Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday following Ash Wednesday

Psalm 30      Deuteronomy 7:17-26      Titus 3:1-15      John 1:43-51          

“Do not be terrified by them for the Lord your God who is among you is a great and awesome God.” (Deuteronomy 7:21)

      In today’s world there is much to be terrified by. War and the horrific acts of terrorism; the kidnapping and murder of innocent journalists and aid workers; violence in our streets directly involving those who are meant to serve and protect; death and despair along our borders; sexual violence and death among our bright young college students, and more. How do we handle the intensity of all of this? What future does this leave for our children and grandchildren?
         Yet in the scriptures we find hope and the beginning of an answer.
        The psalmist sings God’s praises for being “lifted out of the depths.” In the readings we are assured that God is among us and that our enemies will be destroyed. We are told that we are saved through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit and we are called to do good; to be peaceable and gentle toward one another.
          It is challenging and difficult to not give in to our fears, to be peaceable and gentle, to have hope.
          Jesus finds Philip and says “follow me” and Philip does. Philip finds Nathanel and says “come and see.” If we, like Philip and Nathanel, can “come and see.” follow Jesus, and have faith then in spite of all that there is to be terrified about, we will see great things and hope shall remain alive and well in our world.

Terrified                                              Sitting with fear
Nowhere to turn                                 Waiting for God
No coming out of                                Letting go—God is among us
Despair and pain                                  Opening ourselves to faith
Where is our God?                               Following Jesus
The God of our youth                         Washed in the Holy Spirit
With a belief in goodness?                   A belief in Hope.

—Anne Cressin

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