Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Bridge of Sighs

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Luke 24:49

Yesterday we took a train to Oxford, the fabled home of great learning and learned people. The city was bustling, people going every which way, students and fools on bicycles riding at break neck speed. The ancient walls and beautiful churches spoke of millions of hours of classes and teaching, uncountable hours pouring over books and notes. And yet, there was very little heart really, and this little bridge between one building and the next called the bridge of sighs, caused me to sigh. So many of the great minds of the country and the world gathered into one small village really, but it isn't this village that can raise one child. The homeless were everywhere, just asking for a bit of dignity for themselves and their family.

Today is the feast of the Ascension when we celebrate Jesus' leaving earth one final time with instructions for his disciples to wait until they received power. Hr disappears from their sight having given them every instruction necessary for their lives and mission. But he also told them to wait until they were given power. I think too often, we don't realize we have received power and we wait some more, fearing that we lack something. Or we need something more, that we need to huddle longer. At least it seemed to me yesterday that all the problems of the world were just outside the gates of these beautiful, historic places and the smartest people in the world are waiting for more.

Today we travel to Canterbury and we go as reluctant and expectant pilgrims. I want to travel today with my eyes wide open, seeing the people and reaching out where ever God puts me today. We may be pilgrims -and the idea of an indigenous(Cherokee) pilgrim sounds really funny to me-but we are also people empowered by God to serve others, to love the world with the heart of God. May we all have the strength today to share what we have been given the power to love, straight from the heart of God.

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