March 15

Good morning all!  Ides of March, eh?

Today’s scripture: MARK 6:30-44

30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42And all ate and were filled; 43and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

 I was at a gathering on Saturday to talk about immigration and our community.  Part of the gathering was to hear a friend’s experience about coming to the United States from Mexico.  He talked about growing up in Mexico until the age of 9, the journey to Oregon, and the journey through becoming a citizen.  It was an extremely powerful story and this person is incredibly uplifting.  Efrain used a sentence that really has stuck with me all week.  He said, “there are all of these little points in life that define who you become.”  Someone had asked about how he met his wife and he was reflecting that that very moment was a defining moment into who he would become.

That’s the thing about life, hindsight is fantastic but when you are in those moments all you can do is recognize that you are living that moment.  But in reality we are living these moments every day that define who we will become and reflect who we are.  And perhaps we would have come to the same conclusion by another moment but there is no way of knowing that.  There are many defining moments in my life and even the hard ones, I am thankful for.  The task for me today is to realize what moments I will encounter today and see God in that experience.  My meeting this morning may create a new passion, or ignite new ideas, or set me on a different path.  My afternoon may bring a different set of circumstances that will change my life forever depending on the people I might meet, the tasks I might accomplish, and hopefully nothing too out of the ordinary….although we never know.
What moments have defined who you are in life?  And what moments might happen today? Are you ready to receive them?
This video certainly changes a situation.  As many of you know, I love the group Improv Everywhere.  They are about creating moments that change the scene for the better.  They do things to give delight, entertainment, and sometimes to make a scene a better place.  This video is called “Surprise Wedding Reception.” They decided to pick the next couple coming out of the courthouse who just got married and give them a wedding reception.  While this is fun for the group, I am thinking that the couple just received a moment that will change who they become.  They experience kindness and joy that will be passed on.  They receive an amazing lasting memory that changes maybe who they are as a couple…because they have had this shared experience…Let’s watch….
So even though it is blustery out there where I am and the day doesn’t look as pleasant, let us pray that we are ready to receive the next moments.

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