I feel scattered!

“Monday, Monday…” Can you hear the Mamas and the Papas singing that song from the 60s. After the high of church and friends on relaxation on Sunday, comes Monday and the return to normal routines. Where do you turn for encouragement, for that word of comfort that lifts your soul? My wantabee boyfriend in ’75 told me he was memorizing Colossians! A whole book of the Bible! On the phone, my sister admitted she was working on Philippians and that our organist at our church was memorizing Hebrews. My young mind was blown. I joined those I admired and started memorizing James that has a theme of wisdom. At one point I could say the whole book with help and often I will return to trying to upgrade, refresh that memory.

Today I turned to James 1:1,2, “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. To the twelve tribes scatter among the nations. Greetings.” James was a brother of Jesus but identifies as a servant. As I remember he was one of the head guys in the church at Jerusalem and was martyred for his relationship with his brother, for being a “servant.” What word would I use today to describe my relationship? My name can be shortened to “barb.” Would I be a thorn in the side or will I be as a Christian baby-naming book shared, the barbarian is a stranger bringing good news from afar? Lord, have mercy and help me be the latter.

Next I note that James is writing to the twelve tribes “scattered” among the nations. I feel scattered today. After church with friends here, I zoomed with Kenyan friends, talked with a dear friend in Florida, chatted with a son sheltering in Chicago and a sister in NY, not to mention touching base with friends in CA. I woke this morning with those conversations rolling around in my head and felt scattered among all the places in my life where God has so deeply blessed me. “Scattered” spoke to me of the love of God that is not geographically located and territorial but touches lives all over our world. Yesterday in our sermon text, a nameless woman, from the wrong tribe, irritatingly inappropriate in her request for mercy for her daughter, touches the heart of Jesus when she is willing to take a “crumb” from his table. She goes down in history because Jesus sees and values people who feel “scattered.”

This James, a servant, speaking to scattered people, greets me from the pages of history – and holds my hand as I walk through today. Pretty spiff. I am not alone. God will pull the pieces of my life together some day and I will see the “big picture.” But in the meantime, God says as I awake, “Greetings!” I am here and I am with you. Blessings.

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