From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 5th Sunday after the Epiphany

Hello everyone,

I know in these weekly reflections, I often talk about my kids.  It isn’t because I like to brag about them (actually I purposely stay away from bragging because really… there isn’t much to brag about) or that they are prime examples of “good kids” (oh man I’m laughing) or that I’m actively trying to embarrass them and give them something to talk to their therapist about in the future (ok, maybe a little).  But it is just that they are always there, in my face, or at least in my mind.  And since they are still kids, they have an innocence about them that I really do believe serve as a good example of our innermost intention and give us insight on perhaps who we really are before the ways of the world have been ingrained in us.

So I like to watch them.  I like to see how they act, react, and interact with each other and situations.  I like how they remind me of how simple things can be… you know… before bills ‘n’ stuff.

Just yesterday I was relaxing on the couch and all the kids were doing their thing.  Then my youngest, Kaylie, was playing some video game that had really funky music.  I actually think the idea of the game was to play this wild and crazy music to get the little kiddies moving.  Well, move she did.  First she did this odd arm movement that swayed to the melody, then she started to twirl her torso to the beat, then as the music got bigger and more grand she just stomped her feet like she were a giant (which she totally isn’t, she’s tiny).

It was the funniest interpretive dance I’ve ever had the joy of recording on my phone (I’d post it, but I don’t want to embarrass her that much).  But I wonder how much that kind of dancing is in all of us, but inhibited by our own perceptions, embarrassment, and modesty.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

I always get a kick out of this story about Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law, because of how she reacts to being miraculously healed.  She simply gets up and starts to serve them.  Like, she was facing a possibly death-treatening illness, was made better by the hand of God, and she just goes and starts making food, cleaning the house, and takes care of the general chores that need to be done.

Hey, you do you.

I’ve read some commentators lamenting over this, as though this woman was being oppressed and had no better role in society than to be a servant.  But I see it another way.  I see it that she had no greater joy than to serve.  And it would seem to me that the only reason why she couldn’t be doing all these things is because she was stuck in bed nursing a fever that could potential have been fatal.  I see that in my own in-laws and parents and grandparents.  They want to do things for others.  They want to serve.  They want to show their love to us through their actions, and through how they have been shown love.

Looking at it this way, it isn’t oppressive, but it liberating.  It is showing us how by the grace of God we can be who we are.  It is a display of how we can be released of our preconceived notions of life and just be us.

Just as how the innocence of a child allows that child to be and to do without inhibition, so our faith in God, teaching us that we are truly welcomed and accepted and loved, allows us to shed fear, guilt, and shame, and simply just be.  Simply just do.  And simply just serve as we are called and freed to.

Haven’t you heard?  God is awesome!

Have a great week, everyone!

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