Mushrooms found on a trail a couple of years ago on French Creek in the Snowy Range
The nearly completed itinerary for the travel portion of my time away arrived by e-mail yesterday. It will take me to more places than I'd originally anticipated and to an extra cooking school. Spain, France (the unexpected place), Italy and Greece! I am feeling a good bit of tension, excitement at the prospects and anxious with the "stuff" that needs to be done before feeling like I am leaving well.
In the last two days I drove about 500 miles round trip for the last of the Episcopal Search and Transition Committee meetings I will attend for a while. It is a great pleasure working with the diverse and talented folks on both committees. Our work, while often confidential in nature, is marked with respect for varied opinions, delight with others' gifts and ideas. We try to keep a focus that God already has called our next bishop and our task is to discern who that individual is as we work through the process. Driving across Wyoming at this time of year--the nip of fall is definitely in the air; it frosted in some parts of town last night; and the hay fields are mowed and bailed. The corn is a few weeks away from harvest. It is another sign for me of God's abundant provision this year as we've had good rains and good hay. Some creeks are still running which are normally dry by now.
Today as I preached yet again on Jesus as the bread of life, I fondly recalled the first communion of a four year old in my first parish. His folks didn't think he was ready or understanding of what it all meant; but after visiting with him, I thought he was plenty ready. When I extended the invitation, "These are the gifts of God for the people of God," he bolted out of the pew, ran to the altar rail and extended his hands with the urgency and desperation that indicated he must eat this bit of bread as if his life depended on it. And it does. "Thank you, Jesus," he very audibly whispered to my delight of me and his amazed parents.
Just a bit of bread, just a sip of wine. It makes all the difference in making us one, making us alive, fully alive to the possiblities God holds out for our delight. Thanks be to God for these many ways of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.