Community in Action February 25, 2021

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more

than all we ask or imagine, according to his power

that is at work within us, to him be glory

in the church and in Christ Jesus

throughout all generations, for ever and ever!


Ephesians 3:20-21

    As we peruse the Gospel of John I find that rarely did Jesus follow the same pattern of living day after day. Not only did he travel up and down and across the breadth of Israel, but he healed, fed, and taught the crowds who followed him. Jesus was not one who seemed to be on a rigid schedule, at least from the record we have.

    I find that for myself a schedule is helpful, but I am not shackled to it. I also find that when I alternate the jobs I have to do, or want to do, I am in a much better frame of mind, like completing jigsaw puzzles.

    Monday, Joan and I completed a 500 piece puzzle after working on it for only two days. I have to admit it wasn’t very difficult and it used fairly large pieces. It was a circular puzzle which had different words on it, like pugnacious or lugubrious or persnickety.

    It was a welcome respite in many ways doing this puzzle because we had just finished what looked like a fairly easy 1,000 piece puzzle. That 1,000 piece puzzle took us three weeks to finish. It was a puzzle of muted colored plants. The pieces were smaller and the color variations were not that distinct, at least not in our dimly lit living room.

    We usually do the puzzles during the night time since we are both busy during the day and this makes it harder to distinguish colors or at least variations of colors. I felt a true sense of relief when that plant puzzle was finished.

    I think this breaking up of difficult tasks with easy tasks is also helpful in my daily work. I love to read, writing is more difficult, and preparing a sermon every week at the beginning of the week seems an almost insurmountable task.

    Yet, I think God prepares us for the difficult tasks by guiding us along the way with first the easier jobs and then the increasing the difficulty of jobs until when the most difficult task is done we realize we have accomplished that which we would never have guessed we could have completed.

    I wonder if Jesus had any idea that his changing water into wine, the first miracle in John, was just a step along the way of being able to raise Lazarus from the dead, the last miracle he did in John. I think Jesus not only learned along the way how to handle dissension among the disciples and the crowds who followed him, but he also learned how to handle the Jewish leaders more and more compentently. If Jesus was fully human then he must have followed some kind of learning curve.

    As Jesus became more sure of his calling he also raised the bar for commitment among his disciples. We see some who start to follow him who were only fishermen and yet they became faithful leaders of a new way to engage with the God of the universe. They went from bumbling contentious competitors to collaborative cooperative leaders.

    The disciples began as Jews based on lineage to become a tribe of people who were bound together by something intangible, faith. They started with trying to follow the letter of the law to be a people who were willing to be led by the spirit of the law and even later to be willing to follow the Holy Spirit beyond the law.

    As we cultivate the spirit in our faith walk let’s continue to explore new ways we can live out our faith. Some ways may seem difficult at first, but with God’s guidance we will do more than we could ever imagine.


    Pastor Randy

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