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Thoughts from the Road

by the Rev. Robert Olsen

road-trip-1044982_1920I realize that we are back, but when your road trip is 9825 miles, you get a lot of time to quietly think as you watch the country side roll by. Maybe not so much while driving in NYC, Washington DC, New Orleans or LA, all place where you need every bit of your concentration and courage.

However, as we drove around the country, literally, we met a lot of nice folks that made the journey go easier. I was thinking about this and some of my musing as we drove, when I put together the planning sheets for the Worship Committee for July and August. For the first four Sundays in July there seemed to be a common thread in the Collects. Maybe I just see the thread as a deacon, even a retired deacon. As a deacon I can’t absolve, bless or consecrate – rather my ministry focuses on those in need and those who aren’t in need to help those who are. For me the diaconal message is Love God, Love your neighbor. Actually the collect for July 3rd, says that pretty plainly: O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The other Sundays, are more about how we live into doing that, July 10th “…grant that…[we] may know and understand what things…[we] ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them.” On July 17th, we recognize our need of God: “…Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things…we dare not, and…cannot ask…” And on July 24 for protection from this world “…with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal…”

I think that last one can be the most difficult for us, as we get pulled this way and that just trying to get through the day, let alone the weeks and months. It is so easy to forget the end game – our immortal souls. But the good news is that even if we wonder off, God hasn’t given up on us and welcomes us back like the prodigal son. Not because we deserve or have earned it, but because God loves us. Our job is to show that love to others. Amen.


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