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From the Pastor's Desk
“Vente caramel macchiato for, wait, who?”
     When Alex was in kindergarten, he loved going to Panera Bread for dinner. While he enjoyed the broccoli cheddar soup, he also thought it was hilarious when we would make up names for the order we placed. Most frequently used at that time was “Rushmi,” who was his teacher and the owner of the Montessori school he attended. He would laugh for minutes as “Rushmi, your order is ready” would ring through the restaurant, somehow believing his teacher was somewhere wondering “who keeps calling my name?” I hadn’t thought of this in years until recently I read of something a bit similar. Only this time it was at Starbucks, and instead of “Rushmi” it was “The Lord be with you.” The author then wrote that when his coffee drink was ready (it’s never “just a coffee” at Starbucks!) and they called “The Lord be with you,” it seemed that half those around immediately replied “and also with you.” Now that’s what I call a God moment!
     While the article I was reading did not address any specific motive  behind the person’s unique approach to elicit some public response to his faith, one thing is for certain: God is indeed at Starbucks. And Panera Bread. And the grocery store, work, school,  playground, public library, the hospital and of course, at church. Look at an open field and you’ll find Him there, too. Just as you will on a mountain top, farm and the ocean. He’s in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, everyday miracles and the mundane, things that go perfectly and every bit of the messiness we encounter each day.
     God is indeed in all things. We just concluded weeks of discussion  around the book of John chapter 6: The Bread of Life. Jesus Himself tells us “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” He fills us with Himself as we faithfully believe in Him. Thomas Merton wrote “Guard the image of man for it is the image of God.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro, a regular contributor for Father Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation, writes “God is I AM – not a being or even a supreme being, but BEING itself. Each of us is a keeper of the I AM; just as a wave is a keeper of the ocean, in its particular place and time, so are you a
keeper of God in your particular place and time.”
     The realities around us that we can touch or feel – our relationships, the natural world, even our own emotions – are God’s spirit and presence reaching out to each one of us. We may not get the chance to touch the wound in Jesus’ side the way Thomas did, but through our own experiences we get an insight into who God is and who God is calling each of us to be. Each day we step into a world of wonder and new chances, of friendships and opportunities. Each day God Himself is waiting and walking with us. He is present, in our midst and calling us forward in all that we do. Even at Starbucks.

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Zion Lutheran Church
221 S. Center St. (West Jefferson Community Center) w P.O. Box 4 w 
West Jefferson, OH 43162 w 614-879-8107
Reaching in for the Holy Spirit, reaching up for God's grace, reaching out with Christ's love.
Sept/Oct 2018