Our Sister Phoebe, a Deacon

Theological musings inspired by the Spirit and totally Ellen…

Archive for the category “love”

>Wandering In From a Spiritual Desert

>I’ve been in a desert of sorts.
A few of my friends ask why I feel I’m having difficulty connecting with God; after all, who’s my Daddy?
The last weeks have been painful – spiritually. I haven’t felt God’s presence, nor can I hear the Word.
Having one’s hands annointed, being consecrated an ordained leader, wearing all the trappings on Sunday mornings and holidays doesn’t guarantee instant spiritual connection or enlightenment.
What it does guarantee are moments of uncertainty, doubt, loneliness – just like everybody else.
I keep asking why? I keep asking where are you? When I meditate and use the image of the walk in the forest, there’s a boulder in the path – like the giant stone rolled in front of the entrance of Jesus’ tomb, or the giant marble that chased Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Let me give you a back story.
When I begin my contemplative prayer, I close my eyes and put myself on a path leading into a forest from a field of wheat. I walk through the forest on the path, heading toward a gate, beyond which is a clearing that leads down hill into a valley where there’s a castle (well, there’d have to be a castle if it’s my imagery, right?) and a village surrounded by hills and lush greenery. It’s my goal to pass through the gate and go down to the castle.
I’ve only reached the gate once.
Lately, as I walk on this path in my mind and heart, the boulder is in the way. There’s no way around it. The trees are too thick to walk around and the boulder is too heavy to move.
So I’ve been trying again and again to walk through this path.
A few minutes ago, while typing the foregoing, it hit me.
I’M THE BOULDER IN THE PATH.
I’m preventing my spiritual connection and journey.
I’ve let my unhappiness and loneliness build up a wall of sorts to God, when all I need to do is let God.
I need to let it be.

With God’s love and mine,

Ellen+

>One of my earliest memories of evangelism was my brother’s Vacation Bible School pageant. I don’t remember how old we were, but I remember my brother wearing a paper sailor’s cap like those we made out of newspaper and holding a fishing rod while singing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men, I will make you fishers of men if you follow me . . .”

What did that mean? I will make you fishers of men?

In the version of the Christian Scripture used today, the clever invitation from Jesus is now “come, I will make you fish for people.” It doesn’t have the same humor to my mind, but it’s message is the same. Jesus has arrived at Capernaum and is watching the local fishermen pull in their nets, trim the sails, whatever fishermen did, and he invites them to drop their nets and come with him to start a ministry of proclaiming the kingdom of Heaven and pull in those people who hear the message and are drawn to it, building a new community with the Good News.

Peter, Andrew, James and John, dropped everything, gave up their familiar, work-a-day lives to become disciples of this young rabbi from Nazareth called Jesus bar Joseph when he stopped by the lake and called to them.

I don’t know if I would have had the strength to do something so brave or monumental. In all honesty, I would have said, “Yeah, but first let me finish typing this.” or made any number of excuses to delay the departure.

I also don’t know if Jesus would have waited in the front room for me to finish whatever it was I thought was so important that it couldn’t wait until I returned.

What I do know is that Jesus offers the invitation to me, just as he offers the same to you every day. I think sometimes we’re just too wrapped up in life to hear His voice. But think of the new possibilities and challenges, new lives through Christ, when we drop the nets and come along.

And what is this new life? It is life made complete by the love God gives us through Christ.

That love is offered freely and is sustaining; we are guided and supported by love – from the Trinity and from one another.

Come follow me, Jesus invites. Drop the phone, drop the remote control, shut down the laptop, put down the Sudoku puzzle. That’s what Jesus is saying to us now. Put aside the concerns and stresses of life and come to me and I will show you there’s a better way to live.

Now excuse me while I’ll log off . . . .

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord!

Ellen+

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