January 31st 2015
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
February 1st 2015
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
As I pootle through Wesley’s sermons I find his favourite verses and the root of his theology: Love.
All he ever did was done in love, he preached in love, he had that strong social justice that is missing from this world in love.
[as an aside: sanitising rooms, airbrushing people & changing words do not add love in the equation. My heart broke listening about a “tent guy” who fifty years ago would have had a bed in a warm room with three meals a day and be given medication. Today we think he is free because he sleeps in a tent and sits talking to trees. I am not saying go back. I am saying we can do better than both scenarios]
For the past week I have been under the illusion that the two S’s would be back tomorrow at about 7pm or leaving at 7pm. This morning I get a text with 5:50pm, that is all it said (have I mentioned we are pants at communication) so I had to ask “Today?” and the reply came “yes.”
A and I have kind of spread out so we must undo the unspreading and revert to shared accommodation for four instead of two. But what was puzzling for me is this:
I had got up at my usual time to let Lorelei out into the frosty morning for her constitutional and then looked up my verse for the day. I contemplated it as I prayed about all the things I was to do today and was very encouraged by the verse. I thought back to the heavy burden I used to carry and sang of how grateful I was for forgiveness and clean slates.
But with the text conversation my day is different, what I must do is different, what I would like to do is different. So I returned to my verse and it no longer fitted because it fitted with a different kind of day. I looked up the verse for tomorrow and I had just recorded “circumcision of the heart” where love, Deut 6:5 and Matthew 22:36-40 are again freely distributed throughout the sermon and I smiled…
You know, that wry smile, when all the clothes are folded and put away, when the cobwebs are gone, when every last part of your life (for a moment) is tidy, organised and chaos free. When a truth written thousands of years ago is as true today as it was back then. When the holy Spirit convicts you, circumcising your heart, when it is not about you, but all about God and his enduring mercy. I have had my holi(Y)days this week. There has been much conversation, much challenge, rebuke, correction and encouragement, there has been beautiful silences like the one as I write. The concepts of work & rest, of physical & spiritual were balanced with precision, each feeding the other. I have had a truly blessed week, a restful (dare I say: lazy) week when bible studies and food prep were trouble free.
That wry smile that then prepares me for noise, for other people, for love of my family. So a day early they return and the bustle of house means dust won’t have time to settle, spiders will scurry off next door to quietness. But in the bustle of my life there is peace & joy & love in abundance.