Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 12

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tevia’s Blessing for the Czar –

God: Further Please!

Psalm 16:2

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’

John 17:3

This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Words of Grace For Today

Another Sci-Fi flick portrays the destruction of the human species, not quite by it’s own hand. An alien intelligence helps us along. Yet encountering a single, sort of good or at least good enough person, preserves her spirit, reincarnates her into an AI being and elevates that spirit to a new level, another dimension. The movie is boring, for all sorts of reasons, not least is that the move to a next level is in itself not interesting, nor effectively portrayed. How can it be?

Life is full of goodness, just because it is filled with challenges, hair falling out, birth of children (grandchildren if one is so blessed), losses and victories, getting wet and cold – and being comfortable and warm …. Life is good and interesting because it is embodied. It is mundane. It is vulgar and we strive to make it honourable and civilized.

Too many people assume that the thin veneer of civilization can be maintained even as they violate the basic sensibilities of respect and empathy for others that is at the heart of any good civilization. Out to get the most for themselves, they act as barbarians towards the truth, towards other people, and toward justice. When people with power start to create psuedo-realities that have little to nothing to do with reality, civilization teeters on the brink of chaos.

What follows history portrays often enough: we become barbarians, killing and maiming each other in order to survive and take the plunder for ourselves.

Courts that proceed based on blatant lies and allow people and lawyers complete latitude to kill others indirectly through the unjust results, invite more than insurrection. They invite the collapse of civilization.

The only thing that can save us is …

reform?

truth?

might?

No, none of these save us. Only God’s Grace saves us. Only Grace received and then exercised for others can possibly rebuild civilization enough that it can withstand the onslaught to the social contract that awaits us, that is underway already by fools, idiots, and fanatical makers of ir-realities and chaos.

The Irish called it shenanigans. Leprechauns, playful beings, pull on the strings of daily events, disrupting the procession from morning to night to morning just enough to bring humour to our efforts to be in control at all, at all.

That’s not this kind of shenanigans. This is the kind perpetrated by the evil minded dwarfs that work to thwart life wherever and how ever they can. That kind of shenanigans is the kind that unseats civilizations and all the powers that exist in it.

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Rulers and Courts who play with dwarf-minded shenanigans work to unseat themselves. Either they need to be unseated sooner than later, or God needs to give us the miracle of double victories. First that the injustice stops and truth dictates the winners. Second that the liars and creators of ir-reality, even the Rulers themselves, are won over to live for goodness sake, with Grace and empathy for all people.

This is life, filled with Grace, that God created us to enjoy on our journeys. Eternal life is to know the God who created us, to fear and love God. And eternal life is to know Jesus, God’s only Son, who sacrificed himself so that we may indeed live, with God walking on our journeys with us.

Try as we may, there is no real goodness that comes out of us, ourselves. All goodness that seems to come from us, is the reflection and result of God’s Grace winding its way in and through us.

Thank God for Grace!

Please God save us; give us double victories, your miracles in these troubling times. Covid 19 does not make things worse, or people worse. It merely raises the stress so that who evil people are, and how dangerous our times are, become frightening clear.

God save us, all of us! We are all in this together!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 9

Friday, October 9, 2020

Birch

Birch Still Standing.

Though someone is cutting them down left right and centre

as we are

these still stand

as we will always!

Isaiah 49:4

I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

Words of Grace For Today

In this world the life of honesty and honour, of sacrificial and unconditional love, and of grace and hope is not rewarded by many. It is by many, even in the Courts, attacked and condemned with blood sport, lies and games with one’s life.

It is too often that striving to reflect the life the prophets called us to, to Jesus’ Way of being in the world, often leads us to the same end as he met: lies, injustice, cruelty, torture, and even death.

Met with this profound malfeasance we are readily able to say with Isaiah: We have laboured in vain, we have spent our strength for nothing and vanity. The work of the Devil meets our efforts to live graciously in response to God’s gift of life abundant. Seemingly the Devil wins every time.

