“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 5:3 NRSV
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Luke 6:20-21 NRSV
These days, when people ask how I'm doing, I've been responding, could be better, it could be worse. I got a lesson from God during this month. It is not always pleasant to hear what God is saying to you.
Saturday, March 17, 2018, I went to see a Christian movie with some of my co-workers. We were in between getting our paychecks, and money was really low at the time. I was able to see the movie because of the generosity of coworkers. Another coworker had helped me with the snacks, a drink, and some candy. This gesture may have seemed so insignificant at the time; it spoke volumes to me later. It helped me to realize that God's providence is everywhere. All we have to do is ask. Sometimes, the asking is hard to do. I went to the grocery after the movie and just getting basic items, like toilet paper, and some sandwiches and drinks for later. I was really feeling down; and as I was walking out of the store, a guy comes in a wheelchair. I noticed that he was blind, too. Ok, God. You have made your point. When God is talking with you, you learn to shut up and listen. My situation is not nearly as bad as I thought it was. I was able to get some gas, even though the cashier told me I did not have enough to qualify for a discount. This Lenten cycle of 2018 has been one of not have to have just barely enough to make it. I remember driving on the way home thinking the color of Lent should be totally black. I sure was feeling that way.
Later on during the week, I have been thinking about colors, and what each season of the church year would have as its symbolic color. I came to realize that instead of black, Lent would be a darker purple. I also thought that Easter should have its color, that of white. Christmas, being obvious, has as its color, those of red and green. Ordinary Time, which occurs between the seasons has as its colors, just green. I remember several ordinary times in the summer, being at church, listening to the sermon, and the buzz of the fans going. j Green being symbolic of Spring and new growth. The New Year of the church has its colors of Advent; three purple candles, 1 pink candle, and the Christ candle, of white. During Catholic school, the priest would wear different vestments, depending upon what season of the year the church was in.
When my church was in a transitioning time; and in between buildings, I did a series of “Lenten Interpretations.” I would post a different photo as we went through the weeks in preparation for Easter. I also thought the interpretations were better than looking at the plain wall the whole time. I started with complete darkness and then leveled out to complete lightness, with the contrasting the two in between the time. It made the visuals have more sense. Finally, seeing the complete whiteness helped to give me some hope, that we would move forward as a church; and not be stuck in transition time forever. Fast forward several years, we made it through having to rent another church building to have a building and a new pastor. It may seem like things are standing still, and never moving on. God has us going through things that are uncertain. It is always good to know that God is certain of why things may the way they currently are. Please remember that if you are dealing with adversity, God is always there beside you.
May you experience the good news that God has on your life!
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