A Meditation for March 12, 2017

Please read today’s Scripture

A new future. A new direction.
• Genesis 12:1-4a  •
• Psalm 121  •
• Romans 4:1-5, 13-17  •
• John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9

How many times do you, (we) find ourselves packing up and moving on? In the Genesis passage that is exactly where Abram found himself.

A new future. A new direction.

A few years ago that is where I found myself. I began writing about it on line as I purchased a gutted Airstream trailer, upgraded my laptop and began the voyage that would eventually take me to 40 states and a number of Canadian Provinces. There were snow storms, floods, heat waves and faces of people I never knew existed. There were buildings, streets, natural moments that would overcome my sensibility. In all things the journey became a time of discovery https://www.facebook.com/pg/JointheJourneytoDiscovery/posts/?ref=page_internal

The Psalmist speaks about the Lord being the keeper of the way. Perhaps when experiencing the devilish pressures of something like sarcoidosis it becomes easy to get lost in the moments of overwhelming pain. It takes something really powerful to wake one up, to see there are different realities.

This morning I received an email highlighting a song. It is worth listening to especially because of the journey this young man has traveled.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/JointheJourneytoDiscovery/posts/?ref=page_internal Paul Cauthen integrates life experiences with the presence of the Gospel. Indeed, it is as if the words of the Psalmist is echoed not as something a person goes in search of but is something that engulfs the journey. The Gospel is present despite our walk. There is no turning to the right, to the left, no stepping away or running from. The Gospel is as present as the light of the day and the moon at night. There is a peacefulness in the soul to know this kind of reality. When all is said and done the grace of God is not contingent on our activity, our efforts to “fix” life. It is simply to accept Grace as a way of life. The Apostle Paul (Romans 4:5) identifies this as the work of God. A righteousness we can lean on. Wynonna sings about this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtCwb5D1uag in the song, Things that I lean On.

Jesus found himself confronted by a teacher of Israel. The discussion turns to spirituality. The imagery turns to experiencing a change in one’s person. Is it possible a person could somehow experience the necessary change to become a “whole” new person? Could they climb back into the womb and come out new. Years ago a group of us took this as a challenge and sought to see what could be done in a person’s life. We began a project to seek change in the live’s of young people who had become hardened by living on the street. They were both victim’s and victimizers of violence, addictions, misplaced priorities/directions and other forms of negative life experiences. We talked about the human gestation and developmental experiences that had taken wrong turns along the way. Through the use of volunteers, trained staff and creative community programming we nurtured turning points smothered in grace. This I believe is what Jesus was talking about. A person can have their life turned around. Even lives affected by the physical attacks of illness, the emotional attacks of instability, the waywardness of misunderstood and misdirected choices can enter the womb of the spirit and be changed. Grace can and will be sufficient.

In the liturgy of the church, today is known as Transfiguration Sunday. Matthew tells the story about an invasion of a somewhat strange and perhaps bizarre experience. Jesus takes a few of the disciples with Him to a mountain top. The voice of God is heard. An unsolicited moment happened. A transformation happened. The disciples life direction changed. They were no longer about trying to fix the world, they now had a message from God. They would become apostles. They would be sent to declare the good news of Grace.

This all has bearing on each of our lives. Every time we reflect on the changes, on and in our own lives, we can see it as a bit of us being born anew. Each time we are used to touch the world around us it becomes a part of our world being born anew.

The following pieces of music help us to grasp the gentleness of this process:

Here I am Lord
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GINNh15cT08

Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI1Gst7pEqc

Come Holy Spirit I need you

May the Grace of God, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit anoint you from on high in your presence with others. Amen.

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