Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
As you read this, you recall that last Monday was Columbus Day. That’s when I was writing this letter. Banks and post offices were closed but Annie and Judy and I were here in the office doing the work of the Lord.

As kids we learned that Christopher Columbus sailed the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria to the ‘New World.’ He was sailor, navigator and colonizer. Subsequently we learned that others were here first at various times, but Chris was our image of roots and beginnings for our country.

Today is also Indigenous Peoples’ Day. For reasons I can’t explain, it is only now that I have become aware of this day, first celebrated in South Dakota in 1989 as Native American Day.

Indigenous Peoples' Day began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as Columbus Day as a way for some to reject the violent history of colonization. Fifteen states have officially declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day. Wikipedia has a great overview of the history of the interaction between Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. (All this also got me to wondering why I couldn’t find Florida recognizing our Seminoles.)

When I started this Twitch I had no idea it would take me on this journey.

History can be a simple record of events, or history can be an invitation. If you don’t care where you came from, you can put the records on some dust-collecting shelf and get pretty dusty yourself.

If you are open to looking at your past, there’s always the possibility that your roots might tell you what kind of tree the world needs you to be.

What makes that journey difficult at times is discovering things that disappoint us or sadden us or even anger us, whether it is personal history or a nation’s recollections about itself. What do we do with the new discoveries? Do we learn anything?

Recalling our histories, or maybe better said, recalling someone’s else’s history makes it easier to condemn. God knows we want to be politically correct, if nothing else.

I write these Twitches to try and draw some connections between the gospels we read and the lives we live. More often than not, I see and learn things I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t sat down to “Twitch,” e.g. Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This weekend we begin reading from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. He says he writes with Silvanus and Timothy: “...(giving) thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ...”

We see how Paul and his companions remembered Thessalonica’s people; “work of faith,” “labor of love,” “endurance in hope.” I wouldn’t mind having that written on my tombstone. Of course, the one way that can happen (besides paying a fortune for the headstone) is working and laboring and enduring.

The problem is that I see the faults in my life that weren’t very faithful, or loving, or enduring. So bronze headstones are the goal. Learning what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God is my challenge. Here’s hoping we are learning together.

In Jesus,

sign frjim

P.S. Don’t forget the baby stuff. Carole Duksta really is working hard to make it easier for new

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