For Sunday, March 20, 2011
Second Sunday in Lent
I’ve never seen the Teton Mountains with my own eyes but as a family we’re going there this summer. We’re looking forward to where we want to be.
Where we as believers want to be is in the kingdom of God. I often wish I could do a better job conveying to those within my circles of influence what it’s really like to look forward to this. It’s a place of peace, opportunity, justice, and hope. What a contrast to the strife, limitation, injustice and frustration in which we so often find ourselves mired. If a person was so inclined, how would they move from where they are to this kingdom? This is what this week’s readings are about.
First, where does God want us to be? In Genesis 12, God says to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Where Abraham was might have been very familiar and comfortable but it wasn’t the place he was supposed to be. The journey of Christian faith starts just this simply. God is there and he says to us, “Leave, and go to the land I will show you.”
Second, to what kind of land is God inviting us? It’s a place in which the help we need comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2). “But I don’t need help and I don’t want help,” you say. Ah hem … so you want to sort out the Tsunami of your life on your own? How realistic is that? There is a God who can watch over you and keep you from all harm, if not completely in this life, then most certainly in the next. He’s waiting for you to look up and cry out, “Help!”
Third, how does one enter this land? The only way is to be born spiritually from above: “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born from above” (John 3:3). Other translations read “born again”. The bottom line is this: entering the kingdom of God requires a spiritual birth. Yet again, for this to happen, God waits only for us to ask.
To my readers who have not yet embarked I invite you today to join me on this fantastic journey of faith. I can tell you from personal experience (even though I’m still on the journey): this is the place you want to be.