I love sunsets. I’ve always felt they were prettier after many years of driving at both ends of the day. Reorienting to a New Day starting at Sunset also gives me time to reflect. At this hour, I’m not in a hurry and can learn. I will rest, not from the day behind, but for the day ahead. In beauty…
John 3:3-5 proved to be a difficult task to explain for the intern pastor. He spent most of the sermon discussing how confusing this passage was.
Bible Gateway has this:
New International Version (NIV)
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
To me, explaining the power of the Spirit is easy.
You see someone’s smile, you hear their kind voice. You feel the warmth of their skin as you share a touch. Your brain has no understanding of this except through the energy transferred by nerve impulses into various areas of the brain. Your body can generate energy that is read by machines.
Okay. lets get practical. Jesus also uses the metaphor of the wind a little later in this passage. “You do not know where it comes from or where it is going…,” Jesus said a few verses later.
If I throw you a beach ball, can you catch it? Can you throw it back to me? Can you see it and feel it? How do you know?
Good. If I throw you a ping-pong ball, can you catch it, throw it back to me, see it and feel it? How do you know?
Good. Let’s get smaller… how about a peppercorn? How do you know?
Smaller still… how about a mustard seed? How do you know?
There are smaller things that we can’t see until they’re under microscopes. Wait… Don’t you know?
Yes, you do…you feel the wind as it touches you and passes by… What you feel, and what you see in the effect of the wind as it moves objects in its path, is the movement of many small atomic particles. If they weren’t there, you would feel nothing.
You can’t catch the wind and throw it back – well, maybe you can, you just wouldn’t know whether or where you threw it.
So, where am I when it comes to tying all this together? The Spirit of God is the energy God has created to power us, to power change, to make a difference in this world. That question I asked above, “How do you know?” makes all the difference in being Born of the Spirit. You don’t know because someone tells you – you know because you’ve experienced it. You know the power of God, and that He exists.
Jesus said, “Where two or more of you are gathered, there I am in the midst.” Mt. 18:20
He also said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it is yours.” Mark 11:24
Prayer, for the believer, is a special gift. Like other skills that we learn, our knowledge of God and how He works gives us a special confidence in Him. It takes experience with Him to know that your prayer is powerful and that concentrated prayer is even more so. Scientifically, when energy is focused, it holds more strength and power. Prayer also is sometimes answered in years instead of days or hours, or instantaneously. Is it any wonder that Jesus would speak of these things?
As you explore the supernatural, you may just find yourself returning to the One who told it all… our Creator and our Lord.
Finally, If you aren’t “there” yet, don’t worry. Touch God, and you will touch eternity.
You may be facing yet more cold and snowy weather today… or due tomorrow. *Sigh*
Most of us are very tired of the Winter of 2014. It has been an up and down battle for many of us, dealing with the cold or clearing snow over and over again.
It makes me want to simply snuggle up instead of braving the roads, and I’m awfully glad I don’t have to drive for a living anymore.
That doesn’t negate the need to be very prepared for winter driving. Clearing snow is a given. Warming the vehicle to ready it for driving down the road is a given. Driving on slippery roads isn’t. Are you facing the prospect of getting caught on a slippery surface? Here are tips from someone who has driven a bus for 15 years…
1) Start out earlier, if you can. More time to get where you’re going will allow you to make informed choices. Avoid “rush hour” – going over plowed secondary roads will be faster and less prone to accidents than the main roads if potentially slippery weather is predicted to roll through the area.
2) Decide on routes that will give you more “go power.” If you can avoid the street with the huge hill, do so (If you live on the street with the huge hill, you’ve already learned to park somewhere else if you need to get somewhere). Avoid unplowed streets. If you must drive on an incline, make sure you’ve got sand, salt, or kitty litter in your car, preferably giving you extra weight over the wheels. Plan to move steadily from one point to another and don’t stop on the incline.
3) Shift your transmission to S or first gear. You will have more ability to control the car in slippery situations.
4) Finally, go slowly. Speed is the major factor in a slide when you realize you have no traction.
And, just because you’re reading this… you have my prayers for your safety. Blessings! Karen
The working title for Ash Wednesday’s sermon was “The widow’s might.”
My inward editor cringed.
How could this happen? Word strikes again, correcting a spelling to something more “normal.” I said nothing to anyone, because it was already published in several places, and broadcast. There was no way to bring back the embarrassment of the obvious mistake.
It should be “MITE”…who’s in charge here?
The pastor began the sermon after reading the verse about the poor widow who only had two coins. All she had to give, she gave, and Jesus praised her, for she put in all she had.
“Most of you would think this sermon text is more suitable to Consecration Sunday,” he thundered.
“No,” he said gently. “This is not about how much you should give, or what you should give.”
The sermon turned out to be about commitment and love. The bulletin described the title as “Widow’s Row” and he began to tell us about the pews full of widows who were dedicated to their service to the community. Bound together by their common bond, they spent their days in the church, together. Meals for the grieving, quilt guilds, raising funds, holding clothing drives and on and on.
The temple didn’t care how much she gave. No one noticed her gift except our Lord.
The widow’s love for God, to further the purpose of the community, and her commitment was the point the Lord wanted to make. The same point that He himself would prove in his love for us, by taking up the cross.
Yes, our widow was Mighty!
Appropriately titled after all.
The rainbow has a special significance as a symbol of peace from God, given to Noah after the rain. Noah spent 6 months dealing with the rain and floods. From Genesis 7…24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
So… How special is it, that on a clear day, the implicit promise of the colors of the rainbow show in the sunset of a clear day?
Listening to God can give some special insight! May He bless you richly this lenten season…
I loved my walk last evening (March 3rd, 2014). Freezing, but worth the promise of a sunny day. I added one in our header photo. I’ll keep changing that one since I have several that I love enough to put up there. Do plan to visit again!