From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So I am back from a couple weeks of holidays!  It actually felt a lot longer than that, maybe because I was at our Synod’s Confirmation Camp the week prior to the start of my time off.  We spent the first week up at Cultus Lake to give our kids their first taste of tent camping, which we didn’t think was a great idea leading all the way up to the minute we left the house.  We not big camping people to begin with, so we had to borrow camping gear and we realised just how MUCH we need to take with us.

The tent, the air mattresses, the cooking stuff, the chairs, the portable bbq, the this and the that.  It was a lot.  But by some miracle we were able to fit everything in the car (it helped that my brother was coming too with his much larger-than-ours car and much smaller-than-ours family so he could carry some stuff for us) and we were ready to head off to what I was expecting to be the most stressful week of my life (apparently another term for camping is “arguing outdoors”).

But you know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  Sure, sleeping in a tent and the hard rain on the first night wasn’t pleasant, showering with moths and mosquitoes left a lot to be desired, and living without all the comforts of home by definition was a bit uncomfortable… but it was actually relaxing.

Hanging out with the kids, walking by the water, sitting there in the glow of a giant blazing fire (this is before the fire ban, thank goodness), all of this was good and exactly what I needed for my holidays.  While I was hoping for perfect weather, clean facilities and a comfortable bed, I got what I got and it was perfectly fine.  Better than fine, actually, it was great.

So I guess I was surprised with how I found rest during my time off.  Still not sure if we’ll ever do it again though…

Here are the readings for this Sunday:
2 Kings 4:42-44
Psalm 145:10-18
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

We know that God meets our needs, but I think sometimes we feel like our needs can only be met in one particular way.  Like, “heal my loved one” or “make me happy again” or “give me that job” or whatever.  And truth is that stories like the ones we get with Jesus feeding a bunch of hungry people with a ridiculously small amount of food and him magically teleporting his friends out of harm’s way give us the idea that perhaps our needs should be met with a miracle.

But very often they aren’t.  In fact, I don’t think anything supernatural or inexplicable or stereotypically miraculous has ever happened to me.  However, I have felt God meeting my needs in ways that surprise me.  Not just with the aforementioned camping trip, but in many ways throughout my life.  And I’m sure you see it too in your own life.

So maybe it isn’t about miracles.  Or signs and wonders.  Or even about our needs.

Perhaps it is about God making God known, that we might be able to trust and rely on God’s promises.  While God doesn’t seem to work in miracles across the board, God does indeed work and is present among us all, revealing grace, truth, and peace upon which we can put our confidence in.  This strengthens us, empowers us, and moves us forward into life with God and others, cultivating right relationship and community wherever we may be.

For God’s power and presence in us allows us to do abundantly more than we could ask or imagine… and often surprisingly so!  May we have our eyes open to what God is doing in and around us that we might join in, empowered and ready to serve!

Have a great week everyone!

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