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While Snapping Beans . . .

posted Aug 10, 2018, 7:14 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in this season of summer!


Our church campus has been a hive of activity. Last Sunday was our Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Youth Group Memorial Scholarship BBQ on the Great Lawn of the church. And this week the lawn is still covered in tents for Vacation Bible School: Splash Canyon. It has given me great happiness each day to welcome 60 campers, along with our teenage helpers and adult volunteers, and to share the good news of God’s love with them. Anywhere you go around the church property you will see people and hear chitter-chatter and the delighted squeals of our little ones. It has been a busy, joy-filled time, and I love it! 


But being busy also means the need to rest and be still, and I found myself doing that the other night. As I was sitting in a chair outside snapping the ends off farm-fresh green beans, watching the deer eat their corn, noticing the outside cats snooze in the grass, and the birds swooping in for seed, my thoughts traveled to my maternal grandmother. How many times I had watched her snap beans, while telling me stories of growing up on a farm. I felt her presence, and smiled, looking around at the church’s little “farm.” With tears in my eyes, I stopped what I was doing to thank God for the gift of my grandmother and for that moment of peace. “Always be grateful,” I said out loud. And I was.


It occurred to me then that the gratitude we have for the grace God has given us through Jesus can spill over into all of our life’s activities and turn worship into an everyday experience. Or can turn everyday experiences into worship. 


In that moment, snapping beans became for me an act of worship.


Episcopalian priest Barbara Brown Taylor eloquently said: Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places  . . . regardless of how they got there or whether they know God’s name. Sometimes it comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door  . . . This is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works.


As people of faith, we are encouraged to be on the lookout for that divine spaciousness and how God is moving in our lives, even when we least expect it. As we do, our path toward salvation becomes a path that is Spirit-filled, a path of song and joy and wonder, and a path that leads us to a place of gratitude and worship.


And from this song of gratitude, all that we offer to God, to each other, each seemingly ordinary thing we do, becomes a place of spectacular grace where the divine spaciousness can fill up our lives. Each part of our lives become a potential space for worship, because God created us for worship. Worship is not something that just happens once a week . . . gratitude turns worship into an everyday occurrence.


As you go about your everyday acts of worship, as you walk in the path of gratitude, I pray you will be filled with the Spirit, making melody to God in your heart, and giving thanks to God at all times and for everything. I will see you on Sunday!


In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor, and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

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