“Bloom in Preparation: Digging Deeper” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

November 18th,2021 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Friends,

I hope that you have been thinking about all the possibilities that were presented in the Budget Hearing last week and finding ways to see yourself engaged in the ministries of The Park in new ways. As a reminder the Congregational Meeting will happen at 10:30 am this Sunday and then we will head into worship. If you have not registered, please email Stephanie Wilson to make sure you have the link. Because of this important time together Bible Study and Children’s Ministry will take a Sunday off, but both will be back next week. Also, keep an eye out in the newsletter for an introduction to our new children’s minister, we are so excited for the ways she will deepen our young member’s relationship to God and this beloved community.

As we Bloom in Preparation this month, I have started to notice the word “prepare” all over the place. It feels a little bit like a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. And wouldn’t you know it, this week’s scripture talks all about preparation. One of the things I have noticed about the word and use of preparation is that it can take on many different emotions. People prepare because they are scared. People prepare for adventures. People prepare for the day. People prepare for the unknown. People prepare for things that are imminent, and we prepare for things in the future. We are preparing in many ways all throughout our lives and our faith and our relationship to God are no exception. Today’s passage is one that might be familiar for many of you. It has inspired many stories, it has been used to scare people into a certain behavior or belief, and it has been used to prepare and anticipate the new things to come in Christ. Let’s read together today’s passage from Matthew and see how you understand this passage about preparation.

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words never will.
36 “No one knows that day and that hour—not the angels of heaven, nor even the Only Begotten—only Abba God.
37 “The coming of the Promised One will be just like Noah’s time. 38 In the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, having relationships and getting married, right up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39 They were totally unconcerned until the flood came and destroyed them. So it will be at the coming of the Promised One. 40 Two people will be out in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two people will be grinding meal; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Therefore be vigilant! For you don’t know the day your Savior is coming.
43 “Be sure of this: if the owner of the house had known when the thief was coming, the owner would have kept a watchful eye and not allowed the house to be broken into. 44 You must be prepared in the same way. The Promised One is coming at the time you least expect.
45 “Who is the faithful, farsighted worker whom the owner of the house puts in charge of the household to provide for their needs at the appropriate times? 46 Happy are the workers whom the owners find at their work upon their return.

[Matthew 25:35-46 (ILB)/ Mateo 25:35-46 (NVI)]

What did you feel this passage was calling you to prepare for and what emotions accompanied your reading? Did how you feel when reading it align with how you imagine the author wanted you to feel? Finally, this is a story about the coming of Christ, but we know that God is with us always, so, where do you see God active in this story?

Friends, being prepared is not always as easy or straight forward as having extra batteries, an advanced directive, or a spare umbrella. Sometimes being prepared is being able to know when to trust something as it is written and when God is asking us to dig a little deeper. All of it is a challenge, but it is all certainly made easier when we do it with beloved community.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O Gracious God who is present always, may my actions this week be a known source of your love.  Amen.