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Wonder, Water and Word

In a world and time that seems fraught with ever expanding chaos, fear, and upheaval we read Mark 1:4-11 about the baptism of Jesus. This week I invite you as a person of faith to wonder; “what does this mean?”. Jesus’ baptism is right before he enters the wilderness. Did Jesus know what he would face? Was Jesus baptized not only to model for us and those around him the power of water and God’s word but also so that he could hear words that he could take to heart, remember and let walk with him?

Together we get to ask tough questions, face deep fears, and wonder how God’s word is speaking now, today, in this time and place, into each and every part of our life. This week I have been intentional in re-working my “wondering”. Instead of letting my “wondering” be fear filled and worst case scenario worrying (i.e. wondering how will we ever come solve the problems in our country?). I am taking to heart words that are found many, many times throughout the Old and New Testament: “Be not afraid.”

Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Hebrews and Revelation. Beginning to End- Alpha to Omega our scriptures remind us again and again, “do not be afraid”. Be of good courage is a way for me to reframe a “do not” into a “do this”. I posted above this blog and it is here also on this link the words of “be not afraid” put to song. After the brief ad, it's a seven minute song. I encourage you to use it as a pause and a prayer.

The blessing I learned years ago comes to mind:

Go forth into the world in peace and be of good courage. Hold fast to that which is good and render to no one evil for evil. Strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak. Help the afflicted. Love, honor and serve all people abiding the steadfast love of God. And the may the power of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit rest upon you and remain with from this day forth and forevermore.

Today I am also taking this verse from Hebrews 13:6 to walk with me:

So we can say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

It can be an easy default to spend time doing the “wondering” which is really ruminating or fearing the future. Instead I invite your wonder to be rooted in a deep faith that has been given to you in the waters of baptism.

From all over Judea and Jerusalem folks wandered out to the wilderness to see what was going on with this man who wore a camel’s hair cloak and ate locust (John the baptizer). Jesus enters into the Jordan River to be baptized and comes up out of the water seeing the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending upon him while hearing a voice from heaven say “You are my Son, the beloved with whom I am well pleased”.

Water has power. It can move mountains, change the landscape, and wash away sin. We are water. Up to sixty-percent of your body can be water. Those of us who live in high altitude know how much difference it makes when we are dehydrated and don’t have enough water in us. So this week along with wondering I am aware of the water that touch, taste, feel, and see. I am working to let the water I take in be connected as a prayer; to wash away the worries and worst case scenarios.

Wondering and water together with God’s word to Jesus that we take as a word to us as well; beloved, is my invitation to you as we enter into the season of Epiphany. It is a season of light and insight, epiphanies and aha moments.

No matter what may be going on around you - may you take within you the words that bring life, the water that renews, refreshes, and heals and may you be one who is in awe at the wonders of God’s ways in our world.

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Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. On this Ash Wednesday, you are invited to remember that it is God who is our Source, our Strength, our Sovereign. Toda

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