Truth is otherwise. The Devil, all his works, and the people that do his deeds against us and so many others only show how lost and condemned those people are who follow his ways. They pronounce with lies that we are criminal, that we are vexatious, that we are unreliable. Their pronouncements do not reflect who we are, what we have done and not done. Their pronouncements reflect how corrupt they and all the liars are that bear false witness against good people like us.

They use their positions of power to create their own illogical, unreal bubble of existence. They dismiss scientists and science, logic and the laws of physics and other sciences (like gravity and toxicity), and the power of truth, love and hope. In their place they construct a world that serves their own greed, corrupt power, and decadent hedonism.

The devil’s miracle is that so many people accept this fantastical construction of ir-reality as if it were real, true, and valid. They construct religions of destruction of their enemies.

We hold to our faith in God who is all-powerful, Creator, and all-knowing. Our God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. By Grace alone (not by our merit) God forgives us our sin, adopts us as children, and empowers us to be the voice, hands, and feet of God’s own Son, Jesus, who gave his life to redeem us. Our faith does not condemn others. That is in God’s hands, and God’s alone. Our faith gives life, and promises life eternal to those who believe and accept the redemption worked out for them each day, each minute.

Therefore we are steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because we know that in the Lord our labour is not in vain.

Covid 19 has nothing on the destructive power of the Devil, his works and the people who do his deeds. By Grace we shall live with God walking with us and suffering with us everything done to us, even through all these trying times. Even if our bodies die, we shall live for God cannot be defeated, nor can we be separated from God.

Breathe as we are still able. These are blessed lives God accompanies us through.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 6

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Cold Cold Cold

Cold

Covid 19 does not die in the cold

It just lays dormant, waiting

to warm up and infect more people

Cold

means more caution is needed!

Ezekiel 39:29

I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Words of Grace For Today

During Covid 19, like many times before though for some much more intensely, we need to be careful for each other.

The kind of care is not to avoid some great big monster of a villain, who invades our lives and leaves tracks and vivid images of the him/herself in our memories.

This villain is a teeny, tiny virus that can get us mildly sick and contagious, or very ill so that we feel we are dying, to killing us … and what many seem to forget is even if one survives, this little virus can leave it’s surviving victims’ health compromised for the rest of their lives. The compromise can be as little as an irritation to deal with, to major health issues that alter how one can live through a normal day.

We cannot know, if we are in an proximity of other people (and very few of us live anywhere NOT in close proximity to others through a normal week), if we or someone else is infected and contagious, or what air space is filled with contaminated microdroplets containing the virus, or what surface has the virus waiting for contact to infect us. And we cannot know for sure when we are leaving the virus behind for others to be infected from us.

Stupid is the infected President who waves to people from the balcony, takes of his mask, and turns to be in close proximity to a number of his staff … and they test positive a few days later!

Stupid is a lot of what people do nowadays!

Stupid and deadly for some people, debilitating for others, inconvenient for others.

God promises not to hide his face from us, again.

So God endures these stupidities with us.

God has given us all many gifts of great varieties, and to all of us God has given the Holy Spirit for the common good. Each and every one of us has received the gifts to not have to be stupid about Covid 19.

We may be sick and tired of the limits and restrictions. Still we can and must comply with health restrictions and recommendations to keep each other safe.

It’s better to be sick and tired of the limits, than to be sick and tired, out of breath, and incapable of living fully for the rest of our lives, simply because we or someone that came close to us, decided to be stupid about being sick and tired.

God, save us from stupid! Especially from those who have authority and means to provide for our safety (individually and collectively) … and they do not.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 25

Friday, September 25, 2020

Long Way to the Light!

Covid 19, like most viruses,

sleeps fine when frozen, in stasis,

waiting to thaw and live down the road

to surprise you!

