Dear St. Lukers,
Happy Gratitude month!! November 1st has become a tradition for many of us to spend the next 30 days being intentional about gratitude for our abundantly blessed lives. Each day has a time of reflection to be in wonder and gratefulness for all the gifts we so often overlook in the busyness of life. In the book I am teaching from on Wednesday nights, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning writes of the power of wonder which has been lost in our modern day discipleship.
“By and large, our world has lost its sense of wonder. We have grown up. We no longer catch our breath at the sight of a rainbow or the scent of a rose , as we once did. We have grown bigger and everything else smaller, less impressive. We get blasé and worldly-wise and sophisticated.” (pg. 90)
So often we religious people walk amid the beauty and bounty of nature and we talk nonstop. We miss the panorama of color and sound and smell…We fail to be stretched by the magnificence of the world saturated with grace.” (pg.92)
Last week in worship you met little Joey, who found a dandelion and wanted desperately to hold it to himself. His father explained the power of the dandelion to make wishes but also to send seeds into the air to create new growth and possibilities. I actually remember a conversation with my grandfather, when I found a dandelion patch and proceeded to blow on each one. He was rather frustrated with me, and complained I was just going to generate another entire patch of weeds for him to clear. Being just as stubborn as he was, I proceeded to sit right in the middle of that patch of weeds and blow one right after the other!
Whether or not one thinks dandelions are weeds is irrelevant – the sheer power of possibility God planted in one dandelion is magnificent. To consider one dandelion can create more is amazing, but it’s God’s grace to consider we were placed in this world of abundant magnificence to play our part as stewards of its beauty.
You and I were created and placed in this wonderful world, entrusted to be stewards of this “magnificent world saturated with grace.” I do find myself too busy running to stop long enough in wonder and awe at this gift. Our scripture this week in worship is from Genesis 39 and tells the story of Joseph coming to be a steward of Potiphar’s home and its management. “The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care.” I think sometimes our rush to be good stewards of the “households” (home, work, church) we have been entrusted to manage, sometimes blocks us from being in wonder and awe of the magnificence of everything. I wonder if we sometimes forget to slow down enough to see the potential, the possibilities of how saturated our lives are with grace.
This week as you prepare yourself for worship, read the story of Joseph’s journey in chapter 39. Consider last weeks’ message from Joey regarding God’s wish to have more treasures than pockets. Pause each day in prayer, as we begin this month of thanks and gratitude, and step back to be in wonder of the treasures in your life. Why not pick one or two treasures of pure grace God has given you to steward and give thanks for those, during your prayer time or even maybe offer them as a picture on social media. (Make sure you tag us: @stlukesorlando on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.) May the rest of your week be filled with glimpses of your abundant life just dripping with the grace of God. Until then, can’t wait to see you in Traditional Worship and you can join Pastor Jad this Sunday in Contemporary Worship
I wish you more,