Back in January, St. Paul's adopted the motto: Jesus Guided, Intentionally Inclusive, Peace Seeking, Justice Committed. The images I selected this month promote the notion of "guided." It is a concept not hard to illustrate. But what does it mean to be Jesus guided?
Two more images came to mind: a lighthouse and a service dog. My mom grew up on the coast of the North Sea and I inherited her affinity for lighthouses. They stand as faithful sentinels alerting nearby ships of dangerous, rocky shorelines, and they can point the way to safe harbors. The Jesus who guides us, with the Spirit's flame as beacon, may likewise send out a steady message for us to follow.
On the other hand, or paw, a service dog is right there in the trenches with you. I have made the happy, tail-wagging acquaintance of the service dog of my friend Lorie. One day this dog sensed Lorie's impending diabetic crisis and brought her a bag of medicine, nudging her back into enough of a wakeful state for her to inject the insulin. Lorie is alive today because she was guided by her dog to take action just in time. In this version of "Jesus guided" the Spirit is as close as the breath on our lips. Attentive, ready to respond to shifting circumstances. Not to mention those wet doggie kisses... The holy kiss of a canine companion. (Yuck)
Are these competing models of guiding -- one, stately and secure, a landmark you can count on -- verses one more dynamic, in your face, proactive? No deciding is necessary. "Jesus guided" is bigger than any two, or four, or a fleet of metaphors. Bigger than a pet store's inventory of squeeze toys to delight a work hard, play hard service dog.
Come to a Gathering this Sunday,
August 7, at 9:00 am.
No matter the weather, it's always the season for renewal. We ponder questions, meditate, share and sing. Join us for a splash of adventure.