Catch up on Touchpoints from Spirit in the Desert faith mentor, Rev. “Bro. Jim” Hanson.
Grace and peace from the Mystery in whom we live and move and have our being. If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread;” Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. The Israelites, freed from slavery, come face to face with freedom and what do they do? They pray to God that they could be…
Willingness allows us to be co-laborers with a power that is greater than ourselves. It is the ‘God causing’ of all things to work together in Romans 8:28! In Greek it’s called synergeo. My willingness combined with God’s power.
Jesus knows the trap that comes with having many followers. Because of the wilderness, he knows the danger and allure of popularity and power. He knows the importance of taking moments in a deserted place to be reminded of our true identity.
I am, just like Herod, deeply invested and complicitly enmeshed in saving face.
To shake off the dust you’ve picked up following Jesus is to leave something holy behind. Dare we hope – as we leave a place where we are not welcome – to leave behind a little peace, a little joy, to leave a tinge of compassion hanging in the air?
Think of how much of American Christianity has focused on staying pure, maintaining righteousness, showing oneself as blameless? HAH! What a joke. The only way I can stay pure, maintain righteousness and appear blameless is by the constant touching and being touched by the Mystery who came to call the sinners, the unrighteous.
And perhaps that can give us a different perspective on the disciple’s cry, “Do you not care that we are about to perish?” The disciple’s cry speaks to more than a storm on a lake. It is the cry of all who go with Jesus, who follow Jesus to the other side. And while Jesus does calm the storm, perhaps their perishing is exactly what needs to happen.
The seeding is ongoing. Driven by the wind, the Spirit… and carried by those who may not even be aware they are carrying it. And our task, is not to figure it out, but to live in it, nest in it, and grow in it. The Mystery it seems, just won’t stop planting the seed of the kingdom inside us and around us.
You see, for Jesus, the Holy Spirit is not something you can name and claim. It is so far beyond you and me that no family or religious system can contain it. It is free to blow wherever it will and it catches up all kinds of people in its presence.
Let’s not make the mistake with this text of trying to move from one certainty to another. That is just moving from the frying pan into the fire. No, the move is from certainty to mystery. That is why the analogies are birth and wind.
Grace and peace from the Mystery in whom we live and move and have our being. … we hear, each of us, in our own native language.” Acts 2: 1-21 The Pentecost story from the book of Acts is such a story in contrasts. The disciples, hiding in fear, wanting to be isolated, are thrust out into the world with a big spotlight on them. The peoples of the world, separated by language and culture, are now united in a…
To say our lives witness TO God, then, does not depend on our acceptance, approval, or agreement. It does not depend on our readiness or responsiveness. It doesn’t depend on our oratory or persuasive skills, and it doesn’t depend on me making you into anythinG.