Friday, March 10 2023
The Journey Onward – Toward Love and Healing
The season of Lent is indeed a time to reflect on our journey together with Christ to Gethsemane and ultimately to the cross. We have been called to spend quiet time both alone and in community to deepen our relationship with Jesus – to bring him into the center of our lives. What does it mean to be in relationship with Jesus? Fr. Duncan had us ponder that question in his sermon just this past Sunday. Perhaps you have felt dry – disconnected even parched. I would like to suggest as we continue our Lenten journeys that we look for moments to quench our thirst as we spend time with Jesus in the wilderness.
The lectionary this week invites us to accompany Moses as he guided the whole congregation of Israelites through the desert. No water to drink – the people became tired, irritable. They quarreled among themselves. Why did you take us out of Egypt? Such short memories they had – Egypt was not a safe place! Give us water, they cried! Moses, frustrated beyond our capacity to comprehend cries out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people?” Can you imagine accompaniment on such a strenuous passage?
Our own Lenten journey is nothing like this. In our attempts to grow closer to God – to Jesus, I pray that none of us has reached that kind of bottom – the bottom the Israelites experienced. The bottom so many migrants and asylum seekers reach when they journey beyond what they know – terror and fear for their lives, food insecurity, lack of water and other basic survival resources. But the journeys they take are often just as dangerous as what they have left behind.
We all thirst – we thirst for renewed minds, renewed spirits, for forgiveness of our sins. Our Psalm reminds us that the Lord is a great God – but it also asks us not to harden our hearts like our “forebears did in the wilderness…” How do we grow in love? Paul reminds us that “suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
It is time for us all to open our hearts to Jesus. That is just what he wanted from the woman at the well – that she open her heart to him. Just like peeling the layers off an onion to get to the center or even peeling off the petals of a rose to get to its heart, Jesus had to peel off the layers of resistance and bias in this woman to allow – to enable her to accept his offering of living water. Jesus thirsted for her faith and he thirsts for ours also.
Please join with me in welcoming The Rev. David Chavez, Canon for Border Ministries from the Diocese of Arizona. He will preach on these scriptures on Sunday at both of our services. What an honor it is for us to be able to host him!
Please also join us on Saturday, March 11th for our Lenten Quiet day, hosted by our Spirituality Group. Fr. Chavez will speak from his deep experiences of the many challenges we as humans face in our world today – a world that feels so broken. And yet – there is hope. “Hope and Healing for a Broken World”
Beauty for brokenness
God of the poor
Growing together in Christ,