Holiness in our Midst: Session 81

Holiness in our Midst


Name a “spiritual ancestor.” How did that person influence/nurture your faith life?

Recently my pastor, Rev. Mary Jane Button-Harrison at First Christian Church in Ames, IA, preached on the Old Testament, highlighting stories of Jesus’ spiritual ancestors. At the end of the sermon series, she asked members of the congregation to recall a spiritual ancestor (not necessarily a blood relative), someone whose spiritual life nurtured our faith formation. The next Sunday we came forward to add those names to Jesus’ family tree.

I pinned the name of my maternal grandmother, Bessie Albright, who passed away at age 94 in 1990. She was a woman who endured great trials. For example, my mother, her only child, died at age 38 of breast cancer. Yet, she had a great capacity to live in a gracious and balanced way…daily. She kept up her home; took care of her body; never missed church (or Ladies Aid or Farm Bureau meetings, for that matter); remembered our birthdays and milestones; stewarded her resources; and read her Bible. Her example was lived out in creating family tables, remaining faithful to everyday tasks and meeting the needs of those along her path—all with artistic flair and social grace. “My work is my baking, my flowers and my quilts,” she often said. She gave away the fruits of those labors, often to the poor. She entered each day by looking out the kitchen window. “Behold this day,” she would say. “There will never be another one like it.” Then she would set forth to fulfill its obligations and embrace its opportunities. (Idea used with permission of Mary Jane Button-Harrison)

Story Circle Prompt: Share about an inspirational spiritual ancestor.

1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, write about how a person influenced your faith formation.

1. Read aloud Session LXXXXI.
2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt. [View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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