Rev. Caroline Noll, Associate Pastor, Pastor for Children and Families
I have a vague memory of taking the SAT on a Saturday at Richardson High School.
Mostly I remember the hallway. Tan linoleum floor. Lockers and fluorescent lights.
There were quite a few students from my own school there that day, and we poured out of the various classroom doorways after the verbal portion of the test at the end of the day.
“Oh my goodness! I’ve never even heard of some of those words!” we exclaimed. “Draconian? What in the world is draconian?”
I don’t recall her exact words, but I do remember my childhood friend, Shelly, very nonchalantly rattling off the definition as if was a word 17-year-olds used regularly.
Not this 17-year-old.
When I went home, my mom of course knew what it was. And then later that week, the news anchor had the gall to use the word on the evening news!
Suddenly, the word was everywhere.
Have you had that experience?
You learn a new word or idea or thought, and suddenly you hear it and see it everywhere!
The book you’ve been enjoying or the TV show you’ve been binge watching suddenly has an anecdote or quote for every conversation!
The words and thoughts that fill our minds and our time are coincidentally and amazingly suited for each occasion we encounter.
But it’s not coincidence, is it?
The things we surround ourselves with, spend time with, they matter.
They shape us and mold us. Words, songs, shows, people, places.
They become a part of us, sometimes by invitation and with awareness, but always permeating.
So what does this have to do with the gospel? Is this just some moralistic lesson to do good?
I believe it’s an invitation. Not from me, but from our creator God who has hope and faith and love in us and for us.
God who came in Jesus to love us fully and show us the way. The Holy Spirit who prompts us with this invitation all the time, everywhere.
An invitation to take the time to stay in love with God because you are loved by God.
To spend time in prayer, whether that’s breathing or silence or reading or speaking or writing or singing!
To worship, online, in your homes, in creation.
To connect with those in your world who see you in part as God sees you, and who encourage you and listen to you as you do for them.
To read the words of scripture that you might encounter the living Word.
God is with us. We are not alone. May you see and know God’s presence everywhere.