Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Welcome to mid-September 2018.

Hurricanes proliferating, politics exploding, division ‘profusing,’ (I made that one up), insanity prowling, AC units leaking... just another day at the ranch. It’s hard to know what direction to face.

Do you sometimes wonder who you are in the middle of a lot of chaos and conflict? At times, have you wanted to go and find a hole where you can shut out the noise? Welcome to my ‘sometimes’ reality.

One thing I can handle; Bubba gets his heart pill at mid-month. That happened.

My challenge as a preacher is always to ask myself, “How does the gospel handle this?” “What does the gospel say about that?” On Monday or Tuesday of the week, as I write my Twitches, I can’t begin to image what will have happened between when I’m writing, and when you’re reading. As I threw out at the beginning of this Twitch, this week is going to be a lulu.

As I read through the scriptures in Sunday’s liturgy, I try to see what they say about current events.

Isaiah’s reading is what they call the third servant song, of which Isaiah has four. All point to a figure who the early Church almost instantly un-derstood as being Christ. Today he was persecuted and mocked, and you see why that reading was picked to go with today’s gospel. Mark tells us Jesus asked his apostles, “Who do people say I am?” When he tells them about the suffering and death he will undergo, Peter takes him aside and tells him, “Don’t talk like that. It doesn’t sound good.” Mark says, “Jesus rebuked Peter.” Somehow, when I think about getting rebuked by Jesus, hurricanes and politics and cultural clashes and all the rest don’t seem quite as bad. Why? Because the flip side of it all is that Jesus says he is going to do all the suffering and dying for me.

I’m may be dumb, but I’m not stupid enough to ask, “Why me?” I do know that because he is willing, I can sense a presence that will walk me through anything. Knowing that and reflecting on it as often as I can guarantees that light emerges out of the chaos. I think one of the best temptations of the devil might be to keep things so riled up that we forget, “Who loves you, baby?”

Shifting gears to housekeeping, FYI the air conditioning unit in the parish hall is being held together by duct tape and baling wire and the skills of Phil. We’ve ordered a new unit but even with asap priorities it might be another six weeks. So, pray because we’ve run out of temporary fixes. Between the temporary repairs and the cost of the new unit we’re into this for just under $60,000. Comfort costs! We had it in savings but it will push back other projects.

When you also take into consideration the so-far unreimbursed Irma expenses, $33,822, it’s been quite a year. Much of that expense falls into our deductibles. The good news is that the Men’s Club is paying for the refinishing of the doors on the main sanctuary. Some were rotting out from the bottom. Ah, the joys of salt air! It’s very intricate work and will cost $14,000+.

So, folks, whoever said, “All it takes is money,” might have been talking about us. Fortunately, that is NOT true. What it takes is making sure that we never lose sight of the fact that the reason we fix buildings is to maintain a home for a community of people who think gathering to celebrate Jesus is the most important thing. When we gather, we commit to bring Jesus out of here, apostles, the SENT ones.

In Him,
sign frjim

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