Calling Christ Out of Our Tombs, St. Patrick's Day, 2016
The Widow's Mite, November 8, 2015
You are Being Rooted and Grounded in Love, July 26, 2015 10 a.m.
2 Kings 4:42-44, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6: 1-21
You are being rooted and grounded in love.
Beware: Love is not solid ground,
Love is not the predictable well laid plans we crave.
Love walks on water.
Love is not solid ground.
Love does not stay the same.
Love changes--and love will ask us to change too.
Love comes to us in many different disguises.
It will always ask us
To search our souls for every barrier we have built against it.
Love requires us to strip off our armor of protection
To reveal our vulnerabilities
Our deepest hungers and desires.
Love asks us
To risk being seen,
To risk rejection,
To risk revealing that we are all so needy of connection.
Once we get a taste of love,
We will be hungry again.
Oh, love hurts.
Yes, love bleeds.
It even dies.
And love rises again.
Love lifts us up where we belong.
All we need is love.
Love may come and turn our lives upside-down.
Love can be scary.
It will bring us to tender places,
And ask us to care about the pain we see
In ourselves and others.
We may pretend that we’re fine without love.
We may overeat to suppress our need.
Or starve ourselves to try and control it.
We never know exactly how or when love will find us,
Because we cannot control love.
We can flow with it.
We can dance with it.
We open our hearts to the experience of it.
But we cannot keep it locked up somewhere safe all to ourselves.
Love is to be shared.
It would seem that our world is filled with mountains of unending need,
That there is not enough love to go around.
It would seem that there is no way one child’s small gift
Could possibly feed a hungry crowd.
It’s no miracle,
It’s just the way it is.
Real love comes to us in small sizes.
In two fish,
In five loaves,
A newborn baby,
A mustard seed,
A grain of wheat,
A few drops of oil,
A thought: maybe there is another way.
But love does not stay small.
No, it keeps growing.
Love leaves left overs.
It multiplies beyond belief,
Like dandelions on the countryside.
So much abundant life fits inside of things so small:
A listening ear,
An act of kindness,
These can feed a mountain of need.
What small gift do you have to offer the hungry crowd around you?
Will you offer it to Jesus and let him bless it?
Will you open your eyes and your heart to God’s abundant love?
Practice giving thanks for all of the small ways love comes to you,
This love that comes so small
It is able to sneak past our armor of protection
And the sharp cracks in our hearts.
Every time you take out your credit card,
You could practice saying thank you, I have enough today,
Every time you eat,
You could say a prayer that all may be fed.
Every time you witness fear & scarcity,
You could inhale it and offer it to Jesus.
You could exhale God’s peace & abundance all around you,
As you walk through the supermarket,
Or sit in a board meeting,
Or walk into junior high.
Remind yourself and everyone else of God’s abundant kingdom.
Remind yourself and everyone else that we are not playing by the rules of fear.
Remind yourself and everyone else that there is enough—
There is more than enough!
Fear keeps us small. Love makes us grow.
Remind yourself and everyone else that God will use our small gifts.
That love overcomes fear.
That nothing is impossible with love.
Love walks on water.
Love can change everything.
Yes people may fortify their walls,
Fear will put us all to the test.
But keep offering your small gifts to Jesus.
No he won’t solve the problem like you think he should,
Because solving the problems like we want,
Often keeps us racing through our lives
Oblivious to God’s abundant ways.
Love will call us out of our comfort zones.
Love will break down barriers of race and class.
Love will call us into uncomfortable spaces
To behold how much sacrifice love will make,
To see how abundant love really is,
Until we learn that nothing can separate us from love,
Until we know that love can reach all the way down into our pain,
Into the pain of human history,
Love can touch the deep wounds
That we try so hard to hide from others.
Love will save us.
Will we let love in?
Keep offering your small gifts to Jesus.
Trust in things you cannot see.
Know that the numbers don’t and won’t add up,
That somehow there will be lots of leftovers,
When we are all rooted and grounded in love.
Let love in.
Let it reach you.
Let it change you.
Let it expand beyond you.
Let it multiply.