Holy Shenanigans

Open Up To Love

May 28, 2024 Tara Lamont Eastman Season 5 Episode 15
Open Up To Love
Holy Shenanigans
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Holy Shenanigans
Open Up To Love
May 28, 2024 Season 5 Episode 15
Tara Lamont Eastman

In 'Holy Shenanigans' hosted by Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman, listeners are encouraged to explore the sacred in daily life and open up to different facets of love. Tara shares personal stories, including a bubble-blowing practice with her children for relaxation and reflection, and a heartwarming story of a father surprising his daughter in a Santa suit. She also draws lessons from a biblical account of Nicodemus seeking Jesus’ wisdom at night. The podcast emphasizes that love is both comforting and challenging, calling for bold, actionable expressions and openness to the divine presence in everyday moments.

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Support the Show.

Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman is an Ordained Minister of Word & Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has pastored ELCA and PCUSA churches throughout New York State. She was a contributing writer to the Collaborate Lutheran Student Bible and the Connect Sunday School curriculum, published by Sparkhouse.

Show Notes Transcript

In 'Holy Shenanigans' hosted by Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman, listeners are encouraged to explore the sacred in daily life and open up to different facets of love. Tara shares personal stories, including a bubble-blowing practice with her children for relaxation and reflection, and a heartwarming story of a father surprising his daughter in a Santa suit. She also draws lessons from a biblical account of Nicodemus seeking Jesus’ wisdom at night. The podcast emphasizes that love is both comforting and challenging, calling for bold, actionable expressions and openness to the divine presence in everyday moments.

Send Tara a Text Message

Support the Show.

Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman is an Ordained Minister of Word & Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has pastored ELCA and PCUSA churches throughout New York State. She was a contributing writer to the Collaborate Lutheran Student Bible and the Connect Sunday School curriculum, published by Sparkhouse.

S5 E15 Open Up To Love

Tara Lamont Eastman: [00:00:00] Welcome to Holy Shenanigans. I'm your muse, Tara Lamont Eastman, a poet, a pastor, and a podcaster. In the HSP neighborhood, we encourage the spiritual practice of looking and listening for the sacred in everyday life. And this is what we call Holy Shenanigans. This time around, I'm inviting you to open up to love.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Love is a source of comfort, and yes, love is also a source of confrontation and change. The question is, what kind of love do you need to open up to today? One way to open up to this lesson of love in both of its forms is to go get yourself some bubbles. Really. [00:01:00] When my children were very small, we always had a bottle of bubbles around.

Tara Lamont Eastman: And on good days and on bad days, we would take a break and take those bubbles and go sit out on our back steps. And we would take a breath and we would blow the bubbles and think about what that day offered us. In this practice of blowing bubbles, we learned to take a break. We all learned the value of taking a deep, cleansing breath and we learned the joy of bubbles.

Tara Lamont Eastman: That whether we were joyful that day and those bubbles represented all the things that we were happy about, or as we blew those bubbles, we could release those things that were hard for us that day. And even though this was a practice I did with small children, it is a spiritual [00:02:00] practice that I still use today.

Tara Lamont Eastman: And I commend to you to try. So as we talk about the spiritual practice of opening up to different kinds of love, I invite you to go get yourself some bubbles for the next time you need to take a break. Blowing bubbles is a spiritual practice that can help us to open up to love. Blowing bubbles can also remind us that good news shouldn't be bottled up.

Tara Lamont Eastman: That good news is something that should be shared. Opening up to love invites us to tell people that we love them, and better yet, to show them that we love them. Just like the people in this story of holy shenanigans. There once was a parent who was missing their adult child. Their adult child had gone far away to work at a college radio station on an internship.[00:03:00] 

Tara Lamont Eastman: And that parent decided, in their missing of their child, To plan a surprise visit. They contacted the radio station and the radio station was on board. 100%. They were so excited about the idea of this surprise visit. They invited the parent to make it part of the morning radio show. So the plans were set and the parent drove hundreds of miles in winter weather, and finally arrived at the radio station.

Tara Lamont Eastman: But before he went into the studio, the radio station manager invited the parent to add a bit more drama to the surprise and said, why don't you put on this Santa Claus suit just to see what happens? So he put on the Santa suit and made his way into the radio station and walked through that station saying Merry Christmas to you all!

Tara Lamont Eastman: As he entered the [00:04:00] studio, he said once more, Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! His child looked up and saw his face and immediately knew it was her dad and shouted, Oh, daddy, you're here. In this moment of glorious surprise, this parent, this father made sure his child knew they were loved and in return that they loved their dad.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Because of this love, they took a lot of effort to get there through the snow and through the cold. And through that Santa Claus suit, because this father was open to love, love opened up to their child, to the people in that radio station, and to everybody listening to that live broadcast. The call of love takes [00:05:00] us to new places.

