I have been watching “Chef’s Table: France” on Netflix. In the first episode, a Michelin starred chef decides to stop serving meat. He says, “It’s complicated? Yes. It’s not easy? yes.” He sighs, “But…What do you feast on? What do you feast on? What a pleasure! I have chills every day because sometimes I’m afraid.” I’ve watched this episode quite a few times, and this resonates with me. Is it complicated – the work I do? Yes. Is it difficult? Yes. Sometimes am I afraid? yes. But today – what do I feast on? What gives me chills and makes this a pleasure and a privilege?
On the first Sunday of the month, we gather for “Little Friends and Family”. When I see this photo, from a gathering in February, I think “A photo of me, loving my life”. What do I feast on? Well, on this day, using Godly Play, I told the story of Jesus being tempted in the desert. I said to the children, “I wonder what Jesus and God talked about in the desert.” And one little boy answered, “I think they talked about ALL the people.” Yes. I think you are right.
In our Bible Study one week we talked about the women that traveled with Jesus. We talked about what it means to be a disciple – to be called to intimate fellowship; to be an imitator of the one who called and teaches you; to be an adherent, a student; to take on the values and reproduce the teaching of the one at whose feet you sit… To know Christ, follow him, make disciples. I said to them, how does this teaching change for you if I list the disciples this way? Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, James, Phillip, Joanna, Nathaniel, Matthew, Susanna…
And one woman replied, “It just makes you think that you could be included…” Yes. You are included, dear one. What a pleasure!
Following our Advent stories, using Godly Play, a 4-year-old boy found a candle and carried it to his mum. She asked, “What is that?” He replied, “This is the light of the prophets….” Chills.
Studying Galatians with this wonderful group of women, we talked about the Holy Spirit acting within us, and the result being the fruit of the spirit. And then Paul says, “If a brother or sister falls into sin, you who are spiritual should restore that person gently.” What does this mean? What does it mean to “fall into sin”? How do we restore them “gently”? And then I asked, “Are there people in your life that you trust to do this? Has this happened to you?”
And one woman says, “You have done this for me, Kathi.” (I’m thinking as fast as I can… when did I do this? When did I ever approach her about “falling into sin?”) She said, “I had given up on God. I didn’t go to Mass any more. I didn’t see a point. I had given up on Christian people. You showed me that there is still something important in this and something beautiful and meaningful.” And another woman said, “Yeah. Me too.” And a third woman said, “Yeah. Me too.” Complicated and difficult – yes. A feast and a pleasure – absolutely.
It’s midnight and that might be making me a little more poetical than I would be earlier in the evening… yet, I am so thankful once again, that God has brought me here. It’s complicated? Yes. It’s not easy? Yes. What a pleasure!