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Words of Grace For Today

Love God’s Law and you will have peace, for nothing will make you stumble, and let Christ’s words dwell in you, teach and admonish each other all wisdom, and with grateful hearts sing to God!

All this is providing care for ourselves, though none of it earns us God’s favour or Grace. God promises us God’s favour, righteousness in God’s eyes, even though we certainly do not deserve it. What God gives us we do not and cannot earn. It is all free gift!

Then we get to respond. That’s our time for loving God’s Law, and letting Christ’s word dwell in our daily lives, as we teach and admonish one another (note that it’s mutual, not an authoritarian telling others what is right or wrong – that kind of judgment is God’s and God’s alone.) The great thing we get to do (actually one of so many great things we get to do) is to sing.

Covid 19 is transmitted by micro-droplets of breath, and singing produces lots of them and spreads them great distances, much greater than 2 metres! So we do not get to sing in large groups. Not until the pandemic is finished.

Just because stupid people say they are not worried about Covid 19, or they are going to live, or they are done with it, does not mean Covid 19 is done with us. Singing in groups for now is just stupid. As is coming close to strangers when it is not at all necessary. Or shaking hands with strangers. Or not wearing masks and face shields (oh, that’s right, hardly anyone wears a face shield!) Or not leaving in ‘isolation’ purchases for 3 days before handling them, and refrigerated or especially frozen items should be washed with a strong bleach solution. (Cold and frozen temperatures preserve the virus, and waiting three days for something in the freezer does no good for letting the virus die of its own accord. Warm up that frozen or refrigerated item and bingo bango splat – any virus on it comes back to life to infect you.

All the precautions that we can take are good. Learn a few more each week and add them to your fall repertoire, before the 2nd wave hits us harder than the 1st!

It’s a long haul discipline, not a short sprint. So take care of you and yours. Make new connections (physically distant.) And sing. Go into the bathroom, turn on the ventilation fan and sing your heart out! Go outside on a windy day or a great distance (at least 10 metres) from others and sing your heart out. Who cares what people think! We all know we need to sing with grateful hearts every day.

Teach, learn and admonish one another to take new precautions and keep the old ones. Practice them more diligently. Voluntarily shrink the size of you ‘cohort’, which means start keeping 2 metres apart from people who used to be in your cohort, wear masks and wear them correctly! (how many people do I see wearing them not over their nose, not even over their mouth! or handling them as if they could never be full of the virus!) even at home except with the smallest number of people possible (your children and spouse, for example,) and buy a face shield and start using it, use hand sanitizer right away after every time you touch anything that could be contaminated, and frequently all through the day, at every transition. You know the drill. Practice it without one leak in the guard between you and Covid 19.

Be smart. Be wise. Be patient. Be kind. And this thanksgiving and every one from now on you will still be able to celebrate with the ones you love, knowing you did not kill someone else with your reckless or just sloppy Covid 19 prevention practices. Covid 19 prevention practices are part of God’s Law: Do not Kill.

Rather be at peace, knowing you have done everything possible and wise to keep you and others safe.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 24

Thursday, September 24, 2020

We bear fruits

unless the stress of life puts us down,

like this once beautiful birch.

Jeremiah 6:13-14

For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.

Luke 6:44-45

Each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Words of Grace For Today

The good person … produces good and the evil person … produces evil.

Forest Gump quotes his mother: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

We like to paint the world in black and white, good and bad, yes or no. Binary absolute polarized categories are simpler to describe, identify, and judge. Polarized thinking is dangerous, and destructive to others and ourselves.

Christ calls us to a different view: He ate with sinners and tax collectors, welcoming in the women of ill-repute, the lame, the outcast, and even lepers.

Martin Luther clarified for us the view of humanity that Jesus calls us to embrace: that before God (in the ultimate judgment of us) we are all sinners, always, forever.

Only through Grace does Jesus step in and give us his impeccable record, not only before God, but also as the record we can live with as our past as we move into the future! Thus we are God-made saints.

