Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
There is a room in my house. I call it the nook. Sometimes I call it the cranny. It's a small room with a large window that looks out over the garden. The view through the window gets more expressive, the longer you look. Five minutes turn to ten before there is a slight flicker of movement. It's the twitch of an ear, and suddenly you notice a rabbit that has been listening to the world the whole time.
Last week Will and I saw a skunk. It was as big as a dog and making its way over to the Tanis house. We ran upstairs and watched it through the window waddle and hunt for grubs. It hadn't a care in the world. Sometimes when you know that God has given you certain defenses, you can worry less. I used my best ASL and tried to sign to Will everything I knew about skunks. Will looked at me, went into the bathroom, and put on more deodorant.
My day begins in the nook (or the cranny). I watch the sunrise. The sky slowly turns all kinds of beautiful colors. The branches of the trees scrape the clouds. The birds are busy.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
The garden seems barren. I planted raspberries and blackberries and strawberries last spring. The vines lay dormant. The leaves are dead. I wonder if they failed to survive the winter. I wouldn't even know how to revive them if I could. I sit and look out the window at a garden that seems hopelessly bare. And then, prophesies such as Ezekiel come to mind. Visions of flowers are springing forth, and branches are coming into blossom. The dormant soil is tilled and sown. God brings life back again. In due time. The vines will produce fruit for my neighbors and me and the rabbits. Looking out the window to the garden, I can envision it alive again. Tomatoes the size of your fist. Flowers tended by bees and butterflies. Strawberries sweet. God hasn't stopped working.
This nook, or cranny, has been transformed into a sanctuary. In our time apart, we are broadcasting worship online. We are in our separate places coordinating videos among the musicians and worship leaders. The prayer is that it will all become worshipful. There are challenges too numerous to name, but it is meaningful. Each week I try to do something special for you to discover. I will give you a hint: March 22, I wore a different color Wesley Park shirt for each video segment. I wonder if you can guess my little gifts to you in the weeks ahead?
This room with the big window that looks out onto the garden has some additional pieces. Now there is a camera on a tripod hooked up to a microphone on a stand. There is a small table with a second camera. There are shop lights to flood the room if it's too cloudy out to light naturally. There is an altar with the Christ candles and the cross from the church. There is a candle from Thistle Farms that shines as a prayer of hope for women who are seeking shelter from a dangerous world. There are blankets to wrap up into. There are computer monitors to read from. There are power cords and audio cables.
More importantly, in this little room where we gather to worship, there is joy. Jesus opens up our minds to understand the scriptures. He invites us to repent. He offers us forgiveness. He reminds us that we are witnesses of his love and grace in the world. He gives us work to do in his name and on his behalf. He stretches out his hands and blesses us, our neighborhood, all people, and the whole world. This little room and all the rooms like it are where we give God our thanks. These small sanctuaries become places of profound praise, great joy, and authentic worship. Let us gather together in worship in the morning with joy and thanksgiving.