Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 8

Monday, June 8, 2020

Hardly Without Repercussions

Sin Consumes One’s Soul

and All Creation Around

Isaiah 40:2

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Romans 8:21

Also the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Words of Grace For Today

With Climate change, the population density, encroachment on wild habitat, close proximity with other animals, and our ability to move around the globe … we humans have put a huge stress on the earth … and

there are few people who could not well imagine that today creation itself needs to be set free from its bondage to decay, the rate of which we’ve increased.

More than wallow in dismay, we count our blessings:

With Covid 19 the earth has received a reprieve. Now if we can just continue to provide a reprieve as we re-launch back to …

well whatever it is that we will get to, I’m not so sure it is ‘back to’ what it used to be, not anymore. Therein lies a small window for something to change for the better.

We also have been into the wildernesses, the National Parks and remote areas where few if any other humans have tread, and we have drunk in the splendour and wonders God provides in creation.

Our sins … They may well say that our sins are catching up with us and that we will serve a sentence many times what our sins deserve.

I’ve never believed terrible things happened to us to punish us for our sins. There is plenty of pain and misery that we bring on ourselves directly caused by us doing evil things. God, though, does not met out punishment. If that were the case then God would not be judging with equity and with righteousness, for some terribly evil people, who have done more evil than millions of people put together, seem to reap rewards instead of punishment for their sins.

So Israel was in exile, and one common way to explain that was to say that God was punishing her for her sins.

And what can we say we suffer today because of our sins? Shall we say Covid 19 is punishment for our sins? The people dying, the people paying the greatest cost, are not the ones benefiting most from the things that destroy the earth and other people in order to make life more comfortable for the few.

Rather it is the other way around. The rich feel the pinch of Covid 19 restrictions the least, while the poor are pushed to and over the brink of death.

That said: sin and there are costly consequences, whether it shows or not in this lifetime. Sin eats at one’s soul until one is forgiven, and one embarks on a renewed life guided by the Holy Spirit.

As Covid 19 restrictions are eased in many places, as here, we may well sing softly (humming is allowed) of the greatness of God’s blessings, and cry at the release from what may have seemed to be prisons of isolation. Indeed we look forward to the possibility that God may bless us in the days ahead, that we may be a blessing to other people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – May 6

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Moon fog

Caught in Darkness?

water drops

The Light will Shine

And be reflected by all water and life in Creation

Isaiah 42:16

I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

Darkness. Total, deep, profound darkness of the soul. No light at the end of the tunnel.

When we find ourselves there, to put it into cosmic terms, in a black hole that pulls everything around it into nothingness …

When we find ourselves there it seems that everything is lost, not only things that build a sense of continuity and security (like jobs, homes, family, church, and even the tool that enables one to create – a camera, a pencil, a computer, a canvas), not just life and all good life at that for us and for creation, but meaning, history, presence and future ….

When time and hope are lost into the void and emptiness that is left to us, then only memory of, or re-spoken promises made in the past, or that little light at the end of the vortex can save us from going totally bonkers.

Covid 19’s threat (the lock-down, our isolations, our ‘staying the blazes home’, our financial concerns, the risk to our and our loved ones’ health and lives), for most of us does not approach the vortex of a black hole where no light exists. For some of us it does.

Whether its a total black out, or a brown out, or we have already gone a bit bonkers so that it all looks like dark colours everywhere …

However this affects us,

We yearn for Light, if yearning is still possible.

God promises to turn darkness into light, rough places into level ground. The dawn from on high breaks in on us in darkness, in the shadow of death, and guides us in the way of peace.

That’s the promise that we can remember … if we can remember.

That’s the promise that we can re-speak for others … when they cannot remember, we can, and we can still speak.

That’s the promise that we need to re-speak, to proclaim with all the vivid colours of the rainbow splashing about …

because even if we do not notice them, there is someone onto whom those colours (carrying Light) will splash.

