March 9

Good morning everyone!

Today’s scripture:  Psalm 19: 1-6, 12-14 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 Wow, what a beautiful day today!  It seems rather appropriate with so much sun streaming in my windows that today’s lectionary should be this Psalm of praise for the glorious skies and the warmth of the sun.  There are days that just elicit praise I think.  Yesterday, I even rode my back to and from the church in the afternoon because it was such lovely weather.  Yes, I am a fair weather commuter but I have a stunning helmet and a good looking bike to take me around town and a cute little basket.  On my way to the church, I stopped at the stop sign at third street to wait my turn.  A motorcyclist looked over and me and then stopped to allow me to cross.  The comparison in my mind was pretty funny.  Here I am in my little blue helmet, in my work clothes, with my little bag on the side of my bike, pedaling along.

 
And there he was…all big and burly and in leathers, on quite the bike…and he slowed down and gave me the nod.  You know the one.  Ok, he wasn’t as burly as the photo above but you get the idea.  He gave me the nod and I pedaled right across the street…happy as could be that he stopped the heavy traffic for me to get to the church.
Got me to thinking.  He and I are basically the same.  Ok, hear me out.  We are both people doing the best we can in the ways we can in downtown McMinnville. We probably have more common ground than we really think and we are both trying to make it through the world on the beautiful sunny day…on our bikes nonetheless.  Turns out in that moment, we really got along and had a moment of sharing the same moment in the day.
An interesting article was posted today from the Washington Post.  If you will indulge me a bit…here is a part of it.  The title of the article is “Is religion dying or reinventing?”
“What is new? In my research, it’s the “ands.” Those who say they are “spiritual and religious.” In 1999, 54 percent of Americans said they were “religious but not spiritual,” while six percent said “spiritual and religious.” By 2009, the percentages had reversed: “religious but not spiritual” fell from 54 percent to nine percent as the “spiritual and religious” rose from a mere six percent of the population to nearly half, an astonishing 42 point change.“Ands” want religion revolutionized by spirituality; they want spirituality grounded upon (but not guarded by) ancient wisdom, theologies, and practices. They demand more authenticity, meaning, justice, and community from religious institutions, not less. In these longings, the “ands” voice an older way of understanding religion, where faith should and must be an experience of God that transforms one’s life for the sake of the world. If the “ands” are the vanguard of change, then the great religious recession is about to give way to a great spiritual awakening. Is this the end of religion or only the beginning of a new, and better, form of faith?”


This is so interesting to me!  It means that things might just be changing to really acknowledge that we can have both religion AND spirituality!  The Psalmist can be appreciated by both.  We can have the bikers AND the motorbikers…and that’s how things are going to survive around. I totally get the “Ands.”  I am one of them if I am going to be honest.  I love pieces of religion AND yet yearn for the spiritual.  I want the Psalms in the morning and the ancient wisdom AND really yearn for community and authenticity.   We can totally do this! We both have helmets and are making our way through the world.  Can we be creating something new? What do you think?
Prayer: O God, we yearn to see your face and we dwell in your mystery.  Allow the warmth of the sun to touch our faces and send us out to do your work.
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