Sinners we remain, God makes us saints, and it’s not sometimes one and then other times the other. We are simultaneously both saints and sinners. That goes for every last one of us! No exceptions for good or bad behaviour.

Pen-ultimately (of a 2nd order of significance) we know that how we live our lives effect others who live now on this earth and those who follow us. In other people’s eyes we can be seen to do good things, and be judged as a good person, OR to be seen to do bad things, and be judge as a bad person.

These orders of significance, the ultimate judgment of God, and the penultimate judgment of history about our lives, are not ours to make. There are other lower orders of significance where we may be able to judge ourselves as going good and being good, or as doing bad and being bad. They are the level at which we can understand Luke wrote about people being like trees: we produce the fruit that is of the kind we are. This image breaks when we realize that God made us all ready, able, and eager to only do good; yet we broke from the kind of people (‘trees’) that God made us to be, we sinned, and we have done evil things.

Jeremiah writes how everyone (but not Jeremiah or God’s faithful few) is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.

Sometimes it seems that everyone else has become evil. In a world economy that is based on greed it is difficult to see anyone conduct business not based on greed. Laws are written to ensure that CEO’s conduct business as greedily as possible for the shareholders.

In this messed up world, it is easy to see and to say that everyone has become greedy, taking from others what is not ours to take.

Stupid is as stupid does and everyone does stupid. There is no evil that is not stupid, yet not all evil is stupid. (Some stupid is not evil, it’s just stupid.) So perhaps better said: stupid evil is as stupid evil does, and everyone does stupid evil.

Saints are a miracle. Only by God’s Grace is anyone able to be seen as a saint, in spite of their stupid doings.

Only the paradox that Luther provides covers it: we are all simultaneously saints and sinners. God creates us Good. We all choose to be stupid by our (fallen) nature, and only by Grace are we ever made wise.

Thanks be to God for saints, like us. And Grace be to those terrible sinners, like us.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 13

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Sacrificing a Tree

a dead tree for firewood is one thing,

stripping the bark to kill a living tree for no good purpose is evil.

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

John 11:51-52

He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans understand how innocent people or animals are sacrificed to ‘pay a debt’ and free us. There are two kinds of sacrifice, one destructive evil, one gracious goodness.

Rene Girard developed a few ideas that many have applied and adapted. At the core is his mimetic theory that we ‘remember’ we desire something by seeing others having it, which causes senseless competition between even friends. Competition leads to conflict and conflict cannot be between friends, so the friends use a scapegoat (an innocent, vulnerable bystander) on whom they pile fictitious blame. This cathartic release of blame onto a third party relieves the conflict between the two friends and they continue on, the desire that caused the conflict resolves into the senselessness it was at the beginning. The friendship is saved, the friends continue on.

The vulnerable, innocent scapegoat is destroyed.

This is the destructive evil sacrifice.

Girard interprets the story of Jesus’ sacrifice for us as God’s clear statement that scapegoating innocent, vulnerable people is not acceptable or needed, just as God’s clear statement by calling Abraham to the mountain to sacrifice his only son Isaac, and then stopping Abraham, was that God did not want any child sacrificed to himself.

God clearly does not want destructive evil sacrifice by any humans.

God does send his son, Jesus, to live, preach, teach, heal and sacrifice himself to the corrupt power of his time, the Roman empire and the Chief Priest. This is the sacrifice of gracious goodness. It is chosen by the one surrendering to sacrifice. The sacrifice does not destroy innocent and vulnerable people. Exactly the opposite, it gives life to all.

Jesus calls us to wisely sacrifice, sometimes little, sometimes everything, in order that other people will be able to live. We do not send someone else to be the sacrifice. We go ourselves, knowing that all we are and have is a gift from God, and if God can use us to give life, then as followers of Jesus we can give of ourselves, and even give everything of ourselves, in order that others may live, and live in the abundance of Grace, Love and Hope that God created us all to enjoy.

