March 12, 2017
Repent, Rebirth, Reconcile, Rejoice, Redemption, Restore
Genesis 12:1-4a (1-2)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Psalm 121 (1-5)
I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
Romans 4:1-5; 13-17 (13, 16-17)
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith…For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in who he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
John 3:1-17 (3-5, 16-17)
Jesus answered him (Nicodemus), “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old?” Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Just as the rest of creation, so too are we blessed with possibility and in the possibility, we have opportunity for growth, to be healthier, to let our souls shine through our outward appearance—to be created anew. And as we mediate the dialogical battles in our minds, we can be assured that there is newness and possibility in each day. Just as the chrysalis, we are in process.
God has seen you and you are good.
Walden, “Where I Was and What I Lived For”
Henry David Thoreau
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself…I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best thing which I did.
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night…That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way.
All memorable events, I should say, transpire in the morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, “All intelligences awake with the morning.”…It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.
“How Can It Be?”
Text, Mark Ryman (2005)
Tune, “ROSSETTI,” by W. Jeater (1907)
There was a man—a ruling Jew—
Who came to Jesus, saying secretly:
A man cannot go back into the womb.
How can it be?
Nicodemus would teach Jesus.
Christ turned the table on this Pharisee:
You must be born again; so readjust!
How can it be?
You must be born of the water
And of the Spirit too—why can’t you see?—
If you would be His son or His daughter.
How can it be?
Are we children of God above
Or do we teach Him like a Pharisee?
Will we come out into the light of love?
Will we believe?