Good Tuesday afternoon.  I trust you are off to a good week, staying as active as safely allows.

REview – I’m grateful to Rev. John Maxwell, former pastor of FUMC, Port Angeles, for your sermon on Sunday Read the sermon (pdf).  I love the insight and imagery (and have used them both this past week) of not having to be a professional “birder” to fall in love with watching the next bird appear and listening for its song.  So it is with living as an authentic follower of the living Christ.  Oh, if we could do more quietly watching and listening for people’s heart songs.

PREview – The readings for Sunday are Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17; and Matthew 10:24-39.  I hope you’ll have time to read and ponder these before Sunday.  They are not easy reading, nor is the sad history of Abraham’s larger family pleasant to rehearse.  But read and reflect we must, for such are the times!

I trust you’ll make every attempt to join us, Sunday at 10 AM, via Facebook for our online “Premiere” viewing, WITH ONE ANOTHER, in real time, of our pre-recorded worship service.  I am so proud of the recording we air, and I’m so pleased to work with such a dedicated and capable worship team.  Special thanks to Deb Self, Kristin Quigley Brye, Susan Bjork, and Rev. Erin Simmons.

Please plan on joining us on Sunday for our Zoom COFFEE HOUR at 11:15 AM, following the 10 AM worship service.  Here’s the invitation:

Topic: Sunday Coffee Hour Zoom Meeting
Join Zoom Meeting
https://greaternw.zoom.us/j/96870784613

Meeting ID: 968 7078 4613

Dial by your location
       +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 968 7078 4613
Find your local number: https://greaternw.zoom.us/u/ahfFKmQ1b

In the meantime, ponder these words from Kayla McClurg that come at the beginning of a reflection on Sunday’s gospel reading (Matthew 10:24-39).  We read these words at Tuesday’s Morning Prayer:

“Jesus tells it to us straight, even when he delivers it slant.* In these riddle-like passages, Jesus plays with language, and with us. We are not fluent in his native tongue, so he teaches a full immersion course, submerging us into his way of listening and learning, challenging us to discover sense in what sounds like nonsense. To awaken us to the reason and rhyme of his realm requires more than our usual linear ways of learning.

We cannot depend on the same old vocabulary or listen with the same old neural grooves if we hope to discern his meanings. We cannot stand on the platform of old understandings and hope to catch the new trains of thought he is ushering in….”

         *If you are an Emily Dickinson fan, you’ll love this reference to her well-known poem:

“Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind”

— Pastor Tom