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Bible Study, Basic Stuff, Boring Stuff, of course, my initials and just plain BS about stuff and life in general as seen through the eyes of me. Unless otherwise stated, the reflections, thoughts, ideas and BS you read here is all mine. 

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Articles
Billy Strayhorn
/ Categories: Reflections

Jesus Loves Me Even When I’m Not Expecting It

The First Article in a new Blog - reposted from May 19, 2012

Weird title right? Well, this past week has been incredibly, incredibly joyful and stressful all rolled into one. Glen Rose, Texas is a small Central Texas town filled with wonderful people and a great United Methodist Church which I'm privileged to Pastor. Most small town churches have a small Confirmation class. This has been true for the last two years but this year it was different. We had 20 young people in Confirmation. The church and the staff were ecstatic, as was I. With parental input, we chose Mother's Day as Confirmation Sunday.

With preparations fully in swing for this joyful event, three short days before, a tragedy struck which rocked the foundations of our church and most of the families in the community. My mind, heart and soul as well as those of every family in the community were torn between celebration and grief. We went from the heights of glorifying God to the depths of cursing God for letting such a tragedy occur and trying to figure out why something like this could happen.

To top it all off, with the uncertainty of timelines for funerals and mourning, due to the investigation into the event, it left everything unsettled and tentative. I was scheduled for a week of Continuing Ed at the Homiletics Festival in Atlanta, GA. All that was on hold.

When plans were finally set and arrangements with hotels reconfigured, my wife and I made a mad dash for Atlanta arriving in time for the last two days. Physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted I arrived to soak up as much of God's presence through worship and study as possible. I needed a refill. I wasn't disappointed.

Friday morning worship. I realized how tired and irritable I still was. Sitting in the last pew, I also observed how noisy we clergy are. It was really starting to bug me. More than a couple of people came in and stood behind me discussing where to sit or plans for lunch or whatever. I was still so fatigued and a little ADD that I couldn't focus. And it was making me mad.

I was still in this irritable funk when Karoline Lewis began her sermon. She was talking about the joy of Jesus entering into every abandonment, every hopelessness, every pain, something I needed to hear. But still the noise bothered my soul. I couldn't let go of the irritation. She went on to say that the Resurrection is where Joy truly breaks into the present, now and in what is to come. It allows us to hold together every hard thing it means to be human.

She then began to describe her son's desire to grow up and be taller than she is. She described both the joy and the pain of the actuality of the day it happened. No mother wants to see their baby grow up and yet it is the one wish mothers have for all their babies. It is a time of joy and grief.

Once again, the noisiness of us clergy intruded on my thoughts as a young child in our midst began to make noise and I could hear Mom trying to hush him or her. And then suddenly in this poignant story by Rev. Lewis all those around me realized that this young child was humming "Jesus Loves Me."

I couldn't help but think that somehow God was speaking to me. The irony of my irritation being interrupted by a love song from God was rather overwhelming. In the midst of my funk God was dealing with my junk and I wasn't even aware of it. The words of Rev. Lewis' sermon were being brought to life right before my eyes as the joy of Jesus entered into every abandonment, every hopelessness, every pain I was feeling.

All I can say is Thank You. 

Next ArticleWhy Do We Do What Jesus Said Not To Do? And NOT Do What He Said To Do?
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