Wednesday, February 13, 2008

daring hope

This week, we get to share the story of Nicodemus, a religious leader who comes to Jesus (daringly) under the cover of night, to ask questions.

The things Jesus is saying don't make sense, and he wants to know more.  We don't know what motivated him, but we do know he chose a beautiful response: seeking more information.

Of course, Jesus gives him answers that only continue the confusion.  To see the kingdom of God, one most be born anew, of water and the spirit.  Though the idea of being "born again" isn't startling to us, it hadn't acquired the baggage we've heaped on it yet when Jesus said it to Nicodemus.  And it's a crazy idea: finding a new identity, nurtured and blessed as if we had been in the life-giving power of God's own womb.  

Last week, we went with Jesus to the wilderness, and began to thirst with him.  This week, we receive assurance that we are surrounded by the life-giving waters of God.  Though they just might make us new people.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

40 days

Lent began today, with Ash Wednesday.  During this season of 40 days, we're invited to be intentional about turning our hearts to God, opening them to empty out the things that have been keeping us separate from God, and to fill up on God's love.

I hope you're finding a way to be especially attentive to God.  Any of the practices from our Portable Church might be good ones to take up regularly, if you're looking for somewhere to start.

We also hope you might play along on our little project of pointing out things that remind us of God's presence in the world--things that are holy.  We're asking you to point orange arrows at them, and then share a pic or story of what you pointed out.  The details are here.

This Sunday, as we gather in worship, we'll share the story of Jesus' time in the wilderness.  Jesus goes out there for 40 days and 40 nights, and fasts the whole time.  He also faces temptations--all of which seem like good ideas, but are corrupted version of what would be truly good.  He resists.  And invites us to face the challenges of the world, knowing that there is a way through that means life for us and all creation.

I look forward to sharing with you on this journey.