, as well.
Sometimes the work we did so happily before — creating content, leading groups, writing lessons, and then offering it in person to watch people engage with it — now feels like effort tossed out onto the ocean of the internet with little way to know if any of it made any difference. And then came this.
In my experience of growing up and working in churches like this one, I have found that we are sometimes shy about naming the work of the Holy Spirit, feeling a little less comfortable with the God who comes in tongues of fire than God the Creator, or in Jesus. In Family Sunday School this week, we encourage our adults to listen to the stories, understandings, and testaments of children and teenagers for when they’ve seen and felt God’s presence.
As we celebrate this weekend all those who have been mothers to us, by birth or by choice, as well as all those who care for and nurture others in our world, I hope we can recognize the sacredness — the Christlikeness — in that action and honor all who display the image of God in the world around us.
In the time of the prophet Jeremiah, the Israelites were living in Babylonian exile. They had lost their homes, their temples, everything about their normal lives that they had taken for granted. Isolated, lost, and in a strange new world, they turned to Jeremiah to bring them a message from God.
When I read that question I can’t help but think about the Zoom and Facetime calls I’ve had, where we’ve talked about projections, peak dates, unemployment rates, and how if someone overheard and asked what we were talking about I might very well respond in just the same way. And, just like those disciples, the heaviness in our hearts caused by all that has happened means we may need to be a little more intentional in learning to recognize him.