“The Details of the Larger Picture” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

December 6th,2018 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

I hope that this advent season is finding you all warm and in good spirits. I know that the holiday season comes with the ties to many different communities and I am so thankful that you make The Park one of yours. This is also the time of year where we speak to people we haven’t seen or spoken to in a while, if that is the case for you, please extend our warm greetings and invite your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to worship or one of our many ministries.

When I read the word “attention,” I always read it with a french accent. It was by far the word most often shouted to me in my french lessons growing up. And in hindsight, the demand for attention was never to bring focus to the teacher, but to make sure I didn’t miss something bigger. Maybe it was a story from my peer, how to conjugate a new verb, or the overall experience of our lesson. Had she said, watch me, or listen to this, my focus may have been more easily attained. However, I feel like if I had such a singular focus, I would have missed all the little things that made up the larger picture.

Same goes for this week’s scripture. Pay attention friends, see where God is trying to point your attention in both broad and specific ways.

3:1 Well, pay attention!
I am sending my Messenger
to prepare the way for me;
the One you seek will suddenly come to the Temple,
the Messenger of the Covenant whom you long for
will come,
says YHWH Omnipotent.
2 But who can endure the day of that Coming?
Who can stand firm when that One appears?”

What did you notice? What spoke to you most clearly? For me, it was the need to pave a way. God can do anything; a path is not needed for God to work. The path is built by us because it is for us. We are called to do the work necessary to pave a way in our lives and our world, so that we can clearly see what God is doing. But what is that work? Well, if you don’t know, there are people working for God, seeking justice, leading with love who are already in action. We just need to pay attention. Broaden our vision beyond what someone working for God should do, into what they could do.

Friends, what work are you doing to pave the way in your life? What do you need to pay attention to in others to expand that scope of work? What do you hope the One who is coming is going to do and how might you be able to assist? Beloveds, we can do all things through Christ. May we remember and use that information to pave the way for the hope for Christ and the imaginative work of God.

A short prayer for your week: Holy One, give us focus. Focus for the vision of hope in the coming Christ child. Focus for our small but integral part of that vision.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie