Being Better

English: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter ...

English: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. Ελληνικά: Λεπτομέρεια από την νωπογραφία του Πιέτρο Περουτζίνο, Ο Χριστός Παραδίδει τα Κλειδιά στον Πέτρο, 335 x 600 cm, Καπέλα Σιξτίνα, Πόλη του Βατικανού. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to better.  I want to send emails and write blog entries with  no spelling errors.  I want to be healthier.  I want to be a more compassionate person.  I want to be more effective in my time management.  I want to be neater. I want a better relationship with God.  I want to give my family more quality time.  I want to cook more and eat out less.  I want to drink less soda.  I want whiter teeth.  I want to be in a better place financially.  I want to be a better listener.

The list of my wants goes on.  I imagine I am not the only one who wants to be a better version.  The way I live my life is a testament to God, so every error seems to be letting God down.  My imperfections are glaring and ever before me.  I imagine that is why I like Peter so much.  He routinely makes mistakes in the Bible.  He is rebuked, warned, and scolded.  He denies Jesus.  Yet, it is on him that the church is built.

Peter shows us that we are not expected to be perfect.  We are expected to do our best to honor God.  We are expected to realize our need of God’s guidance.  We are called to realize that we need other people to help us and hold us accountable.  No one is perfect.  We all want to be better.  We can only expect a certain amount of self improvement, the rest is god improvement.  Especially this week, let us be molded and shaped by the one who loves us unconditionally.  Let’s not pay attention to the small things, but let us pay attention to the large things.  Let us pay attention to Jesus, our faith life, and how we share our faith with the world.  Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.  Do you deny Jesus?  Do you deny Jesus your time or attention?  Do you deny Jesus a place in your decision making?

Maybe we cannot get all our wants met, but we can grow as children of God.  We can in our imperfect states be builders of the kingdom.  Allow God to work in and through you.  Accept God’s offer of relationship with you just as you are.

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Communication Tool

Communication

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

This week ends the Easter  season in the life of the church.  While many of us have long since put away our Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies, the church celebrates for 50 days.  In this time, the church celebrates the new life offered in Jesus Christ who has conquered death.  The season ends as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday.  We celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit came  upon the disciples as well as the people who happened to be present in the town that day.

The Spirit allowed Peter to speak to everyone in a way that they could understand.  The Spirit allowed the people to understand what Peter was saying.  Even though this was a multicultural gathering of people who spoke different languages, the Spirit allowed comprehension.  One of the first gifts of the Holy Spirit was effective communication. More often than not, we need divine intervention for effective communication. This is a gift that is available to all, but we often try to rely on our own abilities.

Consider the typical behavior when we encounter someone who speaks another language.  We speak more slowly and more loudly.  Somehow we think that this will bring comprehension to the listener.  We do the same thing, at times, with those who disagree with us.  We decide that they would agree with us if they understood our point.  So we repeat our point.  We continue to repeat our point, convinced that the listener was just not paying attention.  Instead of these pointless repetitions, we need divine intervention.  We need the Spirit to come and flow through both the speaker and the listener.  We need new ears for hearing as well as a new voice for speaking.

  May the wind of the Holy Spirit come into all of your communications and create more effective communication.