Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Jesus said, 'As you go, proclaim the good news, "The kingdom of heaven has come near." Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. Matthew 10:7-13

I got my solstice walk in this morning, a little bit after sunrise. It was beautiful. I contemplated the aforementioned text from Matthew as I thought about where I am "at" on this longest day of the year.

I thought to myself how often I carry my "baggage" around with me. How do my past experiences enable or prevent me from extending Christ's peace to other people? What setbacks and/or moments of God's Grace have shaped me to become the person and priest that God is calling me to be and/or cause latent anxieties to emerge separating me from God's love and the presence of the people I encounter?

It's difficult to leave both worldly wealth and spiritual weight behind on a spiritual pilgrimage. Yet, that seems to be the path that Jesus taught his disciples to follow. He also told them not to starve or to throw the pearls of their discipleship to pigs. (Matthew 7:6). Life presents an inordinate amount of opportunities to extend one's "peace" to people who are yearning to learn more about God as well as experience the Risen Christ who is the source of all Christian healing and mercy.

The last few days for me have been a time of embracing the peace of others who are extending Christ's love toward me. They are thanking me for my ministries, honoring me for my efforts at St. George's. This is a time of striving to say good bye in healthy and holy ways even as they and I earnestly pray for Christ to reveal what will unfold for me this summer. The waiting and wondering is both exciting and worrisome.

I know that I shouldn't worry about my life. (Matthew 6:25) I do nonetheless. It's like participating in a series of good romantic dates. A person (me) becomes hopeful about where my relationship with God and God's people is headed and then ... I begin to fear that my peace, my gifts, my aspirations will be undesirable. My lack of faith sets in rather than understanding that Christ, through the Holy Spirit's guidance is leading me along the next portion of my pilgrimage with Jesus.

Today's conversation w/ Jesus and The Word suggests to me that I should take confidence in the hope that I am striving to extend God's peace (εἰρήνη: tranquility, harmony) to others as God is leading me to do. It's enough for today, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, for me - and perhaps for you - to pray, ponder, and believe that God is indeed continuing to work out God's plan of salvation for my (your) life as well as for others I (you) encounter under the summer sun or some where else along the road. Blessings Along The Way,

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