27 July 2006

the observant one

Me: what color are my eyes?
Fiance: brown
Me: what? have you looked at them?
Fiance: aren't they?
Me: no, honey
Fiance: wait, no, blue-gray, right?
Me: yes, oh observant one

let me just say that we've been together well over 4 years.. so I'm highly amused ;)

24 July 2006

Pentecost 7 (July 23, 2006)

The story of the feeding of the five thousand is a familiar one to us, but there is a hint of currents moving beneath the surface. When the disciples were gathered around Jesus, he invites them to come away to a quiet place. They’ve been teaching and doing the work of ministry, and Jesus has asked them to come away to a deserted place, where they can rest and maybe even have a conversation with just themselves and Jesus. And so they take a boat and go away. Unfortunately, the deserted place they’re seeking has become immensely popular, and Jesus speaks with the crowds that have followed him, because he recognizes their hunger for his teaching. After time passes, the disciples try to persuade him to send the crowd away. They’re tired and hungry for a time of solitude, or maybe they don’t want to share him with everyone else for a while.

Their words sound like a kind gesture, made out of concern for the people who’ve followed Jesus. But let’s think through the words for a moment: the hour is late, perhaps night is falling and it will soon be dark; they’re in a place so deserted that they cannot easily acquire food, if they even have money to buy it; and the people are hungry after a long day. What kindness is it to send a hungry person (much less five thousand) away, into the darkness in a desolate place to find food wherever they can?

How and where the crowd will find food is not really what the disciples are thinking about. They are hoping Jesus will send the crowd away for their own purposes. In focusing exclusively on their own concerns, the disciples have lost sight of the message of Jesus. We see this echoed Paul’s reaction to the situation at Ephesus, where the church has lost sight of the good news because of their focus on what divides them.

Divisions are easier than unity. They provide a way of ordering and understanding who we are by defining who we are not. Divisions give us the illusion of control by separating the world into us and them. It is all too simple to slip into us versus them. It was there in the church at Ephesus even after Jesus had gone to the cross. These conflicts remain alive and well in our own lives.

What would the Church look like if we remembered that Jesus Christ is our common cornerstone, no matter what our race, ethnicity, nationality, denomination, or political inclinations? For that matter, what would our world look like if we focused on our common humanity rather than divisions, real and imagined?

We are in the midst of a troubled time. In Israel and Lebanon, peace has come to an end, and war has returned to tear apart families and communities. Our branch of the Church has been torn apart, creating a rift that grows wider as time passes. The walls of hatred and division keep returning, both in the Church and in the world.

Paul’s letter reminded the Ephesians – and us! – that because of Jesus Christ we are all members of the household of God. It is in Jesus Christ that we find peace and unity. It is Jesus who has broken down the wall between. It is Jesus who ended the hostility between the Jews and the Gentiles through the cross. It is because of Jesus that we are no longer strangers and aliens to one another. But despite this, dividing walls comes between us.

Jesus heard what the disciples said, when the hour was growing late and they longed for a time of quiet away from the multitude, but he also saw their desire to separate their smaller group from the crowd. Instead of allowing the rift to grow, he invited them all to the table. He broke bread, gave thanks, shared it with everyone who followed him and ‘all ate and were filled.’

It is not easy to bring down the walls of division that have come up between us. It is not easy to heal the damage that discord has done to those on both sides. But it is not our burden: it is accomplished through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is break bread together, give thanks, and come to the table.

15 July 2006


I stumbled across the Discovery Health Activity Calculator, a nifty tool for seeing how many calories you burn while making beds or playing cards.

It gets even better. Did you know that praying (sitting or kneeling) in church will burn about 950 calories in 30 minutes? Or that you could calculate how many calories you burn while ushering?

Not to mention Crutches - walking with, Dancing - Jitterbug, Edging lawn - power edger.... The list is pretty endless. Near the end, I even found: Worms - digging worms.

My personal favorite, however, is definitely "Walking - to and from the outhouse (to is faster)"

14 July 2006

in absentia

it's been awhile.

it'll be awhile longer yet.

busy busy life:
55 hours per week in the hospital
wedding stuff

4 more weeks of CPE remain.
7 weeks till I'm officially married.
8 weeks until orientation.
9 weeks until classes start.