Tara Lamont Eastman: There's a Bible story from John 3 that tells us more about being opened up to love, being opened up to change of mind and perspective, and most importantly, in actions. It comes to us in the account of Nicodemus as he goes to talk with Jesus under the cover of night because he has to have his answers to his God questions.

Tara Lamont Eastman: He just needs to know. So he takes a risk. Nicodemus opens up to love and goes out at night so that nobody else can see him seeking Jesus wisdom to find the good news that he is looking for. In that brave nighttime visit, Nicodemus learns that God's love is bigger than he ever imagined, that God loves and longs to save the world, that [00:06:00] God loves all peoples, and that this is a good news.

Tara Lamont Eastman: But sometimes, when we have good news, we don't share it. Why in the world is that? Sometimes we have news that is so good that we are afraid that it might be too fragile to share. Or that if it's shared, it somehow won't be real. So we bottle it up because we don't want to lose. This love, this treasure.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Sometimes love calls people to change, and because we lack courage or support, sharing that message of love seems impossible. Sometimes love is stopped up because we're afraid others will reject it or reject us. Sometimes good [00:07:00] news and love can be disruptive. It comforts the afflicted and it can afflict the comfortable, but my friends.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Good news and love needs to be opened up as I think of the gift of those Backsteps bubbles blowing with my children as I think of this story of this father going to share I love you with his daughter who had been so far away as I think of brave Nicodemus going into the middle of the night. I believe these stories are calling me and perhaps you to love boldly and bravely And to be opened up to where and how love is calling us to live in the world.

Tara Lamont Eastman: It's important for us to remember that sharing good news can be a comfort as [00:08:00] well as being a disruption. And in this Nicodemus story, I hear a call to embrace the comfort as well as the disruption of God's message for us to love one another. God's message can be a balm for our souls. As well as a call to action.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Let me explain this comforting disruptive love by telling you another story. A story of when my children were tiny and I would hold them when they were in need of immediate comfort. I would hold them close. And sing this lullaby to them. I love you. Do you hear me? Oh, I love you today and every day. I love you all the way.[00:09:00] 

Tara Lamont Eastman: As a parent, the words and tune of that song were in that moment a source of comfort, and they also were a promise. To follow up those words of comfort with actions of protection and care for all of their life. What was a song of comfort for my children was a challenge and disruptive call to always truly love them, not just in my words or in a song, but in my actions.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Sometimes I like to imagine. That God the creator is singing this same song to me, that I am loved and that God will be with me all the way. It is a source of comfort for me, but it [00:10:00] also is an invitation into that agitating love, the love of action in the world. To remember that God so loved the world, that God opened up a way for all people to become children of God.

Tara Lamont Eastman: That God took and takes action, that God didn't wait to love. And we shouldn't wait either. God's love is for now and everyone. And God calls us to share that love, to be opened up, to be shared like those bubbles on the back porch, and to meet us and others in our sorrows as well as our joy. How do we open up to love?

Tara Lamont Eastman: We're brave like Nicodemus, or we travel over hill and dale in winter weather [00:11:00] to tell somebody that we love them. What would be possible, dear hearts, if we really, truly opened up to the kind of love that both comforts and calls us to action? May love help us to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Tara Lamont Eastman: May love help us to be bold and brave. May love help us to go the extra mile for someone else. May love help us be disrupted by what we think we know to what we really need to know. May love truly open us. If you're not sure where to start in this practice of love that opens us up, seriously, go get yourself a bottle of bubbles, sit down on your back steps and blow those [00:12:00] bubbles and offer these words.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Help me to open up, help me to love, help me to afflict the comfortable, help me to comfort the afflicted, and then I invite you to hear the words of the lullaby as it is sung for you, because it is sung for you too. Hi, I,

Tara Lamont Eastman: do you hear.

Tara Lamont Eastman: I

Tara Lamont Eastman: [00:13:00] am your Holy Shenanigans Muse, Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman. Thank you for joining us this week for Holy Shenanigans that surprise, encourage, redirect, and turn life upside down, all in the name of love that is always asking us to open up This is an unpredictable spiritual adventure that is always sacred and never stuffy.

Tara Lamont Eastman: Thanks to Ian Eastman for sound production and editing. Also, if you'd like to support the work of Holy Shenanigans podcast, please do so by going to www. buymeacoffee. com backslash Tara L Eastman. Thank you for your support. Until next time, remember that all you need to practice Holy Shenanigans. Is saying yes and noticing the sacred in everyday life [00:14:00] until next time may you be well May you be at peace and may you be opened up to love 

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