Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
So here I am writing this Twitch for December 31/January 1. I’m writing on December 22nd because of the printing deadlines and wanting to give the staff (including me) December 26th to do a little recovery.

That means that I haven’t experienced Christmas 2017 yet, so I must imagine what might happen in the next few days, and then sort of pretend that I’m writing to you after that celebration and then projecting myself into 2018. Have I totally confused you? Good, because I didn’t want to be alone in my confusion.

But you know, as I think about it, maybe this is a good example of what happens when we think about going to heaven. What will our entry be like? Who will we see? Will the glory of the Lord be all we see because that is all there is worth seeing? We can have all kinds of expectations, but as St. Paul says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard...” etc.

Earthly expectations are not guaranteed to be the same as heavenly. I am praying in this moment that when you are reading this (fantastic) Twitch you are having happy recollections of Christmastime 2017. I know some of our parishioners are going through some difficult challenges with illnesses of their own as well as family members. We’re frustrated with our own thorns, and sometimes we wonder why. We feel so helpless about other people’s hassles because we want to make them better and we can’t.

Ft. Lauderdale is a destination city and St. Sebastian, so often, is a destination church. So often special celebrations happen here because ‘everyone is in town.’ Today I have two baptisms; one family comes from the other side of the county because they like us. Another used to live here but moved and came back because the other kids were baptized here. The wedding is a zoom-in, zoom-out celebration for a couple who are both in the military but pulled off the dates to get here with family.

Some days, I’ll admit, I feel like the manager of a convenience store – people dash in for something but don’t shop here regularly. They are in the minority but just take a little more attention. But isn’t that the point of St. Sebastian? We try to be a place of hospitality. That’s our ministry. We want to do whatever we can for the people who come, because we and they belong to the same larger church that we call home.

The real gifts I think about, I receive all year long: a group of folk who are helping me and each other on the walk to heaven. Part of that walk is discovering all the little heavens that are a part of our lives each day. More likely than not, it’s only because of someone around you that you might see that heaven – even when it doesn’t have lights and ornaments hanging all over it.

There are always those people who are there and supportive and rarely ask for anything out of the ordinary. In the process of trying to take care of the various demands that come along, the noise of special needs often drowns out the silence of the ”We’re okay” people. I pray I will never take the “OK people” for granted simply because they didn’t make any noise. They are my greatest gift of all.

May 2018 be a time when we remember to thank the Lord for all the quiet blessings that are ours. You are mine.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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