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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We Are Seven

In the wise words of Han Solo, "This is not how I thought this day was going to go..."

The last post I made was about the feeding of the five thousand.  I went as far as to complain about the disciples and their lack of faith... again.  I can be critical.  I made reference to the feeding of the four thousand.  Friends...  I dug my own hole...

Many of you know that I have jumped into a rather frenzied summer schedule.  You may know this from reading this blog.  If you know me in "real life", you may have recently seen me running around half crazy with more coffee flowing through my veins than blood, because it's been a wild time in the life of our family.  Yesterday, after three days which included a conference, a quiz practice, a piano recital, and three pastoral calls... spread out over four states...  exhaustion won out.  I slept most of the day and worked to ward off a sore throat that has been slowly creeping up on me... and an earache... and a headache...

Ordinarily, I do not "do sick" well.  After a weekend like that?  There is no hope.

It appears that by the time I woke up, this morning, I had forgotten everything I wrote five days ago about trusting God to provide just enough grace for survival.  And then I received some news that threw me into something of a temper tantrum.  I hope, as readers, that you will allow me just a touch of grace on this, because I legitimately am tired... and sick... and frustrated with a wide variety of things. 

I put on my tennis shoes, blew past the kids, and exclaimed, "I'm going for a walk.  Pray for me, because I am angry, and I don't want to yell or get arrested or kill anybody."  Mercifully, they just said, "OK."  As a side note, I have been known to yell, but I have never actually been arrested or killed anyone, so there wasn't really any imminent danger there...

Walking where I live works out pretty well, because there are very few people around.  I can talk to myself or the trees or the air without creating too much concern for my wellbeing.  Thirty minutes was enough to bring me to the point of returning home, locking myself in my room, and quietly "shouting" what I really think.  Hot tears.  Refrained from kicking anything.  Sat down and decided to start the day over with a second cup of coffee and my readings from the daily office.

The Feeding of the Four Thousand...

Are you kidding me?  Super funny, God.

Get ready, because here comes Sacramental Tuesday (for someone who loves alliteration, that was difficult).

I recently re-read Pelzel's, Ecclesiology, for a summer class I am taking.  Sometimes I get wrapped up in questions about exactly what grace is offered to us in the sacraments.  Pelzel's insight about the Eucharist is striking.  "In the Eucharist we are transformed into that which we eat" (Kindle Location 780).  We become the body of Christ.  This is incarnational grace.  We become the bread.

We... become... the bread.

Matthew 15:33-37, "His disciples answered, 'Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?'  'How many loaves do you have?' Jesus asked.  'Seven,' they replied, 'and a few small fish.'  He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied" (NIV).

We are seven.  Heck, we even have a couple of small fish.  We are enough.

We are broken.  If we give ourselves to the people and they are satisfied, that's OK.