Rev. Laura Hewett Becker

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February 19, 2021

Rev. Laura Hewett Becker

Anyone looking for the ‘control-alt-delete’ command for 2021 this week? I have sensed a frustration this week as we have been weathering the epic, unprecedented, never experienced in Texas Winter Storm. All of life seems to be stuck, frozen, and the uncertainty once again stirs within searching for which program or process is not responding. It dumbfounds.

I find myself looking for a sign from God as to what this mess needs to do with me. Here it is: The season of Lent designs to interrupt the business-as-usual pattern of our lives. It begins with Ash Wednesday and the in-your-face-reminder, “From dust you have come and to dust you will return. Repent and believe the gospel.” (J.D. Walt, Listen to Him)

One of the many aspects of life is ‘interruption’. In the context of ministry, it is imperative for ministers (that’s all of us who believe in Christ) to learn that ministry often happens within the interruptions. Jesus is often seen in the scriptures teaching, healing, praying, sleeping, and eating. Inevitably someone or something comes as an interruption. A desperate father pleads for his help for a dying daughter, a mother is concerned about wine shortage, friends are caught in a storm while he is sleeping, a woman at a well engages in a long theological debate; all are moments where Jesus sets aside himself for the sake of being present with those in need of it.

Laying aside our agenda, convenience, and patterns of daily habit is not an easy task. It is however a task of love. Over a lifetime of watching people in crisis I can attest how crisis can become the entire focus of one’s life. I’d suggest that it is quite natural and necessary to set aside many things when crisis arise like a death in the family, a debilitating illness, a devastating loss of job or relationship, a natural disaster, and especially when more than one is occurring.

I think it is most appropriate to allow time for a ‘reset’ as that cursed rotating circle on the computer screen of Life sometimes demands. I think that is one of the ordinary signs that God has used with me. Take a breath. Drink a little water. Pray. And then take the next step you can. The interruption is likely to become the very place where you experience the grace of God working in your life.

I pray that as we continue through the winter storm aftermath (for I know a little secret – it’s the little disasters after the Disaster that will need our care and attention too) we will be open to the interruptions that draw us closer to each other and God. I pray you will interrupt your day with prayer, listening to God’s Word, meal-time with others, and helping a neighbor. These are the basic, essentials for a merciful grace-filled life.

If Jesus can be interrupted from his heavenly throne responsibilities so that we might experience and know what Love looks like then whatever interruption comes today can humble us to a place where we can show that same love to others.
Let’s listen to Jesus.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Laura

February 12, 2021

Rev. Laura Hewett Becker

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:15-16 (NRSV)

A few weeks ago a preschooler proclaimed during chapel time God is dead. She further explained that God isn’t real because God can’t be seen. Well, this pastor couldn’t pass up a teaching opportunity. So, I left my other lesson plan and fixed my eyes on her. I asked her and the whole class to take a deep breath, then another. I asked them to put their hand on their chest and breath again. Do you feel your chest move, can you feel your lungs expand and blow out air? Next, I asked the class to notice the air coming out of their mouth and nose. Can you see it? No, but you know its there because it comes in and out of us. God is like air in that way. We can’t see it, it is invisible however we know it is there because there are visible signs of it moving – when trees bend when the wind blows, that is air moving unseen and seen at the same time. God is like breath little one. God is not dead. God is certainly real and is close as our breath moving in and out.

Whether you are a preschooler in the faith or an ever-growing adult, we live with that same question every day. It’s okay to admit that we struggle with trusting in that which and whom we cannot see? How do we trust in the Invisible and Visible God? How do we believe that all things have been created through and for Christ?

The scripture says Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; in him all things were created, through him and for him. The notion of Christ’s action in creation should astound us, cause an awe that stirs us first to worship and then to submission. Why submission, you might ask. The verse says Jesus is the firstborn of creation which presumes that we follow in being born of creation. Acknowledging the supremacy of Christ is critical to understanding the work of God in creating everything. It sets a foundation for us to understand that we too are a work of God and so participate in making visible God.

One of my favorite presentations of submitting to God’s creating process is from the Skit Guys in their “God’s Chisel” dramatic-comedy skit. https://youtu.be/AhfUzodLRvk I hope you will give it a look. I was introduced to their ministry while attending a United Methodist Gathering of Youth in 2003. Their visual always reminds me of the difficult and beautiful work that is constantly happening around us and especially in us.

For us to be created anew as we have heard in the previous sermon series, we will definitely need to cultivate habits for listening to him. Listening to Jesus will be our focus as be move through the forty days that culminate with Easter. I look forward to your participation in worship online or in-person as we step on a road to resurrection together.

May God continue to create us anew and bring us to new moments of resurrection.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Laura

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