Introducing "Spirit-Centered Moments"! Each week, an individual from the Sierra Pacific Synod will share a poem, devotional, piece of music, or work of art that is speaking to them. These spirit-centered moments will often center around the Gospel text for the upcoming Sunday.
Our first spirit-centered moment is written by the Rev. Cristina Beauchemin, Dean of Conference 6 and Pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church in San Jose, CA.
The Presence of the Spirit
"It was a sunny afternoon as I sat outside a coffee shop with a member of my congregation. We were chatting, discussing some of life’s more and less pressing matters, when a woman walks-up. We both smile at her and say “hello.” She approached us and we could both see she was stressed, and then, came the ask. The person I am with begins to pull out his wallet, and I look intently at her and ask, “Is everything ok?” She says she is in need of directions. She managed to leave her cell phone at home and is trying to get to the freeway. Luckily, I am the typical pastor who carries a notebook with me, and I quickly write up directions, google style, so that she can easily navigate the roads to her appointment. She told us there were others she had asked before us and they had all said they could not help her. She just needed directions, that seems to be an easy thing to manage. Why had others refused to help this woman? My guess is that they had not chosen to be present that day.
In this week's gospel text (Luke 10:38-42) we find ourselves in the home of Mary and Martha where Jesus was invited to their home. When he entered their home, Martha began to hurriedly prepare the home and probably a meal, I am assuming there was a bit of a clatter of pots and pans as she tried to quickly create the appropriate ambiance for Jesus. Mary, however, sat at Jesus’s feet listening intently as he prattled on about, we assume, the love of God. Mary, after a time becomes annoyed and enters the room to announce that she is doing all of the work and that if Jesus cared at all he would tell Mary to join her, and not be sitting there, just sitting there. Oh my, I can really imagine what may have actually been said between these two sisters. Yet Jesus responds to Martha, “Martha, Martha you are worried and distracted by many things…” Martha was distracted preparing her home for Jesus, she had a job to do. But Mary, she was present. She had a guest in her home, and not any guest but the Holy One. And so, she sat, and was present.
I realize that life is difficult and filled with noise and the clamor of day-to-day living, but what if we began our day with a prayer and we asked the Holy Spirit to show up? If we allowed our lives to be open to where the Spirit might bring us, our presence into the world? How might your week be different if you were present amongst the neighbors in your midst?
I pray you allow the Spirit to guide you to places beyond your own imaginations.