From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 7th Sunday of Easter

Hi everyone,

So my body is feeling mighty tired today. Some of you might know that I dug up the lawn in our backyard a couple weeks ago in an attempt to refresh it with new grass. That in itself was a chore, of course, but yesterday morning came our order of new soil to fill in the many low spots we had darting the yard. With the help of my brother and three somewhat willing but very inexperienced kids, we were able to move all that dirt off the pavement and onto where the grass will hopefully grow.

It was a lot of work, as you could imagine. Not just the physical labour, which was admittedly more arduous than I had anticipated, the stress of screwing up the whole process was also weighing me down. I mentioned before that I’m not exactly well versed on anything that has to do with growing things (aside from my own waistline), so reseeding an entire lawn is sort of unknown territory.

But I had fun anyway.

There was something to be said about being out and toiling the land. Something about the connection to the earth. Doing the work with the kids helped too. It was neat to see them pitch in where and how they could.

So even if the lawn turns out really bad and not what I had hoped, it was a memorable experience. I would do it again. Not because I like this kind of manual labour, but because I felt like I was doing it for and with those that I love, which brought me a sense of joy that I didn’t expect.

Here are the readings for next week:
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

“…so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.” These are some of Jesus’ words that we hear from this prayer that he prays for his disciples and for us. It sounds nice and all, but what is it that is being asked for us, of us, and in spite of us?

I think the answer lies in the other passages for next week, in the talk about the community of service as described a bit in Acts and the eternal life that we get from Jesus as mentioned in 1 John. See the joy that Jesus wants to see complete in us is a joy that we get from community, service, and the life example set for us by Jesus.

And I don’t think it has to be a glamorous life that is full of humility and healings like Jesus’, or one that is about teaching and taking care of others, or even one that is full of signs and wonders. But the life that Jesus leads us to live is one that full of meaning through relationship, is fulfilling through service to others, and given joy through community.

I know, this sounds like a bunch of catch phrases that I use close to every week. But there’s a reason for that, and it’s because I believe it to be true, I believe that this is what we are created for, I believe that this is what Jesus prays for us. Each and every one of us. That our joy be complete.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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