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Peace & Pieces - February 1, 2024

Jesus is the Holy One of God who lives among us to reveal that in his presence God’s kingdom of mercy and hope has come near. He preaches God’s truth and reveals God’s power over sin and despair when he heals those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit. Last Sunday we reflected on the isolation that frequently accompanies illness and I referenced the early days of Covid when we all learned how the sin of illness is often its outsized ability to block us from connection with others.

I guess I jinxed myself, because I tested positive for Covid on Tuesday after a mild sore throat on Monday turned into a cough and congestion. Convinced my second bout with Covid would be mild, I’ve been trying to work from home. I do have a mild case; however, illness is illness, and both my body and my brain are making a strong case for rest despite my hope I could accomplish my weekly “to-do” list from home.

Rest is essential when we are sick and when we are healthy. Rest has a spiritual component which Jesus demonstrates to us time and again. On Sunday we will learn more about Jesus’ ministry of healing, as well as his commitment to the dual spiritual disciplines of rest and prayer. In the midst of the demands of leading, teaching, and healing, Jesus never neglects to nourish his own spirit through rest and resting in God.

There are many ways to restore and nourish your soul. Sometimes we need alone time and sometimes we find true peace in our relationship with another. While I rest, I have been re-reading one of my favorite books, a murder mystery by Richard Osman called The Thursday Murder Club. It takes place in a “peaceful retirement village” in Kent England, and I highly recommend it for its light-hearted humor, engaging plot with many twists and turns, and multi-dimensional characters. Below is an excerpt of a conversation between two of the characters and their insights on what brings peace.

“Where is your place, Ron?” asks Ibrahim, “Where do you find peace?”

“I think,” starts Ron, face alert, eyes alive. “I think…” Ibrahim sees Ron’s face relax as he decides to just let the truth come out, rather than think. “Honestly? I’m flicking through it all in my head, all the things you’re supposed to say. But listen, I might be here in this chair, with my mate, drinking his whisky, dark outside, with something to talk about.”

Ibrahim knots his hands together and lets Ron talk.

“Just think of everyone who isn’t here, Ibbsy. Every bugger who didn’t make it. And here we are, a boy from Egypt and a boy from Kent, and we made it through it all, and then someone in Scotland made us this whisky. That’s something, isn’t it? This is the place, isn’t it, old son? This is the place.”

Sending love and peace,

Pastor Lori+


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