I have been watching a Lenten series produced by the brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. I was struck by something said and it clarified my feeling about some things in the church.
The quote is: We reduce the symbols (used by the church) so much that they lose life.
The reason that this resonated with me is that some churches (including mine) give communion in the form of ?bread? and wine. The wine is real but the bread is in the form of dry, tasteless wafers. The bread has been reduced until it has lost its life. I was so glad to find the right comment to make when discussing this. We can, and should, use real bread! Some could be made gluten free for those with Celiac disease.
These thoughts are from SSJE are so very true. There are limits to our energy, time and space. We can only do so much. It is important to know when those limits are reached and do the things we need to survive. If we over do we are no use to anyone.
All of us have parts of our lives that need protection for the simple reason that they are precious. By setting up intentional boundaries on our space and limits on our time, we can create an enclosure that fosters those precious qualities and experiences which the demands of life would otherwise devour.
– Br. James Koester, SSJE
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. Saint Augustine
We can pray to God and know that he will hear. We can depend on God. But we can’t sit back and do nothing. We are God’s hands and feet. Jesus didn’t just sit and expect people to come to him. He traveled, he reached out to the homeless, the downtrodden, the sick. He couldn’t have done that sitting in his home. He had to go out. We have to do the same. Sitting in the pew in church is a good thing to do but that is not our major task. We have to go out of the door and follow the steps of Jesus as he walked among the people.
[ The Call of Matthew ] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
We have heard this verse many time. So much that it might just wash over us. What does Jesus mean? In this case it meant leaving everything behind and just following Jesus without another thought.
It is so easy for us to sit in our churches each Sunday and say that we are following Jesus….but are we really? Do we give up things to follow him? Do we help when others need help? (not just our friends and neighbors but the unlovely also?)
Do we offer to fix things for widows and those who are alone and can’t do it themselves?
Do we offer to clean the house of a shut-in who can’t move around much?
Are we willing to go get the meds needed for a single mom who can’t leave her children?
Will we make dinner for someone who has spent their money on medicine and has no food?
Will we even seek out these needs in our community?
If not we are not following Jesus.
It is a wonderful thing to care about others. Putting feet to the caring is the next step.
It is a wonderful thing to pray. Putting feet to the prayer is the next step.
Notice the girl in the clip. She is actually doing something.
Sometimes doing something is not possible but when it is… do it. Too often the caring stays in our minds and not in our actions.
Caring and praying are critical. Just remember to follow through with the next step.