January-February Pastor’s Corner

Beloved Community,

Today I plan to eat a peanut butter, bologna and lettuce sandwich on white bread, with the crusts cut off. I’m thinking to serve it on a favorite vintage plate (photo included) with a few potato chips on the side. If I can come up with some red licorice, it will be dessert. If you follow pop culture, I imagine you’ve figured out why.

1) It was Betty White’s favorite sandwich, and I’m curious.
2) I learned about it in an article in PEOPLE magazine with a cover shouting: Betty White Turns 100! Which she didn’t, quite.

So, today I plan to make this sandwich I’ve never tasted before and sit down to it in a quiet spot and ask Jesus to be present at my table and then savor every bite – I hope. It reminds me of the famous – and slightly more elaborate – Elvis sandwich I’ve read about, which I’ve also never tasted. I’ve avoided it this long, why try such a concoction now?

Because. I decided that today is the day to honor Ms. White, who did countless hours of complicated and dedicated work throughout her lifetime for the sake of delight and elucidation. The brightness of the capable joy she never failed to radiate inspires me. Her gracious female aging and her honesty are shrine-worthy.

This ceremony may well be the highlight of my day.

What’s up with you?

How many ways can we say that the time we are living in is liminal space? We’re not operating quite as we were, and we are not yet fulfilling a new design. We’re between. STILL. Like the “stuff” inside the cocoon that is neither cat-erpillar nor moth, but the in-between of the two, we bubble. Bubbling is distinctly uncomfortable much of the time.

Up and down and full and empty and what’s it all for anyway? We could think of it like boiling, cooking, a special kind of processing so that raw and often disparate ingredients combine, influence one another and become palatable (edible and nutritious).

Bubbling. Processing. Combining. Influencing one another. Becoming wholesome and consumable. These are activities of our time. And you know, they are activities of every time, according to Jesus’ teachings. The “bubbling goo” is a description very much like one Jesus could have used to describe the “already, not yet” of “heaven on earth.” What we imagine, envision, hope to design; what God is doing with us and through us, re-creating, bringing to pass, is the stuff of the future. What we use to imagine, envision, design, and to build with – as well as the need to build forward – are materials found in our past. Our “present” really is made of bubbles that rise and implode and regroup and begin again to rise.

The present is our time of breath, of sense; of senses. We can fill it with intention. Or we can tread water. My sandwich is a ceremony only because it is planned with intention. It could be just another lunch. A walk around the block – or down the hall – can have intentions as practical as getting where you need to go and as mystical as connecting with other elements that feed your world in ways so specific as to be yours alone.

Beloved friends, I encourage you, pick something (nearly anything) and experience it on purpose, with all you’ve got (your heart, your mind; your senses). Right here, right now, today. And then a quick shout out to the Creator in recognition: Thank you. Help us. Wow.

Wild blessings,
Pastor Chris