Great Gratefulness

“What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to You, the High God!

To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night.”

Ps. 92:1-2, The Message

The list is long this week, rocketed forward by weeks of travel to visit beautiful people in wondrous places.

Spring coming, marked by wet snow                                

Meadowlarks singing

Early morning sunlight, red reflecting off lowering clouds

Old friends new again

Visits from around the world

Sons camping on couches

New homes

Vibrant color on walls

Leaves shadowed by early morning sun

Fireplaces warming the chill

Faces tired from smiling

Opportunities taken

Airplanes

Cell phones

E-mail, all ways to stay connected to those we love

Poppies for miles, blooming for the joy of it

Quiet words in the midst of celebration

Good tired, full up with rejoicing

Tromping through fields

Wind, cleaning sky, bringing rain

Listening to lapping water

Out loud laughter

Reflection, interior and otherwise

New leaves

Fresh greens of Spring

Deep Westminster chime

Talents developed, skill shining

Color, and eyes and heart to appreciate it

“Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got…

God’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of study–endless enjoyment!

His generosity never gives out, His miracles are His memorial

This God of Grace, this God of Love.”
Ps. 111 The Message

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Our Spiritual Worship: Life in Community

I worshipped this past weekend in a wonderful way with wonderful people. I say the weekend because it extended far beyond a singular Sunday morning. It was time spent sharing in lives that had grown together, some over decades. This group contributed their love and their talents to each other, and they welcomed me into their lives like I was part of their family.

Two of them were in a play Friday night, and we joined to applaud their talent and hard work. Spectacular. We breakfasted with an extended family and enjoyed a spaghetti lunch where everyone loved each other so much they didn’t want to go home.

When we talk about attending church it is so much more than showing up one morning a week. It is sharing lives, with all the bends and twists, the joys and hardships. It means trusting and loving and serving.

It involves risk, and it is worth everything to reach this place of companionship and care.

What I experienced last week was the church, the Body of Christ, in riveting action. Living life together with depth and cohesion.

When St. Benedict set his rules of order in place he added to the typical call of poverty, chastity and obedience something else. He added stability. He required his followers to join a community and stay there. No flitting from one place to another, no seeking out another community because they might be ‘more spiritual.’

No. One place, one people, one God to serve.

And last week I got to share in the fruit of lives lived together, a foretaste of Heaven.