Salvation in the Mud

December 22, 2015

Today we had a really tough morning. I think my children can sense the anticipation and excitement as we come into Christmas, because they were wild. We all had our fair number of tantrums, so finally I got everyone to put their shoes on and we went outside for a walk around the neighborhood.

The boys ran most of the block and enjoyed listening to all the noises of the traffic, and pointing out all of the various trucks along the street.

It rained this morning and we came upon a huge puddle which the boys became quite aquatinted with. They giggled, jumped, ran, and splashed as I enjoyed the first ten minutes of peace of the morning. As I was taking pictures I began to reflect on how this moment had saved our morning. This muddy puddle had made our chaotic, tense, tantrum filled morning into a memory as we found our joy again.

I found my joy again. Because being a Christ follower means the joy I have is always accessible, but can easily be forgotten in the muck of worry, stress, frustration, and anticipation.

I read recently that the term salvation really refers to a momentary experience. Both in the Hebrew and Greek salvation is often used to mean to be saved momentarily from a dire circumstance.

How appropriate to have our mud puddle of salvation point us to Christmas. The earthiness of our saving grace is echoed from the earthiness of our eternal saving grace found in the Nativity Scene. We find our joy in our saving moments as we live our life, as well as in the saving moments of the Nativity scene.

Salvation is a both/and experience and it is a good reminder to live in the moment as well as to hope for what is to come.

Like our mud puddle we find joy in what we are given as well as hope for another rainy spring like day for the future.

20151221-184605.jpg

Advertisements

Roots

February 17, 2013

I love trees. My favorite kind of trees are weeping willows. They give such an expressive impression to this world with there shrugs and sorrow. I would LOVE to go see the red woods out in California! Ilike trees because they demonstrate a history while still remaining within the present. They are a powerful understatement within Creation.

With the start of Lent I started reading some scripture and stumbled into Psalm 1. I have read it many times before but was caught by the image it presents of a tree that is rooted within The Lord. A tree that is “planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”

What a powerful image as we enter into Lent. We have the ability to be planted within the word in such a way that we grow, and produce life! The Lord is life and when we are planted firmly in his word, his church, and his history we prosper and offer beautiful life to the world around us.

As Waylon and I make our journey into the Anglican tradition I reflect on something I heard from an Anglican podcast. The priest was talking about his experience with scripture and how as he grew in his faith, and had fellowship with other believers he realized that scripture is life changing.

Scripture can bring life, and transform, and breath. It can change hearts and lives and whole people. Scripture is a sacrament. It is a grace bestowed to us, so that we will be fruitful and experience this ever growing life.

The challenge is rooting ourselves in this sacrament and experiencing “delight in the law of The Lord”

As we enter into Lent, and we study scripture we may have read before, instead of skimming over it let that scripture invade our lives.

Let us be rooted within The Lord. We get the opportunity to be rooted within the history of Creation, while being present within our own world. While cars go zooming by, while we drink coffee, while our hearts are dismayed or filled with joy, while we invest in relationships and struggle with our purpose we get to be rooted within the history of Creation and the Creator.

As we become rooted within the presence of this sacrament, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the life that is happening all around you through the work of The Lord.

The Gospel, IRL

October 12, 2012

I had a conversation at work with someone that spurred me into reflecting what sharing the Gospel, in real life, really looks like.

One of my coworkers has a family member who is very oppressive with his Christianity. This oppressive attitude has turned her off towards Christians. I told her what I had learned the last three years of my life, that the Jesus I know, is more about freedom then oppression. The Jesus I have gotten to know of late, is more concerned with loving broken, tired, weary, and sorrowful people. The Jesus I know is really concerned with spreading a freedom that allows us to throw our burdens off of our backs.

The Jesus I have gotten to know is more interested in the really dark places of my heart than in tearing it a part of put it back together again.

I shared this with my co worker. The Gospel is meant to be GOOD news! When I lose my grasp of this fact, the oppression of my baggage drags me down. Even the gifts God has blessed me with become oppressive.

When I lose sight of the good news that Jesus is offering I get bogged down in the day in and day out life.

Even the “truth” becomes oppressive to many people, which is why it’s more important to hang onto the Holy Spirit than any doctrine.

Oppression takes many forms and can be overwhelming and burdensome. But Jesus comes along and sets us free by walking with us in our darkness and by taking on our heavy burdens.

That is the Gospel IRL.