The Absorbeat 

I remember days of college apartment life and that time the taco shells we were heating fell into the bottom of the oven. We all realized there was a small taco fire happening. No one panicked, but each of us had a different idea of what to do. One roommate went for the fire extinguisher, I ran to the faucet for water, but before either of us had a chance to do much of anything, another roommate had cracked open the salt and threw it on the fire. I remember thinking has she lost her mind? It was exactly the right thing to do. I just didn’t know it. For everyone nodding your head with a sense of pride in knowing that, please remember someone may be reading this who may be discovering this for the first time. After the fire and a low carb dinner, my roommates and I gathered for a pop-up course on How to Put out Fires Safely 101. We all had facts we could contribute such as what not to put on fires and more, and you can Google all that. What really was impressive to me was the power of that salt. Yes, you can use baking soda, but not everyone keeps that close by, while almost all of us have salt on hand. Bottom line is that salt absorbs the heat remarkably well. 

This story came back to me as I see all the fires that have been burning recently. My heart breaks and I want to reach for the salt. We are celebrating the season of Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit coming like fire not to burn anyone, but to ignite a deep devotion for God, a love that won’t flicker or fade, and a passion to share that love with others. Jesus said “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth.” I find that an especially compelling description of the kind of followers we are to be. Light so that we light up the darkness around us, and salt so we add the right flavor to the lives of others. We have the profound ability to shine the light of Christ and to pour the love of God out into the world. There are all kinds of fires to fight, and with God’s help we will meet them well with salt and light and holy fire bringing the wisdom, counsel, and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Then surely the presence of the Lord will be felt. 

The Absorbeat 

May the power of your love, Lord Christ, 
fiery and sweet as honey, 
so absorb our hearts 
as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. 
Grant that we may be ready 
to die for love of your love, 
as you died for love of our love. Amen 

Martha Aenchbacher

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"Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing." Psalm 100:1-2  

I grew up in a household filled with music. My parents loved music, and we played records and the radio daily. I was schooled on Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart, but also Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman. In my teenage years I listened to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, but I never quit listening to my daddy’s music, too. One of my favorites was Ella Fitzgerald’s recording of Gershwin’s “Summertime.” I can still hear my father’s voice singing along with the stereo: 

Summertime and the livin' is easy Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good lookin' So hush, little baby, don't you cry 

Here we are at the beginning of summer, and our living is not particularly easy. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and the threat of a highly contagious virus is constant. We are taking extraordinary measures to be safe and remain healthy. Unfortunately, in an abundance of caution we are not going to be singing together in church for quite some time. But we can certainly sing alone in the privacy and safety of our own homes. 

I am reminded how the Psalmist encourages us to sing in the presence of God. Singing is one of the many ways we worship. I have a friend who has this sign in her office: “God respects me when I work. God loves me when I sing.” That may not be good theology, but the saying does communicate a heartfelt emotion about singing. I believe that singing is close to the heart of God. The book of Revelation tells us that one day we will all be singing all the time. In the redemption of all creation when we are all in heaven, in eternity, every person and creature is singing in praise of God. 

Verse 2 of Summertime begins with this line: “One of these mornings, you’re gonna rise up singing.” This may not be the summertime for which we were hoping or planning, but it is the summertime we have. It is the time for us to “rise up singing.” Lift your voice to praise God. Sing to lift your spirits. We are in the presence of God, so let’s sing! 


Bob Winstead

Posted by Bob Winstead with

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