Thursday, May 8, 2014

Um, well, this morning my classroom was filled with hundreds of balloons

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

I do sort of feel that my vats are bursting with wine. With good wine, better than that perfectly decent Green Fin table red from Trader Joe’s, beyond good enough.  Indeed the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a beautiful inheritance.

It has been a while since I have added to my Eucharisteo 1000 gifts lists. But today’s verse sent me back to Ann Voskamp and her admonishment about what is true:
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy.
Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo; the table of thanksgiving. The holy grail of joy, God set it in the very center of Christianity. The Eucharist is the central symbol of Christianity. Doesn’t the continual repetition of beginning our week at the table of the Eucharist clearly place the whole of our lives into the context of thanksgiving?
One of Christ’s very last directives He offers to His disciples is to take the bread, the wine, and to remember. Do this in remembrance of Me. Remember and give thanks.
This is the crux of Christianity: to remember and give thanks, eucharisteo.
Why? Why is remembering and giving thanks the core of the Christ-faith? Because remembering with thanks is what causes us to trust; to really believe. Re-membering, giving thanks, is what makes us a member again of the body of Christ. Re-membering, giving thanks is what puts us back together again in this hurried, broken, fragmented world.

So easily I forget.

Yesterday I was getting unhappy texts about plans falling apart, so unhappy that every time the bell dinged, I shuddered and I prayed about it and glued in a few verses about Trust in the LORD and He will make your paths straight, and life suddenly pieced together for this person far beyond what the human hopes could imagine. I was sitting here in this very couch last night remembering with Alan how for two straight years I prayed for PROVISION in capital letters for someone, and then, well, God provided far beyond what the human hopes could imagine. Out of the blue. Out of His blue. And it has made all the difference in the heart of someone I love so much. And um, really, I am staring at an itinerary Istanbul•Bologna•San Sebastian•Assisi•Denver of which my early dusk staring into the sunset daydreams were only a faintest shadow.

Really? I will be in Istanbul in two weeks? Really?
Hurried, broken, fragmented world so clearly describes my thinking. And so does not describe what God has prepared for those who love Him.

And yesterday, even though I was on my second night of eight-hours of sleep Sabbath offering to put into action my faith that it is God who at work and not my ceaseless efforts, I felt so tired and discouraged that I crept into my classroom at lunch to eat my quesadilla and celery sticks in quiet darkness. And maybe I was a little weepy there in my quiet darkness. And bam, bam, bam, there was a whack at the door, and I wiped my face dry and opened it up, and was greeted by a bunch of kiddos wanting to record their song on my dented and cracked Mac garageband, so I left them to their devices, well my devices, and went over to check my mail and sign up the library for another day of research, and when I had come back those little guys had filled my whiteboard with lots of names and words like “favorite” and “love” and “thank you.”

And don’t even get me started on the adorableness of little Everette and the squinchy eyes because Alan is teaching her how to wink sort of. And sitting in the hammock just as the western light is bouncing off of the very golden whatever-its-name-is building in the back and the bicycle-parts arch covered in white jasmine blossoms, and even little Pippen curled up on my toes right now.

My vats are bursting.