Food for Heart and Life 101112

posted Oct 11, 2012, 1:22 PM by

Good morning everyone,

A phrase that I learned in seminary was this “Now and not yet.”  It was always in the context of what God is doing and how to read and understand the Holy Scriptures.  I guess it makes sense especially when you are trying to explain what seems to be unexplainable such as how one passage can mean different things in different times and places.

I guess I should explain it a little or at least as I understand it, what it means is that scripture can speak to and impact today and tomorrow but not always in the same way.  It really is more complicated than that but suffice it to say it is a paradox or maybe a conundrum.

Any way it really isn’t important for this writing except to be an example of how one thing can be two things who occupy the same emotional and spiritual space only at different times.

I should also say that I write this today for no one but myself because I have to; so read on at your own peril.

For those of you who do not know, Jodi will be having her hip replacement replaced in a few days, now this surgery in itself is not life threatening, but it is surgery and Jodi’s second major one in 9 months so I am a little concerned.  All of this has made me a little on the introspective side as well.

Anyway to my conundrum, why do people love who they love?  You see I see no reason why Jodi should love me, after all I am not rich or handsome; I do not own property or have the prospects of being a land owner in the near future; we travel and move as the church tells us to; so she often has to leave close friends behind to go to a new place where she knows no one.  She often has to leave a job that is what she loves to do (work with preschoolers) with no guarantee that she will find another opportunity to do the same thing.  Our moving takes her a way from our Sons, the ones they love and someday grandchildren.  She has to listen to and let the things that the church says and does to and about me the pastor roll off her back and smile all the way through it.  She takes in stride the unspoken expectations of what it means to be the pastor’s wife; teaching Sunday School, women’s group, be in the choir, serve on committees and fill in where ever anyone needs a person. She has to put up with my crazy hours never knowing if I will have a call during dinner, on a holiday or some other time.  She knows that too often the church comes before family time so I may just up and leave, leaving her to finish up, clean up and head to bed by herself.

She often lives on the promises of tomorrow just hoping to get through today.  If you wrote a job description that included these things no one would apply yet here is Jodi strong and solid simply because she fell in love with me.  You see I can find no explanation except for the eternal answer to the “why” question which is simply “because.” 

The truth of the matter is that it is a mystery to me and through it all she says she is the lucky one, I will never understand it.  Maybe it is as St. Paul says “The greatest of these is love.”

The other side of the coin is that I need her to be there, as my earthly rock and the one I can count on in all the storms that are a part of this life.

The scriptures tell us to be imitators of Christ and in its purest form it is not about rules and regulations; do this and you will be saved, say this and others will know that you are a follower of Jesus, it is about the question of “Why!”  Why do we love the lost and the least when there is so little in it for us on this earth?  Why should we go where Jesus calls when it is not safe?  How come it cannot be more convenient for us to minister when and where we are comfortable instead of where sinners are?

We do it because of love; that little four letter word that calls us and moves us to do things for another that make no sense to anyone else except those whose hearts are as our hearts.

I am sitting here typing and looking at John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  There is no explanation why God would do this except for love; that strange and over-powering force of the heart that says I will put you before me.

I guess what I have been driving at is a bit of confession, like with Jodi I can see no reason for God to love me.  I have and continue to be broken and unfaithful to God.  I am called a pastor and I preach on Sunday trying to help others understand God’s love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ and yet if I am honest with myself and God I am just like everyone else or maybe worse.  I struggle to love, to feed, to care, to share, and to be a good example of what a Christian should be; why does God love me; why did he send Jesus to die for me; why did he call me to minister when so many are better Christians that myself?  I don’t know except that God loves me in spite of my faults.  St Paul says it again, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.  So all I can say is thank you Lord for loving me and thank you Jodi for hanging in there through it all.  I Love you both so much.


P.S. My hope for all is that you too will love and be loved by God and by those near you.




Lord, Watch over Jodi please.  Thank you for love as hard as it is to explain let it always be the way of my heart.  Thank you for loving me in spite of my imperfections and failures.  Thank you for helping me to love as well so that in love others may know you.  Amen.


Grace and Peace

Pastor Gerry