I take notes when I listen to the sermon in church. It helps me internalize the message in a way that sticks. Then, I can share with my husband, Bob, whose mind wanders during sermons. We discuss it on the way home and I read my notes to him. Usually they are in poetic format. That’s how my mind holds on and interprets.
Here is my take on Rev. Jean Johnson’s message from John 17: 2-26.
MAKE US ONE
May the love I have for you
Also be in you.
May my words echo in your heart
And ring loud and true.
Each day I pray for you and yours,
For health and strength and peace.
My prayers include family and friends,
My kids, my sis, my niece.
I pray for us and our health, too,
And ask for family unity.
Jesus prayed that we be ONE –
Mend divisions between you and me.
From time’s beginnings, splits occurred –
From Adam, to disciples, to now.
Jesus asked God to make us one –
Stop our bickering somehow.
Set aside our differences.
Teach us, Lord, to pray
That we can love as Jesus loved.
Make us one today.
When you hear the word “HOPE,” what comes to mind for you? Some folks might think of the opposite of despair. Some think of “faith” and see the words synonymously. Others might think of the old song, “Ya gotta have hope, all ya really need is hope.” You can hear it sung by the Damn Yankees star at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry8CpIg2fvU
When I think of hope, I think of my eighteen-year-old granddaughter. Hope is spending this week in a motel. Not welcomed in her family, she is staying elsewhere so she has time to think about the privilege of living at home. A high school graduate, with a minimum wage job in town, she has responsibilities as a family member. Among other infractions (I won’t go into all of them here – my mom taught me not to wash my dirty linens in public), she has chosen to ignore her chores lately. It’s a long story, but bottom line is, “If you’re going to live here, you need to help out. One chore in the morning before you leave and one chore in the evening before you go to bed does not seem too much to ask.” Her parents have been driving her (about 5 miles each way up and down a very steep hill with a dangerously narrow road) to work and back. They are providing her meals, of course. But, in exchange, they expect her to be a help at home and to live by the family rules. Seems only fair, right?
But, I am having a hard time with this. They haven’t heard from her all week and there’s no light on at night in the place where she is supposedly staying. I live two states away – and I can’t (and figure I shouldn’t) try to intervene. These are wise, educated, loving, caring parents – doing the best they know how – all I can do is pray. Worry is not a godly response. It’s the opposite of faith – the opposite of HOPE. The song says, “Ya gotta have hope – mustn’t sit around and mope.” However, my granddaughter has lived a sheltered, home-schooled life. She doesn’t have a driver’s license – much less a car – and she is suddenly alone, walking back and forth to work, no cell phone service (except for texting ability – and she’s not responding to texts – not from me or her parents).
The song goes on to say, “Nothin’s half as bad as it may appear, wait’ll next year…” I’m not very good at waiting. How about you? I’m a take-charge, fix-the-problem kind of person. But, this is beyond my ability to fix. It’s not mine to control. I am not in their shoes and I can’t judge. All I can do is pray. Will you pray with me, dear blogging friends?
Ya gotta have HOPE!