This Week – 9/30

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What’s it like to be alone for you?  Are you one of those people who’re grateful for any moment of time alone, happy for a break from the demands and habits of others?  Do you relish an opportunity to be by yourself, even if you’re not doing anything particularly important?  Or is being alone torturous?  Do you need the presence and stimulation of others to keep you going so that you find when no one is available you don’t know what to do with yourself or how to think?

I believe Jesus has been telling us a number of parables lately about what it means to lose something of value which makes our lives incomplete, once we’re aware of what we’ve lost.  Sometimes what we lose is a result of a decision we make, or our inattentiveness to someone who looked to us for help or support.  The result is that we find ourselves alone, and it’s not a time alone that is helpful or welcome.  Being alone can happen because we haven’t made room for someone else in our lives, and then we find ourselves heartbroken by their absence and the reality of our situation.

There’s a painting in the Birmingham Museum of Art called “The End of a Misspent Life” by Elihu Veder.  It’s a painting that I seek out whenever I’m in the museum because it captures my imagination.  Why is this figure alone?  What’s he done; what’s been done to him?  Why is he out here, with no one else around, all by himself, in sorrow?  Why is he sitting at the steps of a church?  The painting is a landscape, not a portrait, and by the scale of the painting we feel the isolation of that lone figure in a canvass that seems made for more people.

We come to God quite often when things fall apart, when we’re heartbroken and lost.  We do that because we know deep down that when we’re alone and isolated that God will be there with us.  The long story of Israel is about remembering that when things go disastrously wrong God hasn’t given up on them.  And yet, in our good times, when the party is still in full swing and life is going our way, God is there too, and is a presence for us as much as those moments when we’re all alone. Whether this is a week you feel the joy of some time alone or face another week of what feels like never-ending abandonment, Jesus reminds us that God hasn’t abandoned us and invites us to risk leaving where we are to gather together in fellowship and community.  May you have the bravery to venture out of your isolation and find a community of people seeking the same things you seek: love, acceptance, and completeness.

–Thomas

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This Wednesday, October 2, is the final day to register for Fall College Retreat at Camp McDowell. For more info and to register, visit bit.ly/FallCollegeRetreat2019

On Campus

Tuesdays at BSC
We will be on Campus hanging our in front of the Caf beginning about 9 am. Join us for a Holy Eucharist in Yielding Chapel at 11:45 am, and then for lunch in the Caf after.
Wednesdays at Samford 
We’ll be in the University Center near O’Henry’s around 9 am. Join us for Holy Eucharist at 12 noon in Reid Chapel, and then lunch in the Caf after.
Thursdays at UAB
We’ll be in the Hill Center from 10 am to 3 pm. Come by and have a coffee, or lunch, or for a chat or a prayer, or just to say hello.

At Trinity Commons

Tuesday, 6 pm, is Pasta Night! 
Join us for an evening of cooking, eating, and hanging out. We will provide the recipe and ingredients. Just bring yourself (and a friend). This week’s pasta is Rigatoni with Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Mozzarella. Hooray!

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