March 5 - April 23, 2017.
This is going to be a beautiful Lent worship series. We will look at wandering in our deserts -- about finding new things, God, direction, gifts, and new life in the midst of what we think is dead, despairing, lost, empty. Not all who wander are lost.
Artwork by Elspeth McLean
Sometimes we have to leave Base Camp and go into the desert -- literally or metaphorically. Not all who wander are lost.
The Israelites leave slavery in Egypt. It's exciting! Freedom! They camp — and there's no water. Or at least it seems like there's no water. They panic. They get angry. It's natural; that's being human. But God says, "No, there's water.
In fact, there's a vineyard in the desert…" Bring your Lent Rock!
We feel a calling, a stirring. Maybe it's from God, maybe it's not. Who knows? We feel fear, excitement, hope -- but what will this mean? What might change? What might come to life? Let's enter the path together and our ancestors Abram and Sarai can lead. Who knows what might happen? I mean, I hate that, but, whatever. ;-)
We're still in the desert but we're planting intentions about asking God for willingness: to have faith when we have little faith, to have hope when we have little hope, to just keep walking — and to rest when needed. We're going to experience Psalm 23 differently than you have before — and many different voices will be part of our gathering.
The valley in the Ezekiel story for this week is often referred to as the place of the dry bones, but it's really a place of resurrection. Now it’s halfway through Lent and deep into the desert, into a valley, and I don't usually expect any resurrection; I just expect more death and dryness and loss. I am, of course, wrong.
Jesus' parade into Jerusalem is about choice and clarity and focus and intention. What follows is consequence. It radiates out of him. What is radiating out of your choices? God is... What are you and God collaborating on — or haven't you noticed?
The theme: oasis. It's a celebration — and a reassurance — that in the midst of the desert, there is water and new life. Jesus' followers felt hopeless; they were mistaken.
Today we practice what Jesus taught us by serving in our community.