Early last week the beach was empty. They it really, really wasn't. A few nights ago the beach here in San Clemente was teeming with people, densely packed like the 4th of July. The parking barriers were "respected," in the sense that nobody moved them; instead, people just parked their cars in the middle of the street. The sheriff's dept. was dispatched. The governor said, "What are these people thinking?!!? Now the beach is empty again.
A while ago, people were getting antsy. Now folks are past antsy. But this thing isn't over. People were getting nervous, then scared. Now some folks are getting mad, irate, and surprisingly inclined to listen to conspiracy mongers.
What are we to do? As individuals? As a church, members of our broader communities? As Christians?
There are myriad answers to these questions, of course. Personally, I hearken back to Brother Lawrence and to the discipline of practicing the presence of God a moment at a time. I confess that my practice consists largely of trying to remember to practice God's presence, more than of mindfully dwelling the the Spirit's perpetual attention. Be that as it may, whatever life-bolstering responses I have to this (or any) situation are extensions/outcomes of my Christ directed attentions.
Which brings us to this morning. Below this note you will find a link to a three minute video. The speaker is Kate Bowler. Most mornings she gets up and talks to her camera for a few minutes. She either is or has been on the faculty at Duke; I'm not sure of her current status because I know she is battling cancer, and I don't know how that has affected her professional status.
I commend this video to you as this morning's meditation, even as this morning's sermon. Consider Kate Bowler this morning's guest preacher. Her video has an easy tone, it's thoughtful and articulate, and it's profound enough to deserve repeated viewing. It also provides more vantage points from which to consider how to live in lament and praise at the same time.
As we continue to do just that this morning, let's do so aware of Jesus' presence with us and aware that the Spirit binds us together in the love of God, holds us together as God's children and God's family.
Pray for me and for each other and for our world, Call, text, email some folks and offer them the peace of Christ.