Dt 4:1-2, 6-8
Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Old Movies
Last night I watched very old family movies. It was amazing to see my parents as young adults in their late twenties being young parents. As a child growing up we watched these movies on special occasions and it was always a treat to hear Mom and Dad tell the stories.

The movies capture my parents traveling with my brothers and sisters all over the country and into Asia, as my Dad was in the military. They capture early scenes from the recovery of Japan following WW II, as well as scenes of parades for the statehood of Alaska. Watching these movies as an adult in my late forties I saw many things as though for the first time.

I watched the loving activities which both of my parents created for my older siblings and me. I saw the careful way in which my father sought to document the life of his family from baptisms to early haircuts, from fishing adventures to family gatherings. I had lost many of these memories of my Dad after he divorced my Mother. Time lapsed and with time hurts and disappointments painted over these memories.

But last night I was aware that my heart was not hanging on to those hurtful memories. Instead a new era of a healed heart allowed me to see with new eyes. I was both surprised and excited. As I read the readings for Sunday the 3rd of September, I felt connected to the phrase from the letter of James: 1:17-18:
All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

Today I am grateful that I was able to recognize and accept this good gift given from above and experience it as coming from a gracious God of lights.