And they will be saved from the vortex of absolute darkness, by our generous, reckless, prodigal re-speaking a promise that created, redeemed, and guides this whole universe of creation to be able to seek peace.

Peace is not something we attain and hold on to.

Peace is a manner of being in this universe, when participated in brings us to reflect God’s intent for us, but which is lost as quickly as a candle is snuffed out by even a gentle breeze.

Peace be with you, also this day, whatever this day is for you.

Splash and be splashed by the Light and Colours of the rainbow, God’s rainbow of promise, faith, hope, love, grace, and life – abundant life.

kiltered sunset tree

We may be off kilter a bit

Doch God’s Light Shines

in full colour for even us!

Yearning

Yearning for Everythings to be put Right

In darkness of our own making
we are yearning for the light,
for the moon to shine,
for the end of night.

We are yearning for things to be put right.

Christ alone can put us

in the light,

safe,

and right.

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.

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skewed

Sometimes everything is off kilter

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.

.

tilted wrong

The expected tilts so wrong, undermined.

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at least give us moonlight

We want some light, even reflected light, to find our way

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As in Heaven, so on Earth

We want earth to reflect the rightness of heaven

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Catch the Light in Colour, before Dark returns

We want the Light, Right?

Based on the Truth!

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Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, the Life.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Apr 16

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Look All Ways for Light

God Gives Us Great Gifts.

Isaiah 5:21

Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight!

1 Corinthians 2:12

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

Words of Grace For Today

There are so many who think they are powerful, wealthy, wise, and/or famous.

God puts them down as nothing more than mere wisps of grass that fade in the heat and the cold. God instead raises up those who appear weak, poverty stricken, foolish and/or infamous, by the power of the Spirit, to share the gifts God provides to us, and through us to the all people.

Psalm 1 teaches us clearly, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Self important people (even those not so remarkably daft as one president proves over and over, assume great wisdom) are as dangerous as the power they wield. Without the foundation of wisdom that is humility before God, there is no real wisdom.

Who are we, these days of Easter, as we celebrate each day the miracle of Christ risen, death defeated, God victorious through sacrificial love, instead of through force or wealth or power that controls others?

More so, what do we rely on, when push comes to shove, when ‘the rock’ squeezes us against ‘the hard place’, when the walls start to close in on us as cabin fever strikes is many and various ways?

Do we rely on the gifts of the Spirit, or the things of this world? Do we rely on God’s Word made palpable in the Body of Christ, and its various sinner-saint members? Do we allow the Spirit to guide us how to be those sinner-saints who bring real help and hope to those in need?

Let the gifts of life flow, from God, through us, to others. We will survive only as we trust God in all things.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Apr 11

Holy Saturday, April 11, 2020

Dark. Just Dark? Hang on to the Word! Our Stories are not Finished!

Jeremiah 14:7

Although our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name’s sake; our apostasies indeed are many, and we have sinned against you.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Words of Grace For Today

Of all the days of the year this Saturday following Good Friday has always been the day most filled with nothing, or rather void of everything. Jesus lays dead in the tomb. To repeat a buzz word repeated in history at many times: God is dead.

What can we do, except wait for God to prove by wondrous acts that God is not dead! And that God is and always has been, and always will be standing right beside us, no matter how blinding bright or deep dark our days are?

This day always is a day to remember our sins, from our blatant and intentional turnings from God, to the subtle ways we deny Christ’s work to free us as we try to play ‘god’ in our own lives and in others’ lives. When all is lost, this is the day to remember …

in anticipation that God is not done,

not with Jesus’ story! It does not end with Jesus decaying in the tomb of the dead.

We can remember with anticipation that God is not done,

not with our stories! Ours do not end in weeping, grieving, suffering, loss, or death.

God has much more in mind for us.

God is not done with us yet.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Mar 29

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Consolation in the Dark

Consolation in the Dark

Psalms 142:4

Look on my right hand and see there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.

