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Thursday, July 10, 2014
Blue sky. There’s nothing like a beautiful Portland afternoon in July. Even Rick’s solar powered flowers on the window sill in the church office are getting into the sunlight groove. A pure blue sky always reminds me of Kansas. Now before you start quoting jokes in your head about tornados and Dorothy (which I’m sure I’ve heard) one may not know that Kansas boasts at least 211 days of the year with some sun (58% of the year). In case you’re curious, Portland boasts (which has an entirely different meaning) 142 days of the year with some sun (38% of the year).

I have been surprised that I have acclimated as well as I have to the obvious decrease in the number of sunny days observed by the average western Oregonian. I LOVE the sun. It just automatically lifts my spirits. And yet, I have somehow been able to see the beauty in the cloudy days of Portland. The things I heard about the weather in Portland before I moved here described it as nothing but heavy laden clouds that oppress and the constant rain keeps everyone running for cover. On the contrary, each day brings with it a variety. I never knew how many different kinds of cloudy there are (by the way, I never see your average Portland citizen “running” out of the rain). That’s what makes the weather in Portland so fascinating—we get it all (even the occasional tornado).

So what does the weather have to do with spiritual inspiration? Usually one talks about the weather when there’s nothing else to talk about (unless you’re a meteorologist). This Sunday’s scripture is about God lighting the way to who God is through the scripture. Even if you have a “ill-defined” cloudy day style description of God, you can still understand God in scripture, if you look. It doesn’t have to just be about the battles and the sacrificial descriptions, or even just through prophetic messages. God, itself, can be described. The God of love, of social justice, of forgiveness does have a job description. You just have to look in the employee manual—otherwise known as the Bible. I will describe some of those on Sunday.

God doesn't have to shine through as directly as the sun. God comes through the cloudy days as well. You just have to look and observe the details. For instance, I have understood that there are 20 different words in the Hebrew language for joy. Only God could do that. God is obviously joy. Observing a rose to me is joyful. Listening to the laugh of a 2 year old is joyful. There’s a man in New York City who photographs people that were once strangers and once he’s finished taking their photographs, they look like they’ve known each other forever. That’s joy. That’s God. Let’s observe something joyful today. Let’s observe the details in what may look like just another cloudy day—but has noticeable changes in the light.

In peace and joy,


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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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