March 16, 2011

Today’s Reading:

John 2:23-3:15

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing.But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone. Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “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. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

Things like this are happening all over town these days….

And this!

And still quite a bit of this…

As I was driving around yesterday and seeing so many signs of new life it was hard to believe it was almost spring in the windy torrential rain.  Seems as though the world is at odds right now.  How can there be pink buds in the midst of grey? How can we be joyful when japan is under water?  How can God be present when nuclear threats loom large in part of the world?  How can we eat like we are feasting when people are starving?  How can we….? And the list goes on.

I find great hope in the fact that I see daffodils blooming right now.  I know many of you are the same way.  I see great hope in the little buds that are popping out from my pruned pear tree.  New life is coming.  God is bigger than all of the other stuff.  We need the gloom and grey right now to see a lush Spring.  I don’t have any answers for the other pieces but I can keep working and praying and learning along the way.

Nicodemus was an extremely learned man and in the darkness he still sought out a teacher.  When Jesus told him that he could be reborn…infused with new life…he was skeptical.  How could this be? It’s impossible and yet completely possible to start anew.  We are given those chances along the way.  Nature physically reminds us of new life and rebirth by the buds peeking out even if it seems early…there’s hope.

Today pray for our brothers and sisters in Japan.  Pray for those without food, shelter, a loving supportive system.  Pray for new life in abundance.  And if nothing else just show up and pray for presence. Amen.



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