Right now in church we are in the middle of a mafia-themed series called “Made”. I highly recommend checking out the sermons online here and waching this video of the announcements made specifically for this series. The “Mini Mafia” is even more hilarious if you know Wade, Phillip, and Larry.
The series is really appropriate and interesting with the new year, lots of new people coming to church or returning to church (we went up by over 1,000 people from Dec. 31 to the first Sunday in 2008!!), and a general good reminder that we were made in the image of God to do great things. I have another whole entire post I could make about how the Bible talks about us being created in HIS image and how that should affect us after a conversation we had in my small group, but we’ll save that for a rainy day (or snow day, if we might have one this week).
Anyway, this Sunday Pastor Steven was reading a story from John 9 about the blind man who Jesus healed. I love hearing how Pastor Steven picks apart even little phrases in a story because they can tell so much about God’s heart, what was going on, etc. I find myself trying to do that on my own as well and it is a good practice. It reminds me of what my professor from Foundations of Theology used to tell us to practice – lectio divina – reading a small part and meditating on it. Well, in the beginning of the story it says that Jesus saw the blind man. How else could this have happened? The blind man certainly didn’t see Jesus and it doesn’t seem like he was seeking out Jesus by any means. I love being reminded that even when we push Him away, He sees us and seeks us out. I love knowing that He is calling out to us and talking about is with such love even when we might not be able to see it or hear it ourselves. The blind man heard Jesus talking about HIM! I say that I can’t imagine what I’d feel like if I heard Jesus talking about me, but in all reality, doesn’t He do this every day?? He talks about us, He talks to us and calls for us. I can just imagine Him having a conversation with the angels and saying each and every day that even when we let Him down, He loves us and He is proud of us when we follow His lead. He’s loves you. He loves me. He’s talking about you and talking to you… I’m getting tangential (yes, this is a word I have learned, haha). This isn’t even what I was going to go off on…
What I was excited about most here is that Jesus spit in the dirt and then put the mud on the man’s eyes. That’s kind of dirty, right? I love the metaphor I find in this though. We have to get dirty sometimes. Life gets dirty. It isn’t pure and as white as snow. Sometimes we have to get dirty and then God will help wipe away the dirt and build us up from there for great things. Sometimes, God gets us dirty, but you know what? I’d like to think that when we’re getting dirty, when life gets dirty, that is God making His mark on us. That when it s all over and done with, that dirt and the grime that burdened us for so long will be used for His glory and His purpose in the end. When life gets dirty, just remember God is making His mark on you and saying “This one belongs to me.” I can’t tell you how loved that makes me feel and how much hope that puts in my heart.
Ok now for the humor of the day from my kids at school:
While wrapping up a unit on fruits, my second graders had each made their own books about the colors of the fruits and which ones they liked and did not like. Today I was having them read these out loud to the class if they wanted to. I did mine as a model. I was so incredibly proud of them! They are amazed that they are reading and writing in Spanish! Anyway, I made a logic puzzle on the board for us to use where they’d use their listening skills while someone was reading their book and try to remember what fruits that person did or did not like. So I had a column for each fruit and even though we only were able to do several people, they did a great job listening and recalling which fruits people liked or did not like. Well, I had one student who was moving all around and the rest of the class was always responding “Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” (they were making it extra long on purpose and btw, si means yes in Spanish) or “Noooooo”. We were going fruit by fruit and in between two I quickly asked him to “sientate” (sit down) and the kids didn’t even know it (they were so caught up in the puzzle) that they responded “Siiiiiiiii” to that. It was rather amusing. I had the whole class wanting him to sit down. haha.
This afternoon I had a second grade class I was talking to about clothing. I was introducing that vocab by talking about winter weather and what I wore in the winter. I was pointing to my sweater, pants, acting out putting on a jacket and gloves, etc. Now, I am a big goof in front of my kids and I love to laugh and make them laugh while I’m getting my point across, so while I was doing socks and shoes, I lifted my foot up in the air and then lifted my shoe up off the floor. Well, then they decided they needed to do the same and it was almost time for me to go. I told them we were finishing up and we needed to stop because we were having a little too much fun. So, one kid calls me out, “But Senorita Gallagher, you say we can’t have too much fun, but your face is a little red, so…” It was so hilarious having him call me out on that. Of course my face was a little red, I was putting on a show (like I have to do everyday and keep the energy up!) for them to intro the vocab and we were all chuckling together. So I told him, “I know my face it a little red. We’re all laughing and having fun, but we can’t go crazy.” It was just priceless and amusing to me to have one of them call me out in fun.