Thursday, April 6, 2017

Not your own doing

I have not written for a couple of days because I have found myself pretty busy with a whole variety of activity - facilitating  boundary training for the region, leading a murder mystery birthday party for a friend, preaching in Sidney Ohio, and entertaining Lisa, Chuck's daughter from Toledo.  Maybe it doesn't sound like much but I have sort of lost my morning routine in which writing in the blog happens.

But here I am this morning and back at it.  Caught as I look at the day's scripture by this line from Ephesians 2

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God– not the result of works, 

The grace of God and the ongoing flow of creative love in my life and in this world  is   - to use an overworked word - awesome.  As I look back on these last few days I see it, I taste, I love it.  The grace that enables me to be present, to see beneath the surface, to savor the moment.  Which all sounds lovely.

This morning I read an interesting quote by Julian of Norwich:
"Only in the falling apart of your own foundation can you experience God as your total foundation and your real foundation." 

And what I have learned over time is that when what I think is a "foundation" starts to crumble is when I really do find God is there in the chaos and the crisis and the cleanup.  That is when it is really clear that grace is "not my doing."  

I have a meeting this morning as a regional elder in which I imagine we will talk about the future of the region in the light of the sudden resignation of our regional pastor.  There is a sense with many people that things are changing and almost crumbling in the church.  My faith that reminds me that there is a foundation beneath what we think is foundational is always foundational!  I certainly don't have answers here - any more than I have answers nationally as I worry about the leadership of our country.  However, I trust that God is at work even though it sure looks on the surface like we are falling apart.

My Mantra for today - TTRUST IN THE GIFT OF GRACE

I will include this Psalm that always speaks to me in times of change.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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