This is 30+ year-old Esmeralda... my Christmas cactus. Beautiful blooms! It's almost March!

You know what I just love about this cactus… she does whatever she wants.  March is looming in tomorrow’s inbox and Esmeralda is blooming!  Most of her friends have long since dropped their marvelous flowers but not Ezzy… no.  She decided to hold off long after Christmas and save a miracle for this blustery winter day.  I love those unexpected surprises!

Yesterday at church didn’t yield any surprises although it was a great gospel… take a look yourself… Matthew 6:24-34.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  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?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And then there was the predictable sermon… following the will of God vs. succumbing to the evils of materialism.  A perfectly fine theme… that’s been the same every year… ad nauseum… for as long as my long-term memory can hold it all in the gray matter.

When I heard the opening line and knew what gospel was coming, I was hoping to hear something new.  In these days of economic fear, so many people have lost jobs and are really struggling to figure out how to feed their families/pay their mortgage/continue to provide health insurance.  It is really difficult to swallow the saccharin-sweet theology of “Thou-shalt-not-follow-Mammon” when such worries consume you.  No, let’s be honest… it’s downright sour and bitter to have to listen to that kind of preaching from a priest who appears to be totally disconnected from the real world.  Question:  Are you worried about paying your own rent/buying food/being able to afford insurance? Answer:  Didn’t think so.

The gospel verse that God planted in me came a few lines later:  Your heavenly Father knows what you need.

Now that’s balm for the broken spirit.  God knows… God has always known.  And if a father who loves you more than the birds of the field… see how they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them… God knows what you need.

I needed an unexpected surprise at church yesterday and sadly I was disappointed.  But then I came home and stopped to admire Ezzy… yes, God knows what I need.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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