Penuel Ridge

A reading for Friday, October 31, 2014: Luke 12:13-31.

I visited a place called Penuel Ridge yesterday. It's a spiritual retreat center founded thirty years ago by Don and Joyce Beisswenger and others interested in how inner spirituality and social justice are connected. It's135 acres of pristine TN woodlands are located just outside of Nashville. It's small, it's managed with the utmost care for creation, and it's for everybody. The homeless of Nashville regularly visit Penuel Ridge for the day.

It was a perfect day. The leaves were in full color. The birds were singing and soaring about. A gentle breeze blew across Lake Joyce, as we strolled by on the way to the The Well chapel.

As I read the teachings of Jesus this morning, I am carried back to that place, Penuel Ridge. It's a place dedicated to the presence of God for all people, no matter rich or poor, well cared for or homeless, God fearing or searching for a path to peace. It's a place where the ravens feed, next to the old barn that isn't used anymore. A place where the lilies are clothed in splendor, and the peace of God is discovered in the grass that grows on a hillside someplace where most still do not go.  I think Penuel Ridge is what Jesus was talking about in our lesson today.

Like you, my every days are filled with striving and building and saving and spending. For what we will eat, and what we will wear, and certainly there is much to worry over.

Jesus said, "Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

I look forward to another visit to Penuel Ridge...


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