Over the last seven years, as I sold my books at church bazaars, book festivals, and more, I collected your email addresses and promised to send you a newsletter and occasional emails. Finally, I have entered all those addresses into a program on my website so I can keep my promise. This email contains a sample of my blog and a link to my website. Please take the time to read the reflection and check out my website. I’d love to hear from you.
You will receive my blog four times a month, and sometimes six. I will not flood your inbox. My message is simple. Each human being is precious. We are loved by God, and called to love one another.
If you decide you aren’t interested in receiving my emails, just unsubscribe. Thanks so much for reading today’s reflection and checking out my website. Blessings and Peace, Janet Stobie.
A Lesson in Extravagance
During this Covid 19 spring, Tom and I have had a lesson in extravagance. Standing sentry now at the curb is a leaf bag brim full of dandelions we have dug from our front yard. We’ve top-dressed the lawn with not one but two inches of rich black topsoil. That evening as the sunset Tom dumped a large bag of seed into the spreader and set the dials in the dimming light. He had covered just two thirds of the yard when the whirr of the spreader said “empty”. He frowned. There had been enough seed in that bag to cover a lawn three times the size. His response when he told me this story was, “Oh well, there will be plenty for both the birds and the lawn.”
Herbert O’Driscoll, in his reflection on Jesus’ parable of the sower, understands the seed as a sign of God’s presence sown with extravagance all around us. He says, “Jesus is pointing to the way in which God fills every aspect of life with signs of God’s presence.” Our job is to open our eyes and hearts to receive.
In the parable, we hear of God’s endless extravagance. God sews the seeds of God’s presence everywhere, whether or not we are stony, weedy or fertile ground. We know this is true because we see glimpses of God’s kingdom everywhere.We stand filled with awe as a spectacular sunset stretches across the western sky, bringing ten transient minutes of breath-taking beauty.
We’re surprised by the courage and determination of a wild-flower, growing through a crack in a concrete sidewalk.
We laugh and offer hugs to our dog as his entire body wags in greeting at the end of our workday.
We soak in the care and comfort of a loved one’s listening ear when we are hurting.
We thrill to the warm gentle touch of love that comes to us through a child, a parent, our life partner.
The list never ends. God’s loving presence, God’s kingdom continues with us until death and beyond. Opportunities to experience God’s love rain down around us every day. What we fail to notice and receive feeds another.
As I feel the warmth, the fragility, the strength of our first great grandson, month-old Riley, snuggled close to my heart, I am so grateful that God believes in extravagance. God’s Grace is endless. God knows that we all need endless opportunities, glimpses of God’s kingdom, for us to become the best we can be, sanctified, holy, filled with love.
Covid 19 is giving some of us extra time to count those blessings, to experience God’s kingdom. Even if your life is still filled with crazy chaos, and you miss the blessings today. Open your eyes and heart tomorrow. Give thanks, for God’s extravagance is endless.
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”