What is God Calling Me To Do?
November 29, 2018
So the “holiday season has begun! Sooo have you already seen too many of those icky sweet plot-less Hallmark Holiday Christmas type fantasy movies or has your MD warned you about the dangers of sugar overload? Have you paid homage to shopping malls or been plastered to your chair for your online shopping binge? Have you decided (and I can’t) which song on the radio is more likely to push me to drive off into oblivion: the relentless rendering of Burl Ives’ Have a Holly Jolly Christmas or a recent addition to my “I-must-miss-list”: Madonna’s (thinking she is Eartha Kit?) rendering of Santa Baby!
This is not to be your pre-Christmas post-secular rant! I’d rather offer things to be proud of and grateful for as we Christians are called to move beyond the mundane and proclaim “Good News” to our broken world. I am proud, once again, that the teens in our Confirmation Class are saving up and offering a gift for a child in Haiti. I am so proud that our small parish is going to support two unknown- to- them families with gifts (and food?) so they are not forgotten. I am proud that several members of this parish, on their own, did make the sad but important trip to the bedside of the dying Mary Frances Lynch to say a prayer, sing a song or simply to offer a touch in the hope that she might know that she was not going to die utterly alone.
I am proud when I am told by more and more folks that this year, they are going to give to charity rather than spend on themselves or giving to those who have so (too?) much already. I am so proud that this parish, through the inspiration of two vestry members, has made the commitment to establish a food pantry for the homeless and underfed among us. Heck I just watched our border collie this year (with her boundless energy and semi-pathological need to be in charge) pay homage and treat with such soft kindness a very old and fragile street dog – not just greeting her but almost communicating that Abby would be her protector. It’s not “magic” – it is “our bounden duty” as disciples of Jesus.
If the author of Ecclesiastes was correct, “there is a time and purpose under heaven” for everything, perhaps this is our moment (our time) as believers in the Jesus Movement to show those around us that we all need to take a step back, tone down the language, spend time with those who are alone, spend more time with our own family, and do for those who walk in our midst as if in the shadows. This is that time of year not just to feel special but to BE special for others – “love one another as I have loved you” – our master and Lord has commanded us.
In some ways this season drives me to distraction, but in others, it gives me pause and makes me hope. Maybe I’ll just not turn on the radio for a while.