Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week of Epiphany 3
January 24, 2016
Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years.. (Mark 5:25, NRSV)
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
~~ Allen Saunders
We all had full plates this weekend, right? In addition to doing what all of us were doing – tracking the storm and then shoveling – my other commitments included trying to stay in touch with our grandson whose Saturday birthday party we missed, conferring with Pr. Sarah about our Sunday church decision, and writing a sermon since our pulpit exchange pastor had to cancel at the last minute … oh, and pumping Advil … yeah, there was that, too. By Saturday night dinner, the sermon was done, I envisioned one more shoveling session on our back porch, and then a date with Stephen King.
Then the power went out. We got our PPL call with a 1:00 AM estimated return of service, and shortly thereafter it was moved up to 11:30PM. So we got out our flashlights and candles, alerted our extended family, turned off the lights we thought were on, and sat in the dining room and talked. We put our iPhones aside to save power. We played some canasta by candlelight. We laughed when we walked into the bathroom and flipped on the light switch. And we counted our blessings, as we remembered an ice storm two years ago and the three-day power outage we endured. And our night turned into a quiet and lovely respite from a busy weekend. Then the power came on a little earlier than expected, and we went to bed grateful for that final benediction. Life had happened, in the midst of all our other plans.
In the Sunday morning Gospel Lesson most of us didn’t hear today, Jesus was on his way to heal a little girl who was sick, when he was interrupted by a woman who had been sick for more than a decade. In the end, both the woman and the girl were healed. But the way it played out shows that Jesus ministry often lived “in the moment,” even when the stakes were high. It is a reminder to us to cherish the moments in life with which God blesses us. If you are like me, I am often thinking a few commitments ahead – sometimes a few days ahead – and I am regularly at risk of forgetting the blessing that might be staring me right in the face.
So in your prayers this week, dare you ask for an occasional “power outage” in your busy schedule … a moment that surprises you with a “found” hour or two … maybe an afternoon in which your schedule miraculously clears out? And dare you pray for the courage to resist filling that “found” time with more tasks and responsibilities, and just enjoy a few moments of grace in your life? You pray for that … and I’ll pray for a daring spirit for you all.
God of all time, I pray that you slow me down today. Give me pause from the hectic schedule I allow to own me, and turn my eyes to the world around me. Allow me to see the beauty before my eyes, the music within my hearing, and the peace that resides in my spirit … each of which are gifts from your loving and peaceful hand. Amen.