Lent II Midweek Message

by Becky Brown

The first years I lived here in Gettysburg, I frequently took an early morning bicycle ride with friends.  It was an easy ride with frequent conversation.

One of my fellow participants was Pastor Ed Keyser.  We talked of many things and once I observed of him that almost all of his sermons referred to grace and/or forgiveness in some way, even if the Bible text didn’t call for it.

His response has stuck with me almost thirty years.  “We all need the reminder.  We are so hard on ourselves.”

I knew that I often agonized over past mistakes or unkindnesses, striving to learn a better way for the next time.  It had never occurred to me that everyone was doing the same thing.  I knew we all had a conscience – that still, small voice that chided us as we went along – but had never thought of the universality of brooding over sins of the past.

Ed was speaking of Christ’s forgiveness and grace that is available to all of us as we wend our ways through life.  We do need to be reminded of this wonderful gift that follows confession.

A poetic version of Psalm 154 has long been one of my favorites.  It is taped on the wall beside my drawing table;

          There’s nothing in me, My Lord

          That doesn’t open to your eyes

          You note when I arise

          In the darkest closet of my thought

          There is an open window of sunshine for you

          You walk with me

          Lie down with me

          At every move await me

          At every pause

              You know the words

          My tongue will print in air

             If I say yes

          You have already nodded

          No- and you have shaken your head

          In any doubts I lose my way

            I find your hand

                 On me.

I don’t remember to read it every day, but when I do, I feel that hand which shelters me.

Even more what comes to me as a great and wonderful gift is the grace I receive when taking Communion here at St. James.  I have not always been so responsive to this sacrament, have, at times in the past, taken it lightly or not at all, but in my later years, now, I marvel at the fact that human to human we can give and receive God’s incredible gift of grace.  So when I look into the eyes of the one giving me the bread or the wine I feel the passage between us of light, strength and joy and I have to smile.

Thanks be to God.


One thought on “Lent II Midweek Message

  1. What a wonderful remembrance of somebody who put love first in any relationship. Your comments remind me of what Augustine said: “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.”

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