Sunday, August 8, 2010
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:32-34
Yesterday, after many struggles and challenges, the Diocese of Navajoland consecrated David Bailey as their bishop. I had the privilege to be a co-consecrator and to participate in the wonderful ceremony full of love, hope and tenderness. 20 years ago, I traveled to Navajoland for the consecration of the first Navajo Bishop, Stephen Plummer. There was excitement and thrill in the air then, with a hopefulness that knew no bounds. After 20 years of up and downs, the thrill might have been a bit tempered, but the hope and possibilities were again before them. For a people who know flocks and shepherds, God spoke again in their midst to remind them it was God's good pleasure to give them the kingdom.
It is easy, when the challenges of life build up for a person or a people. And yet we hear Jesus saying to his followers, and to us today, do not be afraid. Even when things seem bad it is God's good pleasure, God's desire and God's goal to give us our complete inheritance, our complete blessing, our whole dreams. We are not poor or beaten down but rather lifted up. God is moving for us, even when the sky darkens and the days seem endlessly painful. God brings new things, new possibilities and new people to act for the people, for the flock.
I have had an incredible journey and am still in motion. But I give thanks this day for the reminder of God's infinite goodness and love. There is no remote person or people for God and we are always treasured by our Creator. May all that I do today be an act of thanksgiving for God's love and the people of Navajoland.