"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

With what shall I come before the Lord?

"How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves? Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil?  Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin?" (Micah 6:6, The Message)

There have been days, lots of them to be exact, that I've wondered what would impress God, or what God required of me.  There have been days when I've missed the mark...badly. But today, as I've had a week "off" (though most of it was spent doing continuing ed-- in the beautiful mountains-- poor me!) and I've had a chance to collect my thoughts and do some things just for me, I realize that the things that God asks of us are to live "holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God's new heaven and new earth." (A Brief Statement of Faith--PCUSA).

I spent the morning cooking for the week. (We're trying to quit eating out so much-- and cooking ahead and freezing are the only way we can achieve that.)  I even baked bread, using a recipe that my grandmother used to make--and made it with her mixer that my parents gave me as a wedding present. But there was a holiness to all of it, a holy luxury of just having one task at hand.  Then DH and I sat outside, enjoying a fire in our firepit.  I did some knitting and some reading (for fun! how bout that?) and then went for a lovely walk in the cornfields.  I watched my doggie smile as she ran and ran.  Then DH and the other doggie came out to meet us, and the light was magical--I took some great pictures (that at least make me happy).

And that is how I come before the Lord, at least today. Covered in the remnants of a very good day that fed my soul and gave me a few opportunities to see God in my midst.  "With what shall I come before the Lord?" the prophet Micah asks.

I come before the Lord with knitting and baked bread and a greatful heart, having stood on holy ground, having been made joyful at the presence of God in my midst, waiting to see what God is up to in the days ahead.

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