STAFF BLOG ARCHIVE

Blog
Haley Davisson

Calling the Unexpected

I got a new app on my phone called “Quiet Time” which offers its users a way to experience daily worship in a way that works for them. Shameless plug, if you want to be consistent about your worship and reflecting on Gods word, get this app. Recently, I did a session on Luke 5:27-32 which says, 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” What I found most striking in the devotion that followed this passage was the idea that Jesus assembled one of the most important teams ever and picked these people knowing their flaws, shortcomings, and what societal baggage they brought with them. Matthew (also known as Levi) was hated by the Jewish people when Jesus said “follow me”, yet he is uniquely positioned to write a gospel that could focus on the Jewish reader. Certainly, Matthew is not the first one God had equipped and called who, to everyone else, was the last choice. In fact, we see it all throughout the Old

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Blog
rfruge

His Grace is Sufficient

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 This week I had my theological interview. This is an hour long, oral exam given by two professors and a commissioned deaconess. The purpose of this exam is for the deaconess student or pastor to demonstrate how the Lord has grown them as a student and their ability to speak about important theological concepts. Would you be nervous? I was. I even shed a few tears of terror mixed with excitement. The time I could think of that felt most similar were the hours before Brennan and I got married. My prayer the entire morning before was this: Thank you, Lord for bringing me here. It is going to have to be you that speaks through me if I’m meant to pass this. As I was praying these words, the verse from 2 Corinthians came to mind. But, something else interesting that the Holy Spirit revealed to me during that moment was this: My grace is sufficient for you. When you are feeling strong as a student, it is by my grace that everything you are able to express, write, and speak of occurs. My grace is sufficient for you. When you are feeling weak as a student, it is by my grace that everything you are able to express, write, and speak of occurs. Right now we are all living in unprecedented times. We are isolated and living with uncertainty. It is by my grace that everything occurs. Rest in me. Rest in this

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Blog
Angie Nitz

Be Well

If we were to make a list of all that has changed over the two months, none of us would have any trouble filling a notebook! Everything from our daily schedules to our wardrobes have changed, and in short order. One change I find especially interesting is how quickly even our vernacular has changed. Words and phrases that were little used or absent from our conversations just months ago are now so commonplace that even my seven year old son is routinely using words like “quarantine”, “shelter-in-place” and “zoom” in his everyday conversations. Have you noticed that even how we bid one another goodbye has changed? Parting phrases like, “See you later” and “So long” seem to have been replaced with well wishes such as “Stay safe” and “Keep healthy.” I think this shift reflects that even though more physically isolated and separated from one another during this season, in some ways are experiencing a deepening connection to our communities and neighbors. We seem to have a somewhat heightened concern for one another and for the well-being of others, and I pray this long outlasts the virus! To that end, the phrase I increasingly find myself using to sign off on emails or as I send a socially distanced wave to a neighbor, is “Be well”. I believe it is my current choice for parting salutations for a very simple reason….I’m tired…and because “being” requires so little of me. According to the dictionary, to “be” simply means “to exist”. In the midst of pain for a hurting world, news-fatigue, at home learning, constant zoom meetings, big decisions, huge learning curves and a vast array of yet unanswered questions, “to exist”

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Pastor’s April Blog Post

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. –Hebrews 13:8 My, how things have changed! My, how things are still the same! Do you feel that tension in your life? As we work from home and teachers virtually “homeschool” students, we’ve experienced a tremendous disruption in our daily patterns. Yet, at the same time, the same work or learning, the same chores, many of the same things which made up our life before the pandemic are still here. I guess the general human observation that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is true in this sense. It’s also true, however, to say that our current experience changes us. Or, at least, we are adding new things to our lives: more dog walks and bike rides, more food, more on-line interaction through platforms like Zoom.  Also, I’d like to think we will all come out of the pandemic kinder people, more generous, more thoughtful, more open to our neighbors. Only time will tell. Once we have more freedom to move about, that’s when the actual test of civic virtue takes place. Will we retain a greater sense of community and responsibility in loving our neighbors? Like society, the Church has been changed and is challenged to ask itself what are the good things about this change we can keep.  Many churches (including Holy Cross) have made greater use of technology to keep members connected and reach new people. We are grateful for your continued participation in what we are doing, but what other changes will happen as we adjust to the overall changes around us? For some, the changes will be exciting and welcomed; for others,

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Trust in Uncertainty

I have this playlist called, “Soul Music” and over the years I have collected songs that have deeply touched my heart and soul where my faith is concerned. Most of them come from high school, a few from college and one or two post-college.  This is the playlist I often listen to as I work on ministry because it primes my heart to listen for the lord. As I was thinking about my situation today and what to say to our readers, the song, “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle came on. This song has always connected to me in times of uncertainty. The first time was in college as a senior, facing down not getting what I thought I wanted, then a new city and new life and not knowing what God was going to do next. Today, I focused specifically on one word, trust. Trust is a funny thing. I trust people differently. Some get the fullest, raw version of my emotions and thoughts. Some get the refined thoughts and emotions. Some get nothing because I don’t trust them. Then I started to think about how I trust God. I’d like to say I always trust him fully, but that would be a lie. I have often doubted and dropped to my knees asking, “God, why this, I don’t understand!” Praise God that scripture speaks into these moments! We come into chapter 9 of Mark’s gospel and hear a story of a father coming to Jesus about his son. You see the boy was possessed by a spirit and the father asks Jesus to take it out if he can. Then we get this exchange in verses 23

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My God, My God, Why?

“Dad, may I be the one to slam the book this year?” I remember myself asking when I was a teenager. I was with my father as he was preparing for Good Friday service. He had his heaviest book from his library beside a mic in the sound booth. At the end of the service, the book would be slammed shut as those present made their exit in silence reflecting on the seemingly final act, the stone closing the tomb, following Jesus’ crucifixion. He replied, “why don’t you practice?” I quickly realized that my hands would not be big enough to make the sound that I remember even today. I think about these Holy Week memories fresh in my heart and mind as we experience a global pandemic and shelter in place orders require that we stay isolated and distant from one another for our safety. I ask myself several questions. What does it mean as a church that the season (Lent) when lament is most available to us is so very different this year under current circumstances? What role does lament have not only in my understanding of Lent and the events of Holy Week but in circumstances where suffering is ever-present in my life and the life of the church? How does Jesus’ lament on the cross instruct us when we are suffering? And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 “The language of lament has served the church throughout the ages. Laments are fairly common within the Bible and are the hardest texts to deal with. They raise uncomfortable

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