Great walk in to work today. I'll post some photos of the Bethany campus on Facebook. Here are the daily devotions for today through the weekend.
Rachel Pritchett, office administrator
Thursday, February 22
My wife, Claire, and I were at the bus shelter on Highway 305 waiting to catch bus 90 to the ferry terminal on Bainbridge. We had read the bus schedule carefully, but still unsure, we arrived at the stop 15 minutes early. We finally saw the bus coming up the highway, but as it got closer we could see a big Sorry sign on the front of the bus. “That’s not our bus,” I said to Claire, “that’s the "sorry bus.” We looked closely to see if anyone was on the bus, but it looked empty except for the driver. That’s when we started wondering about the "sorry bus.”
Where does the “sorry bus” go? Does the “sorry bus” ever stop for anyone? These thoughts provoked other questions. Who rides that bus? Who should be on it? Claire thought this year it would be picking up a lot of men.
Lent is a season of repentance. It is spring housecleaning for the soul. For many it means giving up something to demonstrate mastery over the things of the flesh. Joel invites us to “rend your hearts and not your garments.” The great penitential Psalm 51, often read on Ash Wednesday, proclaims: “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Another Lenten injunction: “Bear fruit worthy of repentance,” cries John the Baptist. In Romans 2:4 Paul tells us it is God’s kindness that encourages us to get on the bus. “Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
Maybe the “sorry bus” is our bus and we need to be on it. It could take us in a new direction.
Friday, February 23
What do I know except to be alive? And yet, the amazing gift of over 60 years of life is that slowly I am gaining the capacity to see the miracle that is experience experienced. “Life is rich,” which is not to say easy or even always pleasant, though I also see how pleasant and easy my life is in comparison to many others’. To experience self-pitying tears, rapt engagement, placid contemplation, paralyzing anxiety, intense affection, awe, and oh so many more emotions –
I’ve come to see this as a gift. Whether or not my benefits are mere good fortune, they afford the opportunity of perspective. I am thankful for perspective.
The old joke about blithely planning to live forever (“so far, so good”) is balanced by the poignancy that my lived experience is time-limited: if I have any chance of finding the eternal in the temporal, I must begin immediately to seek it. Please help me see the nooks and crannies of compassion, the thin spaces and liminal borders of connection. Help me be open to the universe and feel the flow of undergirding love undergirding. Maybe I’ll need to wait until I’m dying to know the release of giving up my self, but help me see intimations of the immortality that letting go of me and embracing all may bring.
I don’t know what to make of this terrible world: a brilliant spectacle full of grace and fear. I am often unmoored by tight meanness and brittle selfishness. But also, I am often deeply touched by sweet kindness and gentle generosity. What to make of this unfathomable universe? Awe, mostly.
Saturday, February 24
Dear God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit,
For family celebration
my sister’s gracious
For far flung
For my sister’s
76th birthday today
For all you do
forgiveness of my transgressions
I lift up my soul in song and word
Sunday, February 25
Romans 12:9-21 (Advocacy)
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.