Thursday Reflection 1.3.19

Thursday Reflection
Thursday January 3, 2019
“What is God Calling me to do?”
           In spite of the rain on New Year’s Eve, I have just come off the most wonderful few days away – visiting children and grandchildren.   It was the first time in months where I have spent days in utter relaxation and not bothered with emails, writing sermons, following up with insurance companies or reviewing work contracts. I have just had some time with the pure of joy of being irresponsible and silly and eating all sorts of things that I dare not put in print lest either my beloved wife or my cardiologist read this and explode at me!
           However, it was still time for prayerful reflections. Abby and I took long walks on unfamiliar turf (the local high school football field and the various tree filled streets behind it) where we raced from (I guess?) smell to smell in spite of cold.  Of course being a year away from a heart procedure, I can do far more than I could a year ago, but still I am coming to face an undeniable truth – my body no longer allows me to pretend to be 25 (or even 65), and each step with a racing border collie reminds me that the finish line of my journey is now that much closer.
           I walked by unfamiliar and large village church buildings that seemed to me to be filled with as few (maybe fewer) than those who join us in worship each weekend here.   Christianity as we know it is changing in terms of those who wish to commit themselves to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I think we will be a much smaller but hopefully more dedicated communion.
           I have now seen at family / friendly gatherings that there are now topics (politics / politicians, religion v. spirituality, beliefs about culture and custom that are just so volatile that the topics for intellectual conversation have been reduced to watching the next funky reality based TV cooking show!  I am sensing that that the voices of discord and anger are getting so loud that one may not even utter a musing thought without fear of reprimand (or threat of reprisal). And I pray with hope that this coming year the volume gets turned down and we try to listen a bit more – it can’t get worse – but that’s what I was hoping for a year ago! How did that work out?
           So I am ready to throw myself back into the “battles” of life. 2019 is here. Let’s not just wistfully hope but truly work at committing ourselves to improving our own lives and the lives of others in 2019.  Let us be instruments of peace. Let us make this coming year a year to remember for all the right reasons as we remain open to be vessels of God’s grace to a broken and dark world. Happy New Year!
Fr. Joe