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This Sunday’s Gospel is one of my (Ron’s) favorites—the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man.  It is full of human pathos.  The blind man is sitting by the roadside, he hears all this commotion, asks what is happening, is told Jesus is passing by. 

He shouts out, Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me—he already believes Jesus can help him.  The people try to stifle him.  We don’t know why: perhaps they don’t want to miss anything Jesus is saying; perhaps they don’t want to be slowed down in their journey; perhaps his plight is not as important to them as it is to him.  He shouts all the louder.  Jesus stops and asks that he be brought to him.  It is significant to me that Jesus does not presume anything.  He respectfully asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Bartimaeus knows just what he wants and advocates vigorously for himself: “Lord, that I may see!”  I love it: no beating around the bush, no hesitancy, no ambivalence.  I imagine God asking us the same every day, “What do you want me to do for you?”  My response lately: “That I may see…more deeply…what life means…how we are connected as human beings, all one family…that I may know how to help, how to be of service…my God…that I may see with my heart.

This week is also the anniversary of the death of Rosa Parks.  When she refused to give up her seat on the bus and was arrested, she explained what was driving her: I am tired…of giving up my dignity every day… by sitting in the back or standing—I am a human being, too!  Her strong stance led Dr. Martin Luther King to organize the black community in boycotting the bus service.  After a year of boycotting, this inhumane law was changed.  What are you tired of?  How can you/we help?

During these troubled times when we see so much suffering in our world, we are increasingly grateful for the many ways in which we are personally blessed.   If you are feeling likewise grateful, we invite you to consider joining us on Monday, November 19th at 7:00pm for the annual Thanksgiving Service offered by the Weston Clergy Association.   We are grateful to have been invited this year  to join the association and to participate in the service.  All are warmly welcome!!!  The service has been designed with a focus on the plight of refugees, and a representative from the International Institute of New England will speak briefly and an opportunity contribute to the important work of this group will be offered.  You might like to visit their website:  https://iine.org/boston which in part states: The Boston site serves refugees, asylees and immigrants throughout Greater Boston through a core of common services essential to our mission: refugee resettlement, case management, health services navigation, employment, education and literacy, and skills training programming. 

We send this blessing from Jan Richardson for your reflection—amidst the crowds that seem to thrive on chaos, or as happened to Bartimaeus, may be trying to stifle you.

Blessing in the Chaos

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

—Jan Richardson

At The Spirit of Life, we work together in prayer and companionship to loosen the attitudes and brokenness which can hold us bound.  We believe that God’s desire for us is that we be “Whole” and thus “Holy”… full of life , unfettered by life-destroying prejudices and free to move openly as the Spirit calls us.  Our belief in the sacredness of all created beings and loving relationships compels us to respond with care and compassion to all who are marginalized in our church and world.  We invite you to come and to pray with us as we “do our own work” in growing into a deeper awareness of our own gifts and ‘growing edges’ and together create a community that invites diversity and honors the uniqueness of each individual and every journey.  We are confident that you will feel welcome in the “home” of The Spirit of Life. 

Abundant Blessings of deepening vision and perspective!

Ron & Jean