(In) the beginning.

By Michele S.
All of our categories of “normal life” have been exploded with recent events. As guidelines and executive orders for the “new normal” (temporary and short, please Lord!) have imposed new patterns on our former ways, St. John’s leaders have been pondering new ways to create, nurture, and sustain our spiritual community–our family. I am speaking of “family” in the largest sense of the word–from committed members to anyone connected to us–new and old friends we want to enfold into our community, especially at this time of social isolation. This blog/site are one piece of that effort.

This morning during my prayer time, a phrase from the prayer of confession literally jumped out of the page at me: “we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.” Of course this is a shortcoming we can all confess on a daily basis. But my thought this morning was to fast forward to six months, a year, a decade from now and ask myself: How did I not love my neighbor as myself at this time of pandemic, when fear and anxiety threaten to wreak havoc in our souls and strip us of our ability to live sacrificially?

A wonderful gem from Isaiah, lesser well known than other favorite passages, gives some insight into how we might answer this question. I offer it for your encouragement: “For the palace will be forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will be come dens forever, the joy of wild asses, a pasture for flocks; until a spirit from on high is poured out on us, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness quietness and trust forever.” (Isaiah 32: 14-17)

I pray that now, as palaces are forsaken and cities deserted, God will pour his spirit out on the St. John’s community so that through his love we make this wilderness of loneliness and social isolation a fruitful field not only for us but for our neighbors.

SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO USE THIS BLOG:

  1. Visit the News page (this one) to find regular content from our community. Main categories of content: 1) Devotional (Bible studies, spiritual reflections, shared Bible passages); 2) news and announcements; 3) other?
  2. Please participate! Send your content to Michele (blog meister). The blog email is on the contact page.
  3. Check out the other categories: the Give/receive page and the Joy Together pages. These are offered for mutual support and encouragement.

Peace, Michele

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