Friday, January 17, 2014

Let it be

Last week we heard the story about Jesus' baptism.  When Jesus walked up to John the Baptist, John hesitated to proceed with the baptism -- John had some ideas about Jesus' identity, and about Jesus' role in the future.  They could have stood there in that moment and debated about what course of action to take, but Jesus responded with a statement about "now" (the present moment they both occupied

 “‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us to in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’” Then John consented.  “Let it be so now,” is the mark of the new beginning.  Similar to January first, similar to that new year’s resolution, similar to that dreaming or thinking about change or starting over, nothing happens until we say: “Let is be so now.”  It is the move toward a new future.  For Jesus it would mean his baptism into his reason for coming, to be the Messiah for the world.  (From Pastor Randy's sermon 2/11-12)

From Pamela:  

Those words-- Let it be--unleash power.  Whether they are spoken by God, or by Mary, Mother of God, or Jesus or John the Baptist or by you or by me, "Let it be so" says that we are willing to acknowledge what is going on right now.  Sometimes we can't move forward along the path of transformation unless we state our awareness of what is really happening NOW.  Oh, sure, we can move forward with our own set of expectations.  We can manipulate our understanding and try to create our own future according to our own agenda.  

However -- God invites us to let God be God and to let God guide and support us as we move along the path which is God's intention for our future.  

And it all begins with looking honestly at where we are and what is going on around and within us and saying "Let it be so".  

Nothing will happen (in terms of ongoing transformation) until you say those words.  They acknowledge your willingness to move from where you are (with God) to where God can take you.  

Let it be.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Consider the power of the Christmas story: the amazing depths and breadth and heights to which God's love for us will go. We feel the echoes of that love every time we peer into that dimly lit stable.  And, sometimes in the process, the Light of the World is born again in us. Then we have the joy of being granted the right to become the children of God.   (From Pastor Randy's Sermon on January 4-5 2014)

From Pamela:  I have spent the last couple of days beginning to take down my Christmas decorations.    I still love having a "real" Christmas tree and "real" flowers and greenery.  These real decorations need to be watered regularly and lavishly whenever they are inside.  (Otherwise they become fire hazards).   Even with care, they only last for a few weeks, at most.  Finally they wilt, dry out and need to be discarded.  They require more fuss, and they create much more muss than artificial decorations, but the fragrance they emit has never been replicated by aroma therapy.   Furthermore, I have just enough of a stubborn streak in me that I resist the convenience of the artificial Christmas decor.  

I am reminded by Pastor Randy's words of the stubborn nature of God's love for us.  Nomatter how life wears us down throughout the year, the emergence (anew) of God's love in Christ effectively meets our every need.  On the other hand, some of us may have had a year of abundance -- we may have entered December rooted in sophistication or the complexity of what we are "able" to do with our intellect, energy and sense of control.   Even then,  the simple gift of God's love in Christ trumps and transcends any abundance that the world or our human power produced since Christmas 2012.  

As children of God, we are filled to the brim of our being.  We are saturated with everything we need to know about what is true and lasting.  God's gift is REAL, and ABIDING.  Everything that we accumulate on our own is in some way artificial.  Even if our accumulations seem to enhance the quality of our life, they will eventually become worn out, used up or discarded.  

What did you receive this Christmas that is real?  What did you receive that is artificial?  How will you respond?  How will you stay close to the source of life so that what is REAL can be nourished and protected?