Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—March 5, 2015

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 2.51.46 PMI am working from home today due to yet another snow storm. Schools are closed all over the state; road crews are working hard to keep the roads at least passable if not totally clear and even moderately safe. The governor has declared a state of emergency, and encouraged all of us to stay home if at all possible. I think of those without homes, and pray they are finding shelter and food on this day and the nights and days to follow. I cannot stop the snow from falling. But I can help shovel it once it has finished falling. I cannot stop the cold nights and days, but I can provide food for the food pantries and funds for those providing shelter, clothing and other necessities. And I can pray for seasonable weather, and for those whose work provides the things and services we all need.

This coming Sunday marks Mid Lent. The old testament reading is from Exodus and gives us the Ten Commandments. Do you remember when you learned them? Can you name all ten from memory? In the New Testament reading, Paul writes to the Church in Corinth about foolishness and wisdom. And in the Gospel, we hear of Jesus’ temper tantrum in the temple.

Good stuff! You can read it all here:

Exodus 20:1-17

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 2:13-22

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent)

Peace and blessing,

Carol+

REMINDER: Clocks change this coming Sunday, March 8: Spring forward one hour!

EVENSONG: Next Sunday, March 15 at 5:00 with covered dish supper and a special program to follow – all are encouraged to attend – kids too!

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Lenten Resources are still available in the parish hall – please help yourself!  Some aids for Daily Prayer for use on mobile devices:

The Daily Office App from the Mission Saint Clare, or Pray as You Go.  If you'd like to learn more about Saints and have a little Lenten levity you can also follow Lent Madness.  These are all free apps and available through the Apple Store or on your Android Device

Evensong: Sunday, March 15 at 5:00pm, followed by covered dish supper and special program.  Plan to enjoy the beauty of this service and the joy of fellowship in a shared meal. All are welcome!

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From Living Well through Lent:

John 2:13-22 Keep On Keepin’ On – The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Dir. Of Networking, Diocese of Chicago Resilience is the ability to keep on going after you have had enough of the status quo. That may not be the dictionary definition of “resilience,” but when I think of people who appear to bounce back from life’s difficulties, they often bear this trait. I think of my maternal grandmother as resilient. Her formal education ended before she finished elementary school, and she led what was, by all measures, a hard life helping to raise her siblings while share-cropping someone else’s farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She made her way to New York City during one of the waves of urban migration in the middle of the last century, and she worked her fingers to the bone to see her grandchildren get to college and graduate school. She knew righteous anger at the systems of injustice that made her life as a black woman difficult, but didn’t let it consume her—she was able to “keep on keepin’ on.” She had dreams for her family, and she would not let the status quo keep her from doing everything she could to help realize them.

When Jesus “lost it” in the Temple, it was clear that he had had enough with the institutional hypocrisy that he witnessed all around him. And confirmed in his belovedness as God’s Son—and with crystal clarity about his vocation and mission—Jesus defined “keep on keepin’ on.” His steady movement toward Jerusalem, the cross on Calvary, and the resurrection he foretold kept his heart and spirit from being stuck in the status quo.  Whenever I find myself frustrated by a difficult, seemingly intractable situation—when my mind is unable to really make sense of things—it is my heart and soul yearning and stretching toward a new and different possibility that brings me through. I find that my heart has to know that things can be different before my mind will believe it, and this is a lesson I must learn over and over again as life brings its challenges.

One of my favorite lines from the film Hannah and her Sisters is this: “The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle. It really is.” Life will too often test the resilience of our hearts, but God desires that we “keep on keepin’ on,” trusting that something new—indeed, resurrection itself—lies ahead.

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