So much in life tries to get us to strive to achieve and receive at others’ cost (the destructive evil sacrifice). This is not the way of life for the followers of Jesus, and for all the children of God.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 7

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

See?

What do you see?

What do you dare to see?

Do you really want to see

What Jesus has to show you?

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Mark 10:46-49

As [Jesus was] leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet …. Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’

Words of Grace For Today

Last evening a big greyish pickup truck, a deep-throated, noisey Dodge Ram, with flood lights on a roll bar, two burly men riding in the bed, and a beefy grill guard on the front came prowling the dirt lanes, round and round as if looking for someone and not finding their target. An intentional threat to someone, either as a threatening show of force, or an actual hit. Apparently I am not the only one with an ex who is not above breaking or bending the law to end someone’s life.

How can one respond with Grace?

It is easy of course to respond not with grace but with a wish to physically end the threat of violence with greater violence. Pre-emptive revenge. So goes the world. Today one sees the crumbling of the social contract we live inside of, and the breaks in the thin veneer of civilization that we take for granted. Covid 19 stresses us, stresses the social contract, and the social contract starts to crumble.

How is one to respond with Grace and Honour?

The others certainly are beyond that. They act with blatant disregard for truth, rightness, goodness, and preservation of the social contract which serves them as well.

Jesus lived in the social contract of the Roman Empire, which contract was imposed and maintained by force in many foreign lands which were then included in the Roman Empire.

Jesus lives in this contract, giving to Caesar what was due Caesar. Jesus teaches not revolution, but bending down to notice those left on the wayside by the progression of the empire. Jesus hears a nobody, a blind beggar, sitting on side of the road calling to him to have mercy. Everyone else tells the man to be quiet, that Jesus has no time for him. Jesus stops, though, and calls Bart to him, and shows him the greatest mercy possible: he forgives him his sins. And oh, Jesus also gives him sight. Bart can see for the first time.

Jesus does this for all of us. If only we dare see. God’s love, poured without end or restraint over us, is impossible to ignore. Once blind and wretched sinners, we see and can respond. Like Bart we can follow Jesus and love God with all our hearts, minds and strength. We can imitate Jesus, and bend down to see, heal and forgive all those the world has left in the dust.

We can entrust those threatening vulnerable people to God’s care, which may be Grace and new life, or God may give the haughty their due.

Either way, we are Christ’s. We stand by the vulnerable to protect them, even if it means it costs us our lives.

Covid 19’s huge stress on each of us and on the social contract does not make us into violent, vicious animals that we were not before. The stresses of life do not make us different. They show to others more clearly who we have been all along. Let us pray that we have learned how to be who Jesus makes us to be: following his Way of Grace and the Cross.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 17

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Light into Every Darkness

The Light of Christ Sets

The Basis of Our Hope

Which Has No Other Basis in Experience

The Light of Christ Will Rise Again

Psalm 100:2

Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

Colossians 1:12

Give thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Words of Grace For Today

The Movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” portrays a hero who can with compassion, listening and friendship transform us from angry, cynical realists who doubt anyone is or can be really good, into kind, compassionate, loving spouses and fathers (or mothers, not to leave anyone out.)

The movie’s byline is We Could All Use a Little Kindness. Today’s polarized political worlds, the echo chamber of self absorbed opinions available on line, and the falsehoods presented as truths by those we previously would have respected, leave us needing kindness, compassion, and a renewed hope in humanity. We need a few new heroes to inspire us to be better people, especially with those people who are different than us.

We need a bit of truth to prevail, and decency: Hope Lutheran Edmonton’s council just voted and distributed material to the members: They know it is against their constitution, but they have, without proper process to leave the ELCIC voted to hold a mail-in vote to call a non-ELCIC pastor. It is blatant breach of trust.

