Every year about this time I love to read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I really enjoy reading the familiar story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the visit by the ghosts who show him who he was, what he is now, and what his future could hold. But it’s not just about the three spirits (in addition to Jacob Marley), it’s pity for Tiny Tim and an awareness of the struggle of the Cratchit family as well as the reality of the estrangement Scrooge has with his nephew. Awareness is what the story is really all about and how much an awareness of the plight of others and the reality of our own callousness can transform our lives. As Christians we live with the awareness that the world is not as it should be; for many there is the struggle for justice, there is the absence of peace, and there is the experience of broken lives and shattered dreams. For some of us, this reality is something that our negligence has caused for ourselves, others endure having it forced upon them. Hope is the expectation of a reality we can’t fully see but trust to be true in time. No matter what today looks like, what you struggle with, what unfulfilled longing you carry, or what mistakes burden you, we hope that God will transform today into a better tomorrow with our perseverance. It doesn’t take the visit of three ghosts to bring this change about; God has already done the work and will fulfill the promise of life in and with God. For us, the challenge is to live as best we can with one another in hope and an awareness of what transformation can happen now. May this week be an occasion for you to find meaning in perseverance with Jesus who is with you in the struggles of the moment, as well as hope for the promise of fulfillment of for life together.
For those of you with exams to take this week, good luck. Let us know if you need help, or a friendly ear to listen to you cry/yell/celebrate.
O Lord, support those taking examinations and help them make the most of the knowledge they possess; grant them confidence, steadiness, honesty, and a quiet mind. Amen.
I admit I have moments when I get overwhelmed, sometimes I imagine how nice it would be to be far away from where I am and all that I have to do. I find myself, ever since childhood, standing and looking at a plane in the sky and wondering where it might be heading, and then wishing I were on it. It’s not always about a desire for escape but a longing for adventure and experience. It’s how I typically approach each week, who will I get to see this week, what things may happen, what unexpected situations will I find myself a part of. This week is one that I refer to as ‘social media week,’ it’s where I use our Facebook page to show the many people who support our ministry and Trinity Commons what I do each day, who I meet along the way, and invite them to feel like they’re a part of what we do. We need the support of other people, both by their donations to Trinity Commons to pay the power bill and to keep buying us pasta each Tuesday. But we also need their participation and prayers, we need them to see that what you and I do each week matters for them. This week I’m going to ask you to help me show who you are and what you do, so that like me standing and looking at a plane in the sky, they’ll see us and wish they could be with us too, going where we go and doing what we do. You and I have important lives, we may not always realize it when we’re busy or tired, but the work we do matters and there are many people who are eager to share in it. May this week be an opportunity for you to see your life as an invitation to share and experience the power of a community of love that is larger than you imagined, and then have the courage to be transformed by what you find in the presence of Jesus who calls you by name.
Tuesday will be another Pasta night; we’ll take a break from our usual Italian and try some pastas with Eastern flavors. For those of you who’ve been wanting something a little more Asian, we’re going to try Peanut Rice Noodles with Pork and Collard Greens. Intrigued? Come join us at Trinity Commons at 6pm for an adventure and we’ll give it a try.
On Campus this Week
Tuesday – BSC
I’ll be hanging out in the front of the Caf around 9am. You’re invited to come join me, share anything that’s on your mind, or just say hey on your way to class. Our short Eucharist will take place in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 am and I hope you’re able to make it this week. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.
Wednesday – Samford
I’ll be hanging around of Einstein’s (on the patio or inside in case of rain) around 9 am, ready to talk with you and hear all about your week. Then join us in Reid Chapel at Noon for our short Eucharist. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.
Thursday – UAB
Come by and see me at the Hill Center. I’ll be hanging out at a table in the dining area near the doors to Univ. Blvd around 10 am.
I look forward to seeing you this week.