From Pastor Todd’s Weekly Email . . . 

Life is a blur. Monday evening Doug Melton, President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and Pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church, preached the “Presidents’s Address.” He titled his sermon, “The Intersection of Love and Time.” We all acknowledge the increased value of time. Today were time traded in the commodities market it would fetch the highest price. You know that means it would be more valuable than any food you enjoy. Were time traded as a stock, I suspect it would be valued higher than shares of Berkshire Hathaway – currently trading at $111,800/share.

Combine the value placed on time with all we attempt to do given the time we have and there is little wonder we often experience life as blur. Many of you know I enjoy photography. Father Richard Rohr and I were having a conversation a number of years ago and he suggested I consider taking up some form of art. We were talking personhood and spiritual formation. He is quite insightful. I would love to take a painting class. In lieu of that, I picked up the camera.

After spending some time outdoors photographing particular subjects I will load them on the laptop and take a look. When snapped many of them come out crisp, clear. Others give evidence of either “camera shake” (my skills fail) or the subject moved mid-shutter. On those occasions the lacking of being still produces a blurred subject. Read that this way – I am either moving or the subject is moving. When either of those happen the subject is blurred. We may agree that is a fair description of our shared experiences of life.

Many today have learned that the occasional mistake resulting in blur may be artistic. Photographers who intentionally take photographs this way refer to it as “soft focus.” While many of us amateurs achieve that effect by accident, some work hard to produce such a result. Over time I have come to enjoy a shot or two that exhibits “soft focus.” Maybe it is just my unwillingness to admit a failed capture. Patty on the other hand does not like any of my “soft focus” shots. There is a lack of clarity on the subject. Too much is left unknown. Too much is left to guessing. What/who is it?

In our blurred pace of life we often fail to see others. It just may be that the text Gospel text for Sunday taken from Matthew 25 addresses the consequences of blur. That is, I wonder if those who fail to see others did so because they did not stop long enough to focus. When other people are out of focus, so are their needs. We then face the potential tragedy of missing Jesus.

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Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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