The Bishop or the Bishop’s representation must be present at the meeting for it to be legal.

But if the council will vote to act against the constitution, and blatantly so, who can trust that any of the rest of the process will be anything close to fair or even decent.

That, and many stories like it, leave us knowing we need a LOT more kindness, compassion, and a renewed hope in humanity. We need a few new heroes to inspire us to be better people, especially with those people who are different than us. We need a few good people, a new kind of hero, to stand up to blatant evil and put it in it’s place.

There is nothing to support this hope, or to fill this need.

Instead we worship the Lord with gladness and come into his presence with singing. We give thanks to the Father, who has enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

For no matter what or who assaults us in this life, we know who transforms us from wretched sinners into saints, who can only share God’s sacrificial Grace with all people, even those who exercise such blatant, and raw evil against the little ones of Christ.

We know that our very breath relies not on the goodness of other sinners. Neither does the terribleness of others’ sins take our breath, our spirit, our faith, our gratitude, our love for all people, nor our hope from us. For nothing can separate us from the love of God, and the love of God is what gives us life, no matter what else we face.

Thanks be to God.

Covid 19, you have got nothing on the sin and hurt that people are capable of causing others. We are thankful for all the people who are kinder, more compassionate, and more loving, having grown through the challenges of Covid 19.

Stay safe, for yourself, but even more so for those around you! We are in this together, this entire journey on the good creation earth.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 6

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Bown Shaken but Not Down

Wind Blown Grass and Trees

God is not shaken

though the whole world be shaken off its axis.

Covid-19 shakes nothing when God stands still.

Daniel 4:3

How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his sovereignty is from generation to generation.

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

Words of Grace For Today

What shakes in your life?

When the wind blows and catches the solar panels on the roof this whole place rocks. The first time the 50 km winds did that, with 90 km winds in the forecast, I climbed out into the blowing snow and ice cold biting wind. I looked at what was shaking me in my boots.

It didn’t take long to figure out what was happening. Solid anyway I thought. Then I retraced the steps I had taken to face the solar panels into the winter sun that barely peeked above the treetops for a few minutes. I remembered how I had anchored everything solidly … and I remembered how the cold and the onset of dark had rushed me. While the front side was anchored solidly to the frame that held all the solar panels to the rooftop, and that was only probably solid enough to stand up to a 100 km wind, I had just left the back side resting on that frame of piping.

So was! The panels all together stood nearly vertically six feet above the roof and five feet wide. That’s a lot of sail force on that frame holding the panels.

It had inherent limits being on the roof anchored to the piping that held everything in place, AND the back side (in the direction the most powerful winds could hit – since there were trees disrupting the wind in the other direction) was just sitting there!

I was lucky it had not just up’ed and walked off the roof top smashing, twisting and ruining everything in its path!

So was!

I had found an abandoned 1″ thick rope a few months earlier. Not friendly to hands, it seemed tough enough, at least it looked tough. I grabbed it and let go of it right away. Then I put on my gloves first and grabbed it, ran out into sharp cold, and ran that rope from the top of the solar panel frame to the one tree that stood close on the side where the wind was blowing from. The next day I anchored it around both sides of the top of the panel and back to the tree. Done.

.

It still shook when the winds kicked up. I no longer was alarmed. Maybe I should have been? The whole set up is different now, but the rope is back in place, and when it shakes, I go right back to what I am doing.

Trust.

in an old rope.

in a tree, which is still alive, unlike it’s neighbours.

in my ingenuity … well not really. I’m just too tired to think how to make it better and then get out and make it so. Soon, one of these days. Maybe when the rain stops.

.

God’s Kingdom is not shaken. It does the shaking throughout the whole universe. Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, and needs love of the Lord (based on the Lord’s love of us) to grow.

All around, even as Covid 19 shakes us, or it should, God’s wonders are worth being awestruck by. The rope may last another day or so, or a year. But God’s unshakability lasts forever. From generation to generation God rules the universe.

