Notes from Jan


November 30, 2021

Advent came early this year, right along with Thanksgiving. I like when that happens. The tree’s up, the Perch decorated and it’s still November. Frenzy’s lost it’s foothold. For now, calm carries the day. It’s one of the carryovers from Covid’s lock downs, learning what I can live without. Life’s always been more about Who than What, but sometimes I forget or behave like I’m clueless.

Today Dean Robert reminded me it’s Saint Andrew’s Day. I always liked him. He’s the one who noticed the small boy with two fish and five loaves, who gave what he had to Jesus and watched wide-eyed as Jesus fed thousands from his lunch. He hoped to see Jesus. But Andrew saw him first and brought him to Jesus. I like that about Andrew, aware of those outside life’s fences, lost in crowds, marginalized. By day’s end the boy left with more than his fill of fish and bread and the sight of Jesus. But, I suspect, after he got home, he couldn’t stop talking about Andrew who brought him to Jesus, how Jesus made a miracle from the fish and bread. Then added, “Mama, Jesus knows my name and we’re friends. He told me to thank you for the lunch.”

Well, the Bible doesn’t say all that but it fits the Jesus I know.

We need more Andrews and Andreas who notice seekers and frantic folks, then find ways to help us weave through our crowded lives and messes to make it to Jesus.

And so today I’m singing,

“Come, thou long-expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us,

Let us find our rest in thee.”

And, believe it or not, Jesus still comes and blesses whatever we offer to him.

‘Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.'(Revelation 3:20, NLT)

Come in, Jesus.

How about lunch?

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  • Reply Wendy Lane November 30, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    I forget too. Precious reminders like this help a lot.
    Lord help me be someone who leads others to You this season, and throughout the year.
    Thank you Jan!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 30, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Knowing you and Steve, that happens more than you know. And I need the reminder to come, as well, as bring what I sometimes clutch, then trust Jesus with what to do with it and me.

      • Reply Wendy Lane November 30, 2021 at 4:12 pm

        I think you are partial to us <3 I pray you are right though! And I pray for you dear friend. Love you

  • Reply Maggie Rowe November 30, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Jan! I am amazed how you call out things in a passage that I have never thought about, such as: Who packed that lunch anyway? Preachers speak of the little boy who shared his lunch, but what about the Jewish mama who packed it? And now you have me thinking about the women and men who have packed the spiritual meals I have shared with others. What would I have to give without those who have gone before who have both Prayed and Packed? Chewing on this now…:). thank you!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 30, 2021 at 9:34 pm

      Yes, we are blessed by many packers and prayers. Their prayers and lunches cost them, but came to us as gifts to pass along to others. And you are a good and faithful sharer, dear Maggie.

  • Reply Roger Perkins November 30, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    I have often thought the boy remembered that day more than anyone else present. Likely loosened his wallet for the rest of his life.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 30, 2021 at 9:44 pm

      Good to hear from you, Roger. For sure, any close encounter with Jesus marks us one way or another. I wonder if he followed Andrew and Jesus, or if they took him fishing. And I wonder if he pulled an Andrew and brought his Mama to come and meet Jesus, the One who appreciated her part in the miracle meal. For sure, he’d have missed the point, if he grew up to hoard and squawk like a seagull, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

  • Reply Dale December 1, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    The disciples were actual people. Not profound, but sometimes I see them as characters in an historic play more than in a real life drama. I try to imagine which disciple I best represent and have decided all options are open except ONE! He meets our needs and then delights in exceeding them.

    Thanks for the blessing

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 2, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      Great reminder. As a fisherman, I thought you’d go for Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. Each year in June the town of Gloucester hosts the Saint Peter’s Fiesta. A statue of him is paraded through the streets, uphold by fishermen. It’s a great reminder of the town’s history and the importance of the fishing industry and the faith of many. There’s the blessing of the fishing fleets and prayers for those lost at sea and those who will brave the elements to feed us and their families. Gloucester , founded in 1623, is our country’s oldest commercial fishing port. It’s the home of Gorton’s. Probably, your kids, like mine ate Gorton’s fish sticks at home or school.
      Well, enough of my commercial for this fishy, funky, artsy town in which I live. So, thanks for your reminder, Dale, of Jesus, the ONE who “meets our needs and then delights in exceeding them.” May you and Marty be both recipients of God’s extravagant grace during this Advent season and conduits to shed His Light in dark places. I can’t imagine my life without your friendship to Jud and me. You and Marty remain examples of God’s “delight in meeting our needs and exceeding them.”

  • Reply Richard Allen Farmer December 7, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Your writing is as creative and provocative as ever it was. Your take on Andrew and the fish and loaves narrative blessed me. What a joy to hear your voice today- both actually and through your writing. Carry on!!!
    Richard Allen Farmer

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 7, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      Well, what a wonderful surprise to answer my phone and find you on the other end of the call today.. You and Rosemary are such a wonderful part of our years at Gordon. Thank you for calling “out of the blue”, a God gift on this Tuesday in December. And thank you for taking the time to read this blog and share your perspective. Sing on!

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