Carry On Advent: Ponderings

These past months I have done a lot of driving, and while Heidi works on communications, I think about, contemplate, ponder and wonder about many things. God, theology, history, philosophy, astronomy, etc. I think about the billions of beings I am driving past which together make a forest. I think about the to-me-countless cells making up the trees and ferns and fungi, each one a miraculous, extremely complex, living machine. But God knows and sustains each one, even down to the subatomic particles that make up the atoms, that make up the molecules, that make up the organelles, that make up the cells, that make up the tissues, that make up the organs, that make up the beings, that make up the forests that bless us with beauty and food and oxygen and so much more.

Then I make a list of all the words in English that end with the sound we usually write “sh”. I came up with 69 one-syllable words. Strangely, quite a few of them seem sort of violent or negative: bash, brash, dash (to pieces), gash, lash, mash, gnash, rash, smash, slash, trash, thrash, slosh, slush, smoosh, flush, crush, and blush. Isn’t that strange?

Then I wrestle with angry thoughts, judgmental thoughts, perplexed thoughts. Why do people–including me–do this? Why do people–including me–do that? “If we have food and raiment, let us be content with that.” But people spend their lives, their energies, their time to accumulate more and get more. And then there are those who out of the discontent become malicious, and destroy what other people have worked for, and public infrastructure that makes life so much easier for everyone–such as metro stations, bus stops, traffic lights.

Then I think about how “blessed” we are. For a lot of us, just a couple of generations ago, we didn’t have running water. Our ancestors–well some of them–had the blessing of a well that they could draw water from, others had to go to a creek and carry water a bucket at a time back to the home. A lot of people in some parts of the world still have to do that. And many of them are thankful that there is water for them to go fetch–because sometimes there isn’t any.

Come Thou long-expected Jesus! Come our King! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven!

Prayer Needs for Chile

Prayer Needs for Chile

This photo shows one of the points where fires have been burning during the weekend and now.
This particular one is behind the rural Mapuche community where Bishop Abelino was born and raised. Fortunately, in this case, the fire has gone away from homes.
But as we write, they are evacuating people from where Marita’s family lives and there the fires have reached to their nearest neighbor’s property.
On Saturday night, Pedro spent most of the night helping protect the school where his father works and right now he and Joyanne have gone out to Marita’s family home to offer their help.
In Malalche, houses have been burned, two people have died, and Pastor Antonio is worried.
In Dollinco, they have no electricity, so they have no water, and that makes it difficult for Pastor José’s family, as their daughter, Adriana, is terminally ill with cancer.
In our own church in Labranza, Sonia, one of the members, was worried yesterday that their wheat crop will be burned if they can’t get it harvested.

The sky is gray and smoky today in Temuco and a nearby hill is on fire.Please pray for us and especially our brothers and sisters in the rural churches whose livelihood depends on their crops, animals and wooded land.

Thank you for your prayers. We will keep you posted.

Russ and Heidi