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Everything in the lectionary is so positive today, even Jeremiah!

by davesandel on October 24th, 2021

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 24, 2021                    (today’s lectionary)

Everything in the lectionary is so positive today, even Jeremiah!

Shout for joy, exult, proclaim your praise. The Lord has delivered his people! They left in tears but now, I will console them and guide them to brooks of water, along a level road where none will stumble.

“We’ll keep the pool open as long as anyone wants to swim,” our apartment manager Susan told me Friday. “If you want to freeze out there, go for it!” So we did.

The Tomitas came over Saturday and swam with us. Most of us spent most of our time in the hot tub. I decided to brave the big pool, since it was no colder than the year-round 68 degrees of Barton Springs pool south of downtown Austin, which is open all year. It just took a little courage to take that first total body dip, quickly, and then come up screaming.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues wagged with rejoicing. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Miles joined me for a couple of laps around the pool, and then Jasper decided to come across the wall. They both took a little time to recover after that first dip, and then they were fine, although when Jasper got back in the whirlpool he was so happy and warm he couldn’t stop talking, and he couldn’t stop walking around in circles.

After the water my body relaxed, as it always does. My back didn’t hurt, my joints weren’t stiff, and I just forgot about the aches and pains all over my body, which I don’t forget as easily anymore. And of course, all of us got kind of carried away by the momentum of almost five and two year old brothers, piling onto each other and pouring themselves out around us with their shouts and their running and their absolute disregard for what we adults consider sane or safe.

Jesus stopped and said, “Call the blind man.” Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “Master, I want to see!” Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

At dinner in our apartment I said, apropos of nothing, “Open your mouth and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise!” Miles jumped on that. I want that, Grandpa. You want what, Miles? I want that thing you just said. What courage that boy has!

So he closed his eyes and opened his mouth, and I put a big sprig of broccoli in there, and he chewed it right up. Which took him about two minutes. He loved it. A strawberry would have been more fun, but I didn’t have one!

Jasper wanted me to do that to him too, but he backed out just at the last minute. When it was time for dessert, Miles helped me dish up chocolate ice cream and orange sherbet. He got just a little bigger serving.

Every high priest must be able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called upon by God.

Tonight I had planned to write about prophetic imagination in Egypt before the exodus, or the task of accepting, exploring and understanding the “shadow” as it applies to our church, group, nation or historical epoch. So much of both those topics deals with “bottom-up” thinking rather than “top-down.” Being in the thrall of two little boys for the afternoon gave all us parents and grandparents a pretty good taste of bottom-up. They wouldn’t let us get away with anything else. Our adult-ing had to take a second place to their child-ing. As well it should.

So I’ll get to those ideas soon. For now, I’ll rest well, breathing deep, and remember the joy of our grandchildren sitting with their parents at our table, basking for a moment in our own particular life together.

(Jeremiah 31, Psalm 126, Hebrews 5, 2 Timothy 1, Mark 10)

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