Saturday, January 9, 2016

Telling God, "Yes, and..."

The following piece is by Gina Bridgeman.  I find the concept to be very helpful when facing some of the things God asks me to do!

A friend of mine told me about an exercise she learned in an improvisation class. It’s called “Yes . . . and,” and it works something like this: A student calls out an idea for an improv, such as “We’re kittens.” Instead of dismissing the idea as dumb, another student must respond with an additional idea, saying, “Yes . . . and we’re prehistoric!” Each student adds an idea to expand the skit and nobody knows where the whole thing is going. 
I wondered if the same idea might work for me when facing God’s challenges, especially the ones that I might be more inclined to avoid than enthusiastically embrace. So when our pastor announced that our church was planning a health fair for a low-income, inner-city neighborhood, my immediate reaction was I’m not a doctor or nurse. What can I do? But instead I said, “Yes . . . and I’ll work wherever you need help.” I was assigned to the registration table, and not only did I put my organizational skills to good use, I even used a little of my high school Spanish. I also had fun and finished the day knowing that I’d helped people get information and services that they really needed.  Now when God sends a challenge my way, I fight the urge to say “No” and instead say “Yes . . . and.” I think of it as God’s improvisation. His ideas may surprise me, but I can relax and follow His lead because He always knows where things are going. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Holy Name of Jesus

From today's reading:  When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, . . . so that we might receive adoption as children. . . . God has sent the Spirit . . . into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and . . . an heir, through God.     Galatians 4:4-7 (NRSV)

One of the things that I tie into so strongly is the idea of adoption.  Joseph took Jesus to be his son without hesitation to raise and protect and train up in the ways of Yahweh.  I envision Joseph to be like my adoptive father.  To give you an idea of my father, picture Dan Blocker from Bonanza. Just like Dan Blocker, my dad was a gentle giant, and that is the way I envision Joseph.

He did everything for Jesus that any father would do, receiving him as his own and never looking back, Joseph proudly took him to the temple saying, "This is my son, Jesus." 

This is what God does with us.  He presents each of us at the temple and says, "This is my child."  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are all made acceptable before God.  All we have to do is accept the gift of Jesus and follow him each day as Lord and Savior.