Poem by Sarah Are: Pocket-Sized Moments
I wonder if we will know when restoration comes.
Will it feel big and dramatic like a summer rain?
Joyful and overwhelming, like an end-of-war parade?
Or will it be small?
Will it be pocket-sized moments, like wishing on stars,
The sun through the curtains, or lightning bugs in the yard?
I don’t know how God will restore this world,
Just like I don’t know how to make the summer rain.
But I do know how to say I’m sorry.
And I do know how to love with all of me.
And I know how to say, “This cup is for you,”
And I know how to taste grace in grape juice.
So on the off-chance that restoration will be small,
Pocket-sized moments of love for all,
I will bake bread and save a seat for you.
I will say I’m sorry and say I love you too.
I will plant gardens and look for fireflies.
I will say prayers on shooting stars at night.
And when the sun shines through my curtain windows,
Remind me to open them wide.
I would hate to miss God’s parade,
These holy ordinary days.
by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
A Reading from the Book of Genesis
Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.
But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, ‘Who are these with you?’ Jacob said, ‘The children whom God has graciously given your servant.’ Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, ‘What do you mean by all this company that I met?’ Jacob answered, ‘To find favor with my lord.’ But Esau said, ‘I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.’ Jacob said, ‘No, please; if I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God—since you have received me with such favor. Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want.’ So he urged him, and he took it.
Then Esau said, ‘Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.’ But Jacob said to him, ‘My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.’
So Esau said, ‘Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.’ But he said, ‘Why should my lord be so kind to me?’ So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth.
A Reading from the Gospel of John
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’
Safety Net by Hannah Garrity
inspired by John 21:1-19
How does this miracle text relate to our present fear? Right now, in the midst of COVID-19, people are dying, people are losing their livelihoods, people are isolated, people are going to run out of food, people are going to run out of money, people are going to lose their family members, people will lose their homes. This moment in our story delivers scarcity in ways that we have not seen in living memory. Our whole precious global society could unravel.
Can we be the safety net?
Three weeks into stay-at-home orders, our local food banks are being tapped more heavily than normal. Economic stimulus checks are arriving in American bank accounts. Factories are retooling to build medical equipment. The public is following the stay-at-home measures. Legislative consensus should ensure that unemployment will be enough for many to survive on. All of these miraculous actions are funded by each of us.
In the artwork, patterned fish represent the miracle that Jesus performed that morning so many years ago. This miracle convinced the disciples that they must tell the story of Jesus and act out the love Jesus modeled. This miracle continues to inspire us to contribute and act as God’s disciples in this critical time for humanity.
We are the safety net.
As I worked with this text, I contemplated that money has a lot to do with saving lives. Therefore, the background of this piece is woven with a guilloché pattern, reminiscent of currency. It portrays the flow of financial resources from government support, to charities, to crowdfunding, to church missions that are the fabric of the net that will catch us all.
Jesus inspires us in this text—and in this moment—to weave God’s safety net.
— Hannah Garrity