February 2019

Greetings Disciples,

On Sunday, January 27 our prayer of the day was about God’s word. “You have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life.”

And there it is – both my Epiphany word - LIFE and our collective community Epiphany word – DISCIPLINE have met together at the beautiful place of prayer and worship.

I have so enjoyed hearing some of the stories about your Epiphany words and the “confessions” of how the word chose you. Not necessarily a word we might choose for ourselves, but probably a word we need for the coming year.

I too have that confession. I drew out the word, LIFE and my immediate reaction was that LIFE is such a big word. And then my devotion for January 7 from “Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner” began with this sentence. “The temptation is always to reduce life to size. A bowl of cherries. A rat race. Amino acids. Even to call it a mystery smacks of reductionism. It is the mystery.”

Yes LIFE is a big word. It is THE mystery. I am feeling like I am being called back to life after the losses of not only my mother, but Diane Schweer and Monica Kistler. These two moms called out of life and through death in what seems before their time but called nonetheless. And then I am thankful for the very expansive idea of the hope of eternal life that is ours through Jesus. I am thankful for God’s word that helps us to hold fast to the hope of eternal life and the power and mystery of Jesus’ resurrection that shows us the way – or at least as much of it as we can see or understand at this point.

Then our Epiphany word, DISCIPLINE enters. What does that word mean for you and for us as a community? Here’s what some of you have offered: Checking myself before doing something. We are much more disciplined about some things than others. We choose. It means doing wrong in some way but knowing better. Focus on what’s important – setting priorities. Learning for the purpose of growth. From the root – disciple and pupil.

For me when I think of discipline, I think of doing something over and over again, so that I remember and can draw on what I have learned. When I think about that in terms of God’s word and LIFE, I am drawn into a larger picture, something that is bigger than me and I am thankful that I am participating in this life with you.

Believing It Boldly Loving Expansively,

Pastor Connie Spitzack