Should we wait for someone else?

IMG_0225I have to say, John the Baptist’s questions for Jesus make a lot of sense to me this week. “Things are really not working out so well, not matter how high we go, no matter how much hope we cling to, no matter how we elevate what is just, things are really falling apart around here, especially for those with the most to lose. Are you sure you’re the one Jesus? Are you sure you’re the way? Should we wait for another?” (Luke 7:18-35, Narrative Lectionary for 2/12/17)

Clearly, I’m paraphrasing a bit, but JB is straight outta jail and he’s not seeing the kind of progress he expected when he dipped Jesus in the Jordan and I would be lying if I sometimes didn’t have some of the same questions for Jesus myself. And so, as I prepare to preach and discuss this text with my people I’m beginning with this confession (& blessing):

We Tell The Truth About Ourselves

To tell you the truth this is harder than we thought

This “way” of Jesus,

It’s hard and uncomfortable

To be faced with the complexity of human life

To realize our friends and enemies cannot be separated into such easy categories

To find out that real life-giving relationships take work

And grace

And forgiveness

That no matter how old we get

Failure humiliates us

Risk-taking is scary

And yet, you keep calling to us,

“Come, follow me.”

You keep calling

and still there is no guarantee that if we give our life, our hearts, our trust to you O God

That we will always be happy

That we will have all the answers

That we will finally experience deep peace.

In fact, the opposite is often true.

Hold us tight in this unsettling time,

Hold us tight in this uncertain space,

Forgive us when we can’t see you

when we dare ask the question,

“Is it really you O God? Or should we wait for another?”

Remind us O God, who we are

And whose we are.

 

God Blesses and Forgives Us

It’s true

This human/divine creature sent to

Teach us how to live,

How to love God and one another

Doesn’t promise us

That the “way” will be easy

Or provide us peace-of-mind

Or a failure-free life.

Instead this renegade

People-loving

Bread-eating

Wine drinking

Character we call

God’s beloved

Promises us this:

If you dare to wake up,

If you dare to grow up in

Love and grace,

If you dare to take up the plight

Of the broken-hearted and vulnerable,

If you dare to claim your own belovedness,

If you dare to claim your own worth,

If you dare to see me in every human you encounter,

If you dare to give up the illusion of success for the life of a disciple,

If you dare to risk your pride for the sake of restoration,

If you dare to love your neighbor, then you will find yourself

Already on the “way,”

Already forgiven,

already free.

(58)

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