Grace and Peace to you.
Thursday, at seven below zero, we had an electrical malfunction at the church: power out in half the building, no heat, major boiler damage, burst pipes, icicles in the sanctuary, imploded copiers, downed internet & phones and a flood in the basement. The place was crawling with the fire department, the boiler guys, an electrician, the sprinkler system guy, the power company, the Verizon worker, the copier tech and a restoration cleaning outfit, all because of a wire. Pretty interesting.
I spent all day on it, instead of going to a workshop, visiting Jim in the hospital and writing a sermon. The sermon was about the baptism of Jesus. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, which spewed out of a burst pipe above the cry room, soaked the carpet and flowed down inside the walls, pooling in the basement. As Jesus came up from the water he saw the ceiling torn open, and the Spirit like a dove descending on him. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my Beloved.” That was all I needed to hear in that basement.
That’s all we ever need to hear. The disasters we suffer and create, the tribulations we endure may test our trust, but the promise stays true. Wisdom is learning to be at peace and trust the love. The flood may be unwelcome, but “the rivers will not overwhelm you, for I am with you,“ God says, “for I love you.”
The only real disasters we need to worry about are when we forget that we are God’s Beloved, when we try to be something else, something of our own creating. When distrust that we, and everyone else, are God’s beloved, that’s when things go wrong. The little accidents of life are just accidents. What really matters is that we stay true to being God’s Beloved.
No matter how the water comes to you, remember your baptism and be thankful.
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