This Sunday marks the second Sunday in Lent. The Grace with Promise team will have participated in the Family Promise Emerald City 5K. Sunday will mark the last day of February. We are already two months into 2021! People are getting their vaccinations slowly but surely and we are seeing an increase in our in-person worship services.
While the weather is still cooler, we are beginning to have more days that hit temperatures in the seventies and on Sunday it is forecasted to be in the low eighties. Spring is on its way and with it the promise that the world will burst forth with green and all manner of flowers will begin to bloom. It won’t be long when we will begin to feel the sun’s warmth in the air. The days are getting longer, and we are fast approaching the time when we will spring forward one hour at midnight on March 14. Before we know it, we will be celebrating Easter!
It seems we have lived through a winter season that began a year ago at this time when we started to hear about the shutdowns that were coming. We have lived through what may be the worst of the pandemic…at least I hope and pray that is true.
We have learned that we can do hard things. We are adaptable. And yet I wonder if we aren’t sometimes a little like Peter when Jesus began to teach that the time was coming when he, Jesus, would be rejected, suffer greatly, and be killed. Peter doesn’t want to hear what Jesus is saying to him and the other disciples and so takes him aside to rebuke Jesus. Peter has set his mind firmly in the land of human thought and Jesus tells him as much.
Too many of us set our minds firmly in human thinking and we ignore the beauty of the world we could have if we were to all recognize that human thinking falls far short. Human thinking is not transformative, it is not loving to all people, and it certainly doesn’t recognize the worth of every human being on the face of this earth as we discriminate against those who don’t look like us or act like us or even live like us.
How much better would our world be if we would only acknowledge the shortcomings of our human thinking and instead lean into the divine thinking of God? How much better if we valued each person and stopped thinking in terms of “them” and “us?”
On this last day of February, I will also be talking a little about the work of Michelle Alexander as we continue to highlight persons who have worked on behalf of our African American brothers and sisters. She is a civil rights litigator and legal scholar who wrote the book, “The New Jim Crow” which is a book about race-related issues and focuses on the issue of mass incarceration. I encourage you to click this link for her speech given at Union Theological Seminary to hear some of the work she is and has done.
This Sunday, I hope you join us in worship either on-line or in person, as we explore what it means to lean into divine thinking and leave our human thinking behind. It can be a little scary to leave what we know, what we believe, what we are comfortable with, or even what we want to see happen and instead lean into the inscrutable and mysterious depth of God and God’s wisdom. If you catch yourself saying: that seems too hard.
May I point to this past year, a year that has shown us we can indeed do hard things.
Please pray for me and everyone who helps to lead worship each Sunday. I look forward to seeing you or reading your comments on-line.