“Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 

Jemina Packington is convinced that she can foresee the future using asparagus spurs. The self-proclaimed “asparamancer” draws her conclusions from the way the spears fall after she throws them into the air. Being British, she claims, among other things, that she predicted Brexit this way. She believes she’s “about 75 to 90 percent accurate. “I go through my predictions each year,” she said, “and think, ‘Yep, that’s happened’” 

We are made to be in community, to be connected, to be in life-giving and life-sustaining relationships.

I’m not prepared to dispute Ms. Packington’s prognostications; but the fact is that real life is full of the unexpected. A lot of what happens to us and around us is both unpredictable and out of our control. Sometimes that’s good. We’re all blessed from time to time by unforeseen, yet delightful, surprises. At other times life deals us blows that are anything from merely unsettling to absolutely devastating. The fact that I am writing this article from the comfort(?) of a wheelchair is testimony to my own experience of life taking a sudden and undesirable turn for the worse. What I am also now discovering (or, more accurately, rediscovering), is the reinforcement of a life lesson to which I know many of you can testify, as well. 

The lesson is simply this: God has not created us to get through our life journeys. Neither the good parts or the bad parts, but on our own. We are made to be in community, to be connected, to be in life-giving and life-sustaining relationships. Among the many other vitally important aspects of our being together in the body of Christ, the Church, the fact that we can be lovingly present for one another is the one I am most celebrating now. Cards, calls, visits, the meal train—it all adds up to an incomparable loving presence. 

I am recommitting myself to doing everything I can to bring more people into this loving, caring environment.

Even as I celebrate being on the receiving end, and look forward to the day when I can get back to being more on the giving end, I am recommitting myself to doing everything I can to bring more people into this loving, caring environment. I encourage you to do the same; because, as we do so, we become mediators not only of God’s promise of eternal life, but of a richer and more wonderful life right here and now. 

Pastor Tom 

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