At one time I was sent to teach in an alternative school in Omaha Nebraska. Most students were Baptist, Pentecostal or no particular faith tradition, and so I became a Young Life Leader in order to share faith with each of them. Since most of the students did not have their own or their parents' transportation, I would round them up in a van and we would go off to our Young Life meetings which consisted of other leaders, mostly college age students, and high school students of many Christian traditions and some of no tradition. We sang lively songs, saw a fun skit, listened to one of the leaders give a witness talk about Jesus in his/her life, prayed that we might understand God's love and call in our life, and then sent each other out to another week in high school life. One of the songs came back to me this week as I thought of last week's Gospel.
"Go where I send you
How will I send you?
I'm going to send you one by one, one for the little bitty baby.
I'm going to send you two by two, two for . . .”
and on and on until it gets to twelve for the twelve apostles.
I am enjoying being a blogger as it gets me to read the blogs that come before me. Thanks to Roberta who said, "We don't do this alone". It might be good for all of us who read these blogs to go back and see how they do link together. Gail asks, " how have you been blessed with community?" KC tells about being Pentecost Partners. The constitution of the Sinsinawa Dominicans begins with a section titled "Identity in Mission", and reminds us of the Pentecost gospel in which Jesus says, "As God has sent me, so I send you." (John 20:21)
Since I now live near Madison WI, I can get to the Mound (the name we give our home in Sinsinawa WI) in 90 minutes, and so this past week, I had the privilege of being at the funeral of Joan Crampton with whom I had lived for three years in Tulsa OK. All of our funerals at the Mound are unique reflections of the life and mission of a sister. We cry, we laugh and we surround one another as we remember the love that God s sent into the world through the mystery of a sister's life. We remember all of the places that sister was sent and then we send her off singing, "Go faithful friend as we send you forth to the wide open arms of our God . . . and "take our love into paradise."
So in answer to Gail. Being at my friend Joan's funeral was a great blessing of community. And, KC, as I remembered being sent, I too was renewing my call to be a Pentecost Partner.
As I left the Mound, I tried to capture in film my favorite Mound view. This view from which I feel I am seeing the whole world, reminds me that although I love to go home to the Mound, I always leave from there knowing that I am to go wherever God is sending me. I may go as one or with one other or with 12, but I never go alone. By the way I recently learned that the word "apostle" means "one who is sent".
How awesome that God makes us apostles. Where is God sending you this day? To whom? With whom? How will you be a witness to God's love and mercy? Would you like to go with Dominicans?
Joan Duerst OP