Originally I told my husband for this week’s blogpost I was just going to post a funny cat video and call it good. I couldn’t find one that seemed funny enough. (I have posted above a different video I hope you enjoy- just click here or on the picture above)
Tough bible readings for this upcoming weekend, a tough week of winter weather when I have gotten spoiled thinking those sunny days won’t ever end and being faced with some tough situations -got me thinking maybe a cat video was the best I could do this week.
And then…. I remember how a friend thought that I would be preaching on Valentine’s Day (I am not) and that made me laugh.
And then… I remember how another friend was talking to me about how a teacher would always talk of how many hugs we need a day ( according to Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”). Then instead of looking for cat videos I read a an article on hugs. Click here for another one.
And then… I remember that at the very heart of the message of Jesus is LOVE. Even as we wrestle with challenging bible readings like those for this weekend- the BIG MESSAGE is love. Love of God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love of our neighbor as ourselves. Love for this world God created. It’s about the love, even as we hear Jesus level up the law in Matthew 5:21-37.
And then… I remember that when we love we want the very best for those we love. That’s so how it is with God’s love for us! And even more so. Jesus comes as love in the flesh to deliver this message of God.
And then… I remember when I first heard someone say “God loves your children even more than you do.” I wanted to refute that. And yet, I knew this to be true. That is how it is with God’s love- so great, so deep, so vast, so… beyond our human comprehension. It is far greater than human love. And this trust in God’s love changes how I hear and read the section of the Sermon on the Mount we read this weekend. When I hear it and read it as Jesus who loves me getting my attention to remind me that God wants the very best for me....Things are shifting.
And then… I remember that there is a Soul Pancake video on the healing power of hugs and I watch that and stop looking for cat videos. Instead, I remember that the root of the law of God is relationship and covenant - belonging to God and in this belonging we are being guided to behave in ways that are life giving and loving of ourselves, our neighbor and God.
And then… I remember how when I prepare to go to sleep and review the day it is both a time to reconcile where I have fallen short and to celebrate how God is showing up and loving me. It will be a lifelong process to let go of only focusing on where I fall short as I am learning to let go of thinking it is all up to me. God has created me to depend upon and need God at my inmost core. Created in God’s image for connection with God and God’s amazing creation including all humanity also created in God’s image that's who we are and how we are meant to live. I am going to keep needing guidance and direction. And Jesus’ words are still hard and harsh and there is certain amount of hyperbole to get our attention.
And then… I remember how I have heard someone appreciate the winter weather as it allows her to rest and appreciate a reason to slow down.
And then…I remember how someone mentioned the benefits of the snow’s moisture for our dry Colorado land.
And then… I remember how much I approached the moments of the sun shining this week with great joy when it was peeking through the clouds.
And then…I ask for a hug.
And then… instead of looking for a cat video I let in the joy and affection of my two dogs who are actually here with me as I write this.
And then…I finish writing this with a deep breath and an even deeper prayer asking God to help me remember that love has the first word and the last word.
And then... I remember the words for a sermon for this weekend will come all in good time and all in God’s time.