Archive for January 2nd, 2007

Hey God, Wanna Come to a Party?

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Today’s scripture: Matthew 6:34 (NRSV) (The Message). Or, read this verse in context.

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

There it was, almost 5:00 pm, and I had 15 guests invited to a get-together at my house at 6:00. Scrambling to put the finishing touches on a quilt I’d promised to make for a friend’s granddaughter, I hadn’t started putting the food out, hadn’t walked the dog, hadn’t showered yet, and everything for the mulled wine I’d planned to make, which takes a couple hours to simmer to start to taste really good, was still in the grocery bags from my run to the store that morning. Oh, and did I mention that I still had a couple presents to wrap and needed to pack for a trip for which I was leaving bright and early the next morning?

Who planned this party tonight, anyway?!

I certainly had all the ingredients for full-blown panic to set in, culminating in a mad rush around the house trying to get everything together in time for when the doorbell rang. But, still recovering from reconstructive foot surgery, my “mad dash” is still like a turtle on valium.

I needed some major help here. I’ve recently taken the basic Disciplship classes (101 and 102) here at church, and one of the things we discussed and practiced was really cultivating a relationship with God — talking to God, asking for help, thanking God for all the blessings we receive every day.

For me, this has historically been a scary proposition, as my image of God had been damaged by my relationships with adults as a child, and I thought of God as angry, withholding, and punishing. And while I am working to improve my image of God, unlearning something 34 years in the making can be a tough job.

However, putting trust in the things I’d learned, and in the examples that my friends here at JMCC have shared with me about a God who loves me and is intimately interested in creating an abundant life with me, I realized that if I’m going to be in relationship with someone, I certainly better not leave that One off the guest list to my party!

Right there, in that moment, I decided to stop panicking and talked with God, and gave a last-minute invitation:

God, I’m frantic about getting everything done in time for my party. I’m sorry I didn’t think to invite You sooner, but I need Your help. You are Infinite, and in the grand scheme of things, time means nothing to You. I need a miracle here — can You stretch out time or something so I can get done everything I need to and send Your Holy Spirit and help me be calm when my guests arrive? Please be with us tonight at this get-together; bless everyone who will be here and those who couldn’t make it. Thank You for keeping everyone safe tonight and for helping make this a lot of fun. Love You!

Shortly after this, I got a phone call that a couple folks were going to be late, and would arrive around 6:30. A couple more called to say they, too, would be delayed. Amazingly, I had my shower taken, the dog walked, the food out, the music going by five after six, and still had a few minutes to sit with Abby the wonder-poodle and enjoy the warmth of my home before my guests arrived.

Thought for the day: Whenever I’m stressed, I’ll ask myself: “Did I invite God to this party?”

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Jesus MCC’s Board of Trustees, who meet today.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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