Welcome to 2011! As he has for years, my brother Ted in Michigan called us at 9 PM our time to assure us, "It's safe to come over."
It still isn't midnight here yet. When I looked at this page a few minutes ago, I squeaked, "Jerry, I already have another follower! Matt Blick!"
Jerry came over and kissed me. "You mean I'm not the only follower of your non-existent blog?"
Nope. There are three of us now.
I'm still feeling sweet peace from the New Year's Eve service at our church. Recent rain and wind had left everything beyond the glass doors clean and cold. There might even have been a few stars.
Folding chairs had been unfolded in the foyer to make the time more intimate. A few logs of different lengths, on end, grouped close to support a large lit candle and three hourglasses quietly snowing drifts of variegated sand.
We were on the hinge between two years, the leader said. First, in God's presence, he had us "remember rightly" the past year. After a few moments of music-scented meditation, we were to list first the joys and blessings, then the pains and sorrows of our year.
It was easy to list the joys. GOD. SALVATION. JERRY. FAMILY. FRIENDS. HEALTH. HOME. BLOG. RECONCILIATION WITH BROTHER.
Then I sat, pen poised, to list my pains and sorrows. I waited but I couldn't come up with a single one. God has woven or is in the process of weaving each one into something beautiful.
Next we were to "remember forward," listing our hopes and fears for 2011--on the twelve glass doors of the lobby with dry erase markers. Jerry and I went up right away. I knelt, drew a childish stick figure, and printed, "A baby for Ben and Jill."
On the way back to our seats, we stopped at a table where someone poured us plastic cups of grape juice, as much as we wanted, representing the blood of Jesus poured out for us. Someone else let us tear off a hunk of home-made bread, symbolizing His body, willingly torn for us.
We took Jesus back to our seats and, in our own time, drank Him and ate Him, letting Him nourish us, give us strength and substance, become our bones and blood and nerves and organs. I had enough in each hand to drink and chew alternately. As I did, I found myself thinking of the left-overs at the feeding of the five thousand. Why would Jesus make left-overs? I wondered. Did he mis-count, misjudge people's appetites? Wasn't that a waste of food, of divine power?
He made more than necessary so they could be satisfied. It says in the text, "All ate and were satisfied. And the disciples picked up the left-overs."
He wants us to help ourselves to Him, take as much as we want, knowing there's more. He wants us satisfied.
Because He is a generous God and a God of abundance.
May you have that kind of year, from the hands of that kind of God.
Today I am thankful for Jehovah-Jireh.