We continue our lenten journey with Brené Brown this week as we consider how we can cultivate resilience over powerlessness. The Gospel lesson invites us to see how taking time to pay attention to places of need in ourselves and in our neighbors can bring hope, healing, and health. Our resilience doesn't rest merely on our own abilities, but we find it through vulnerability and connection with one another. This quote from Brené Brown reminds us of this truth:
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.
In the Gospel lesson this week, we encounter a fig tree. There are lots of fig trees in scripture. This one is found in a parable of Jesus, and it's not doing great. The vineyard owner wants to cut it down. But the gardener asks for just one more year. Perhaps with some fertilizer and some special care, the tree will bear fruit. As we continue our lenten journey with Brené Brown, we consider how we might cultivate resilience. Also this week, we'll hear music from Cindy Abernathy.
This week, we're talking with Jan Fischer. Jan has been at Central since 1988. She was a nurse for over 30 years, spending most of her time working with newborns and infants at Humana Hospital in Lexington, now St. Joseph East. Jan often weave spiritual insights through her stories where we find interesting twists and inventive perspectives. In this personal narrative, she explores her love for gardening and her penchant for taking in unwanted plants and nursing them back to health.
There is a lot going on in Luke 13. In the midst of disturbing current events and pressing schedules, Jesus challenges his listeners to reflect upon the true nature of the kingdom of God. Like mustard seeds and a small measure of yeast, God is more often found in the least and last rather than the loudest and largest. Jesus resists the applause of the crowds and favors a more relevant experience, even if he runs the risk of the vast majority of missing what is most important. This struggle is always with us. Should we favor what is popular or what is best? For, too often these two are not the same. This Sunday, we will seek to unpack this distinction in our search for what is most authentic and ever-lasting.
We have cameras in our phones that make our faces look better in selfies. We have celebrities on Instagram flaunting their perfect lives. We sift through Facebook highlights and catch only the bright glimpses of other people's week. In all this smoothing, posturing, and comparing, we can be left wondering, am I enough?
This Sunday we continue our journey through Lent as we consider Brené Brown's guidepost for wholehearted living: Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think. Letting go of our need for approval from others is no easy task, but perhaps in the stillness of our worship together, we can hear again the Divine Word calling us beloved. And perhaps this identity can take root more deeply that the false self seeking nourishment from fake news and photoshopped realities.
This season, we're listening to several writers in our writers group at central. From personal narratives, to short stories, and poetry, we have a bit of everything. Each week we'll hear from a writer and talk with them a little about their inspiration and process.
This week, we're talking with Juliette Wallace. Juliette is a student at STEAM Academy. She's been at Central her whole life and we're excited that she's a part of our writers group. She often brings poems to share, conjuring vibrant imagery with power and conviction.
Her story today takes us on a journey up a mountain. Following metaphorically and literally a narrative arc, we find ourselves on the other side somehow different.