Words of Grace For Today

This wisdom is now frequently shared since more and more of us will be effected by isolation: God created us to be in connection with other people. Different people at different times need more contact. Isolation does have a negative impact on our physical health, making us sick in and of itself. We may well cry out: no refuge remains for us! Doch. God consoles us in all our afflictions, also those we face today. Reach out to console others with this gentle, gracious, and caring consolation that we have already received from God.

Wolf or Potato

Wolf Moon 2020 January

It’s not there yet or here yet,

but it’s really nearly here,

.

Light Night

Light of Night

Moon full of light,

Blazing Cold, Square Cold, Deep Cold

so a bit chilly, one might saw.

.

No Potato

No Potato

No Potato, But a Bit of Light on Snow, and Walla!

Or if one tries to peel a potato outside it might be the last potato or

anything else that might be peeled by one,

such as a bell.

Bells ring, for joy, for alarm.

What’s alarming in your life?

That many people regularly bully others in order to get their way with them.

A crime, it is, most, that no one cares for the most part about bullying by adults of adults.

Just when bullying is done to children … or vulnerable women.

What would one want? Justice.

Justice of course, laced with compassion. God’s way of being God.

Good Friday Success

What was once alive, once green, once bright, is now in these days dead, withered and dark.

There is only a faint hint of days long distant in the most recent of times.

What is it to succeed

and leave a legacy?

To overrun others, destroying them with lies, in order to have more, in order to cover up one’s sins?

Or to suffer rumours and lies that destroy one’s reputation and finances leaving one homeless?

This day, Jesus answered God’s call to submit himself to death, a torturous death, and to die.

Did Jesus succeed? Did Jesus destroy others, or did he allow others to try to destroy him, and respond with grace and forgiveness?

If more of the world knew Grace and lived it well, more people would succeed …

in bringing the basics of life to others with their sacrifices.

The world may seem dark, especially in these days when we remember that God died, and remained so, for three days.

There is only the reflection in our memories of the light that has guided our paths. But there will be a great light, that will shine in every darkness, and bring justice, restitution, and new life to those who are destroyed by others lies.

And for those who have destroyed with lies … may God have mercy on them.

Smoke Dark Moon

Smoke Dark Moon

It’s been an interesting day, cutting wood in the relative warmth of -15

and being able to turn off the generator,

warm enough not to have to worry about warming it up to start it.

So I turned on the 3000W inverter to recharge the computer battery, and it started, then hiccuped and burbed and popped and smoked a bit.

I pulled the empty cords out, pulled the solar generator, cut power to the batteries for the camper, but I do not have a cut off for the battery to the inverter line.

It just fried itself.

Already done and stinky electric fire …

Under warranty, but it took a while to get the replacement.

Home, it was already dark, and cold at -28°C and getting colder faster than forecast so I expect -30° will be well met, since it’s already now -29° and forecast to drop four more degrees before morning, of course the low was expected to be -28° and it’s already -29°. So -33° maybe?

Here it just dropped to -30°. By morning here -34 or so?

As I was out to start the generator, the moon shone a sliver over the trees, and the smoke from the chimney gave a back stop to the darkness broken by the moon.

?What will come next

Slivers of delight, in small ways, the glory of the solitude, all quiet except the generator going to stay warm and circulate the warm air in here.

Smokey Moonlight

Sleep and dream of a world where truth is valued most.

falls the snow

2019.01Jan25

Gently Falls the Snow

.

going out to cut

the electricity off

for the night

to save

on gas

.

I stoke the fire the last time before bed,

Hoping to remain warm the night through

And wake to embers glowing in the firebox

Enough to rebuild the fire for another day

As

I step

Beyond the door

Into the dark of the night

The soft gentle snowflakes float silently

To the ground, providing cover over yesterday’s mess

And a new carpet for tomorrow’s work beyond that marvellous door

.

Today

Yesterday’s carpet

Was well worn by the bright afternoon

Light that bounded out in the clear for all of 15 minutes

Before hiding until

Perhaps tomorrow.