For this we can stand in awe and give God praise and thanks.

There is no wind, or virus, or evil that comes against us that God is not more powerful than.

Covid 19 has shown we can meet the emissions targets set by the U.N. Maybe, just maybe, we will learn to keep it up even as the economies restart, and hopefully grow.

Then the winds may not continue to become more and more ferocious. And we can stand in thankful awe of God’s power, instead of in awful fear of what we’ve brought the environment to do to try to be rid of our destructive ways.

We can

trust

.

God

..

above all else

and count our blessings … they never stop. God is not shaken as more and more blessings pour over us, for us to share with others.

Prayer: For Trinity Sunday & Everyday

Our Breastplate Prayer for Today

tip of the hat to St. Patrick and his Breastplate Prayer (see below)

Mist and Mysteries

Caught in the Mists

of Mystery, Doubt, and Threats,

We Invoke

The Trinity, 3in1

As I arise from the healing mists of rest, to face the mountains, mysteries and doubts in the morning light and the Devil’s wiles, I pray:

by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit,

Lord, protect me from all dangers that would be my undoing.

As the saints before me faced these same battles, help me persevere giving God the Glory, even under threat of death.

Help me remember all that God has given us:
the Goodness of Creation, the Law, the Prophets,
the Psalms, the Gospels, the Epistles, and more
to revive my weary spirit and sagging strength.

Jesus came to tell God’s story most plainly: God is always for us, claiming us, forgiving us at great cost, sending us out to share the story of Jesus’ Grace, God’s Love and the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing together people of all kinds.

Seeing the wonders of creation that the last centuries of progress have laid to waste, I still affirm: God wants this all to be GOOD again, including all that I do.

Yet, the Devil would have me filled with fear.

Name the fears of this day:

Fear of a virus called Covid 19.

Fear of being alone and forgotten.

Fear of deadly and destructive riots hijacked from peaceful protests against police abuses (as if God does not treasure young black and young First Nations’ men as much as us!)

Fear of police power and martial law abused.

Doch!

God, you have promised again and again I do not need to be afraid!

Christ sent the Holy Spirit, the mysterious, powerful fire of God, to envelop, motivate, and protect me:

up, down,

to the left, to the right,

in front of me, and behind me

(making sure I am not lazy in the calling Christ sends me to!)

As I arise from the healing mists of rest, to face the mountains, mysteries and doubts in the morning light and the Devil’s wiles, I pray:

by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit,

Lord, protect me from all dangers that would be my undoing.

Now as I raise my hands from the bed, make them work for Christ.

As I put my feet to the floor, make them move for Christ.

As I warm up my voice to speak, use my voice to proclaim the power of the Trinity: Creator, Redeemer, Holy Maker and Guide.

Amen

..

.

St Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer Information

These words came to us as part of a collection, published in 1903, of hymns found in two old manuscripts. With this hymn/prayer were these words: Saint Patrick sang this when an ambush was laid against his coming by Loegaire, that he might not go to Tara to sow the faith. And then it appeared before those lying in ambush that [Saint Patrick and his monks] were wild deer with a fawn following them. [‘Wild deer’ can also mean they were hidden in a thick mist, something well-known in Ireland.] see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick’s_Breastplate

St Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity.

Through the belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness

Of the Creator of Creation.

.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism.

Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,

Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,

Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

.

I arise today

Through the strength of the love Cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In the service of archangels,

In hope of resurrection met with reward,

In prayers of patriarchs,

In predictions of prophets,

In preaching of apostles,

In faith of confessors,

In innocence of holy virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

.

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun,

Radiance of moon,

Splendour of fire,

Speed of lightening,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea,

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

.

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me:

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptations of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in multitude.

.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,

Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

.

Christ with me,

Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the threeness,

Through confession of the oneness,

Of the Creator of Creation.

Amen!