Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Pilgrim's Journey

I’ve been occupied with work and preparing for a Walk to Emmaus. I was asked to be a part of the Emmaus Team and was thrilled to accept the challenge. I will be participating as a “Cookie” – a part of the cook team. We have been meeting weekly on Saturdays for a substantial period of time now. My team, the green team will be supplying the Emmaus Room with snacks and doing the entire room’s cleanup. We are diligently preparing our table “agape” for the Friday meal. These will be items the pilgrims can keep, so it needs to be simple and easy to handle and carry home.

I suggested a bird theme due to the Biblical reference Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? The team thought it was a good idea, so now we are busy painting rocks to resemble birds! 

The Emmaus weekend starts out a bit lack-luster in color, almost like a grey winter’s day. As the weekend progresses, the colors grow until they becomes a Technicolor of rainbow hues and vibrancy. It happens so subtly that one can almost miss the transition if they are unobservant or preoccupied.

Spiritual songs are sung for various levels of the weekend as it progresses. I’m having a bit of difficulty with some of them as they are in Spanish. I can get the beginning and ending of the verses, so I can at least end strong, but I will probably be mouthing “watermelon, cantaloupe” for the other parts!

The weekend begins on Thursday evening and will last until Sunday evening. Thursday will end on an almost monastic note when one and all observe a period of silence and reflection until the morning. I can assure you, along with the morning dawn and the weekend’s progression will come joy! At least that is what I found when I did my walk two years ago.

When the Emmaus weekend ends, groups begin to form for Fourth Day activities. My group in Safford consisted of three of us. We were the Fourth Day Frenzied Friends. I miss my sisters and our prayers, our accountability and our sharing. I have been unable to connect here in Tucson to find anyone to group with. Perhaps that will change soon.

One of my Safford sisters has been diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer. She is being treated with chemotherapy and she and we are all optimistic. A “closed group” was formed on Facebook with the purpose of sharing prayer requests and encouragement. It has grown by leaps and bounds. I’d like to add that it is staying true to its created intent. If you think about this dear sister, please pray for her – God knows her name, as well as knowing yours!

So here I sit, watching the Super Bowl with the Hubs. I’m not much of a football enthusiast, but I am rooting for the Sea Hawks. I also like to critique the commercials that air during this time. Anything with the Budweiser horses usually makes me cry like a Hallmark commercial.

I am hoping that the game will be over in time for me to catch Downton Abbey. Ahhh, how I love this drama that centers on the aristocracy of last century as it pertains to the Crawley family of Grantham Manor.

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith is cast in the role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham. She is absolutely priceless! This is season four and so much has transpired since last season.

If you are not familiar with the Downton Abbey series and you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can find all the previous seasons available on Prime at no charge! Even the Hubs is now watching PBS with me! We also enjoy the PBS version of Sherlock, which I feel is much better than the U.S. version being offered up on the television. I also like Call the Midwife – Hubs, not so much. To think… we’re not even talking NOVA!

If the truth be told, I believe I could give up on the expense of cable TV and catch all the news via internet and watch only Netflix and Amazon Prime. The issue is we purchase cable for the Wi-Fi for the internet and with that, the cost it’s only $10.00 more a month for the basic cable. I imagine I would do a lot more reading without the call of cable… at least that what I believe.

Today in church we were challenged to write out our personal mission statements. I must contemplate this, ruminate about this and develop one that is in line with my values and belief system. Somehow I feel it will have something to do with social justice.

In the meantime I hope this finds you all well and seeking out everyday grace!

Wishing you everyday grace,

1 Corinthians 1:4-5 
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—