Come and See

Daily reading: John 11:1-44
“Where have you laid him?” “Come and see”
Come and see, the very words Jesus uses to invite curious minds and souls into his community that turns our world up-side-down into resurrection living … “Come and see” spoken almost as an invitation for Jesus to do the impossible, offering the words that perhaps they do not realize usher in yet another moment that will surprise us.
Words of invitation that came from Jesus now come from them, “come and see.”
As they approach the tomb and Jesus requests that it be opened Martha replies “Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days.”
Something is going to stink … I can only imagine that Mary and Martha and the entire community are stuck … Death is death Why open the tomb? It’s only going to smell … Why make it worse? Why didn’t you just come when we called? Yet you chose to wait, to abide where you couldn’t help …
Grief can bring out really strange behaviors … Family strife bubbles up and over Dysfunction seems to get highl…

Death and life

Daily reading: John 11:1-44
In this earthy moment of incarnation, with tears, chest heaving, with painful inhalations, Jesus weeps and joins the community in their moment of loss.
While resurrection will come, Jesus makes space for a pause, because our world is full of death and life moments. We need to know that God is fully present in them all, not just at the celebrations, when everything is going right, When there is joy in the room, And love and light and laughter And enough good wine to keep the party going … But when we are covered in the darkness of uncertainty and death … In those life or death moments of waiting for a diagnosis in a space of what ifs Or living into the diagnosis, when the what ifs take on flesh and blood, Or in the moment of great loss; we need to know that we are not alone, We need to have the faith that the psalmist has: “where can I go from your spirit where can I flee from your presence? … If I went to heaven you would be there.If I went down to the grave, you would…

John 3:16

Daily reading: John 3:1-21
“God so loved the world…” because we are prone to perish in this world.  While some see this passage as one that speaks to the afterlife, let us not miss the beauty of John’s gospel.  He often has double meanings to his statements, if not more than just two.  The well of wisdom present here is deep and life changing.  Let us not forget, after all, we are in the midst of a life changing conversation that Jesus has with a religious leader of his time.  This passage expands our understanding to see eternal life as something that is available to us now, not only after death.  It is a new way of life found in the gracious, abundant love of God!

Prayer: God help me to love the world in the expansive, inclusive, all out way that you do.  Blow through the hardened parts of my life, and break down the areas that have become ridged.   Amen.

Wind of the Spirit

Daily reading: John 3:1-21
Nicodemus reminds us all that times we are confused or at least stumbling through or over our own preconceived notions about how God works in our world and who God is.  We all, at times, get stuck on only seeing or understanding things one way and place our world and our view points into nice little boxes. 
What Jesus is trying to explain or teach Nicodemus is that this new understanding happens not on our own, but it happens when the Spirit of God comes and blows through our preconceived notions, knocking our boxes that we place God in open and over.
Here is the visual that all El Pasoans can understand.  Jesus says that “God’s spirit blows wherever it wishes.  You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it is going.”  Even if you can’t comprehend what I am saying, try to experience it, just like you do the wind.
Since injuring my elbow I have begun hiking numerous times a week.  My dog, Ainsely, and I usually do a three hill trek that is about three miles lo…

Expanding our thinking

Daily reading: John 3:1-21
Those who have young children in the home, know that after the kids are in bed, you are able to get much more work done than when they are awake.  Night time offers for us a contrast from our day, it is a time when things seem to slow and quiet down.  It might be the time of the day that you think best, or that you take to spend time with God.
It is under the cover of night that a peculiar dialogue takes place between these two religious minds.  Nicodemus comes to Jesus because of what he has seen Jesus do and he is trying to figure out how what he is doing matches up with his own understanding of God and the words of scripture that he already knows very well.  You see Nicodemus is a teacher himself, someone who not only knows what scripture says, he also teaches it to others.  So he comes to Jesus with sincere, honest questions.  Through their dialogue, a couple of themes emerge; one is centered upon change and expanding our understanding.  We wonder alongsid…

Water and Spirit

Daily reading: John 3:1-21
Today’s passage of scripture contains one of the most well known verses in the Bible.  It is rich with imagery and concepts, comparisons and contrasts, questions and more questions.
The chapter is set into motion under the cover of night, with a Pharisee named Nicodemus seeking out Jesus because he believes that Jesus has been sent from God. 
Incarnation is all about connecting the human to the divine.  The gospel writer John bridges the cosmic with the ordinary throughout his gospel.  It is as if John is elongating the Genesis prologue by reminding us that creation is infused with God’s presence.  The imagery of wind or Spirit that brooded over the watery chaos of creation continues to manifest itself through the beginning of John’s gospel. In the first chapter, John the Baptist is baptizing people with water in the Jordan River.  In chapter two, Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding at Cana and in chapter three, water and the Spirit are linked and set i…

Incarnation matters

Daily reading: John 2:13-25
Through the gospel writer John, we realize that God is indeed present in the ordinary, flesh and blood moments of life, reminding us that incarnation matters.  It is what sets us apart from our Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters.  We actually believe that God desired to be one of us.  We believe that God desires to dwell in and among us. We witness to the deep love God has for all of creation not just with our words, but also through our bodies with our actions.  We are called to embody it, to seek out and embody grace, love, forgiveness, and justice because Christ has embodied it for you and for me.  Christ has come to show us a new way of living, one that pulls us out of systems and ways that allow us to remain in darkness and sin. Christ teaches us that God isn’t confined by bricks and mortar.  God is present out in our world and it is up to us to willingly and consciously seek God out.  We are called to go and to partner with others in God’s work in ou…