God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Go Away from Me, Lord


Lake Geneva Walking Path
               Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ 5Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’ 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’ 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.  Luke 5:1-11


It had been a really, long night
We had cast our nets out over and over
Nothing, not one fish
Nothing to show for our labor
We pulled to shore ready to give up

This man asked me to take him out
He wanted to talk to the crowd
He spoke about God
I don’t know if I ever heard about God like that before.
I know he was quoting scripture,
But it just felt different
New
He spoke about a God who forgives anything
A God who loves the broken, the lost, the last
He said that God wanted the hungry to be fed, the blind to see,
the prisoners to be released, the oppressed to be set free
         
He asked us to pull out farther
He said to drop our nets
I told him the time to catch fish was long past
He nudged us to put are nets in the water
So we did
And then we felt the weight
It was so heavy I called to my partners to come help
There were so many fish
More fish than we have ever caught in a week

I turned to look at him
I dropped to my knees before him
How could he want anything to do with me
I have made so many mistakes
I have done things I shouldn’t have
If only he knew the real me

I looked up and prayed:
Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.
Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.



Thursday, February 21, 2019

Great


\
Great… What does it mean to be great? What does it mean to make something great? Greatness has been a word we have heard a lot of lately.

When I have been hearing this word greatness, I often think of stories told about Jesus. There is an argument that arises among the disciples about which one of them is the greatest. Jesus knew what they were thinking. Knew they were juggling over who gets power, who is the favorite, who gets the most responsibility. Jesus who knew what they were they were thinking, took a little child and drew the child to his side and said, ‘Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest’ (Luke 9:48). The little child, the one by your side, the littlest, the most vulnerable, in God’s dream this one is the greatest. This story is told and retold in each of the gospels. Each time Jesus makes the point that we are to welcome the least and we are to become the servant. He says look at the mustard seed,, a tiny seed, grows and spread to become a place where bird nest. He invites us to look at the woman who puts the few coins in the offering. He spoke of sparrows, corn, seeds. He knelt with the blind, the frail and invited them to see and be strong. To be great we are invited into a journey where we welcome the least, the lost, the last.  He invited us to look at what isn’t valued and see its worth.

When asked to become great, to make great does this change your response. Does it cause you to pause? Do you remember what Jesus said about greatness? Do you think about children and seeds, yeast and coins? Do you remember all those he touched with wild grace those frail, blind, lost, hurt? We invited to be servants, to delight in God’s kingdom that sees the beauty of the small. 



He knew the greatness of the small Who spied two pennies in the plate, And felt the trust young hands relate And blessed them all: He said what mattered was not large When in God’s charge.



When we defer to sight or size, Believing big is always best And falling for the Tempter's test, God open our eyes To see how Christ, the Lord of All, Smiles from the small.        
                                                                                              John Bell and Graham Maule