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Is any one of you sick?

by davesandel on March 2nd, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday of the First Week of Lent

Matthew 5:23-24

Jesus preaches, “If you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.”

In 1979 Margaret and I were married and then attended a church about fifteen miles from our home in Lincoln.  We took scenic country roads to Mt. Pulaski Christian Church every Sunday morning and then again on Sunday evening.  Often we also made the trip on Wednesdays.

A Holy Communion meal was served at each service and we were welcome to participate every time.  But before we got there we often argued.  Something seemed to come up almost every trip.  Frustration with each other heated up quickly in our little red Datsun.  It wasn’t a simple thing to reconcile before church.  The idea of “communion” seemed a little abstract.

We blamed Satan.  He accused us, we accused each other, then we accused him.  Recognizing that emotional triangle often helped, if we recognized it in time.  But what helped most was just getting to church.

There, we were welcomed into a consistently warm community.  In its midst we calmed down.  My perspective was not so important, nor were my roiled, foiled emotions.  After a little while, when I looked back at Margaret, I began to see my wife and teammate again, not my adversary.

We did not just encounter Christ’s body and blood in the bread and wine (well, juice).  We found him substantially in the smiles and hugs and understanding of our friends.  They found him in our smiles and hugs and understanding.  They were probably fighting on the way to church just like us.  We helped each other out of the pit.

I prefer to look at this weekly miracle “incarnationally” rather than psychologically.  The creative power of community to heal and grow its individual members mirrors the creative power of God making the universe and then entering it.  Either endeavor succeeds only to the extent its makers commit themselves to it.

It was good to vent the nasty energy I had been pointing at Margaret toward dirty devil Satan.  And it was even better, so much better, to be aware of and then join the other triangle, the triangle including my brothers and sisters – including God – and open myself to all the loving energy that comes from him.

The earth is yours, Lord, and all that is in it.  Blessed we are when we wait for you.  You will be found by us, you say. You have proved your promise over and over again to me.  Thank you.

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