From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany

Hi all,

What a great day it was today!  We had some bishops from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) joining us for worship today, as the bishops of the ELCA and the ELCIC (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) were gathering in Vancouver for their annual Bishop’s Academy (pictures to be posted later or check our Twitter @gracelutburnaby).  And let me tell you, if you think worshipping with one bishop in your church is great, try three!

Then after worship, the bishops and spouses and guests joined the Steers family and my family for lunch (or maybe I should say I joined them… because I was late).  We had lively discussions and we learned much about the ELCA and the differences it has with our own ELCIC.  It is always great to learn more about our brothers and sisters, as well as how they operate and what works for them and what doesn’t.

I should also say that I tried to stay engaged with the conversation the best I could, it wasn’t easy at times with my 3 young children present and running out of things to colour.  I’m thankful that my wife joined us later and (as usual) took the bulk of keeping the kids calm and brought them things to do!  Once they were preoccupied with their own toys and games, suddenly Dad and his friends became silent invisible occupants of the same room, and no longer a boring group of adults.

The wonders of modern day technology and innovation in effectively keeping kids occupied and holding their attention, I tell ya.  I know it isn’t always a good thing (actually some may argue that it is never a good thing), but I’m just saying that it works.

The readings for next week are:
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

I think the reason most people say that screens and technology aren’t good for our kids are because of the distraction they are to life.  I’ve heard stories of how some kids get so immersed in their games and videos that they have lost touch with what is real and what isn’t, and they aren’t able to relate to other kids or some even lose the desire to play outdoors.  This level of distraction is scary for many people, as it seems like the kids could become more and more dependent on said technology for entertainment, rather than exercising their imaginations and relationship skills.

“The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.” (I Samuel 3:1b)  This verse caught my attention (ironically).  What caused that rarity of God’s word and the scarcity of visions?  Was God just not active?  Was God hiding away from people?  Was God on vacation?

Or were the people just distracted…?

I would think the latter, of course, as that exactly seems to be the case today as well.  I admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a vision, nor have I ever heard God’s audible voice, but I do see God working in and around my life and in my family and our community.  I hear God speaking through the words and actions of others, teaching me more about God’s love and grace.  I feel God’s hand in action, pushing and challenging me in how I live my life.

This isn’t to say that I don’t get distracted.  I do, admittedly, a lot.  But it is helpful for me to know that God is continually active, continually speaking, and continually present even when I am unaware (which again, is a lot).  We can rely on and trust in this promise, in the teachings of Jesus, and that God is always doing something new with or without our knowing.

But it’d just be so much cooler to know, wouldn’t it?

Have a great week, everyone!

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