May 23, 2009

Calendar and Happenings

You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days... You shall convoke on this very day -- there shall be a holy convocation for yourselves -- you shall do no laborious work; it is an eternal decree in your dwelling places for your generations. -Leviticus 21:15-16, 21

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is what we're in the midst of right now, counting Omer - actually we're almost to the end of the 50 days after Easter, beginning the last week. We just passed the 40th day, Ascension Day, this past Thursday. I like to imagine me as one of Jesus' original disciples, having lived with him for three years. I've probably dreamed of ousting the Roman rule and Jesus setting up a Jewish Kingdom, that I can help lead. BUT WAIT! Jesus is rising into the sky! He's leaving us! This isn't the way I imagined it! Now what do we do?! Before leaving, Jesus told them to go back to Jerusalem and wait till the next Jewish First Fruit Festival - Shavuot. I imagine them in that upper room for ten days reliving every moment with Jesus, everything he did and said, and asking, "Now, what the heck did he REALLY mean?"!

Jesus rising into the sky ... This past Thursday the sky was very foggy and drizzly all day. Monte's been working on a geology powerpoint, telling the story of their new science, with several other geologists in this new team they are forming. Thursday he wanted to head down the hill to work a bit there at another office. So since the weather was adverse here and I needed some more potting soil and thinking of flowers to pot up, I dropped him off and ran errands.

I always picture the Ascension with blue sky and some fluffy white clouds, watching Jesus floating up and disappearing. I think it would be nice to have a picnic on that day and read scripture - laying on a blanket and watching the clouds. Maybe a helium balloon would be a nice addition to the 'remembering', watching it float up into the sky.

Maybe the 'remembering' should have us analyze things that Jesus did and said too. Do we really understand what he, as God, was showing us in his everyday living? Some people refer to themselves as Red Letter Christians and as they share stories, what you begin to see, is that things Jesus said often look different in differing settings - like we can't make one set of rules that applies to everything and everyone! When Jesus said "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand", what did he mean? When the religious leaders say not to associate with certain people, let alone eat with them ... Jesus shows us inclusiveness as he reaches out to untouchables and the outsiders.

Always lots to contemplate as I continue gardening. The siding on our 24 year old home is finally getting done, with gutter drainage improvements too. Compost bins were emptied, sifting it - re-linseed oiled - and the layering of weeds, grass, kitchen scraps and manure starting over again for new 'black gold'. Our neighbor dropped off old kitchen cabinets we're using to finish the laundry room - I'm going to need to paint them to match the room. And today I'm tightening the screws on old adirondack chairs, sanding, and painting them a sage green.

The Calendar gives me things to contemplate - a tool for living my days present to God.

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