Monday, February 16, 2015

At Bethel, we are working our way through the “I AM” sayings of Jesus using the fantastic material written by Rob Fuquay. We started by meditating on that beautiful story where Moses is out in the desert tending sheep. Over the mountain, he sees a smoke signal. Smoke rises. Moses went up to see and to his astonishment he sees a bush burning. It’s on fire but is not burning up. When he gets close to the bush, God speaks his name: “Moses, Moses…” Moses says: “I’m here.” It’s a powerful meeting in which the God of all the universe is revealed. Fuquay says that God wants to be known. In theology, in seminary, I was taught that God was hidden. And, who can argue with that. No matter how hard we seek this God, God seems always to be out of reach. And yet, in scripture, we are taught that God wants to be known. So, he speaks. He calls our name. When was the last time that you heard God call your name? In prayer, listen, I tell you that you will hear it if you listen. God will call your name. God tells Moses that he has heard the cry of Israel in Egypt and that he has come down to rescue them. So far so good. Then, God says I’m sending you to set my people free from slavery. Moses tries to object, but who can say no to this God…for long? Moses says: “OK. So, say I do to Pharoah and tell him that the God of Israel wants you to let his people go and they ask ‘what is his name?’, what shall I say.” Then, in an act of vulnerability God says: “I am that I am.” Tell Pharoah that “I AM” has sent me to you. Wow. “I AM”. It’s a form of the verb “to be.” The “I AM” God is alive and moving. His name is- Yahweh.” A precious name that reveals the nature and character of the God who makes himself known- this God who wants to know you. This is the God of Israel. This is the God who calls our name. From this powerful encounter then, we move to the “I AM” saying of Jesus. I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am. Drawing on the deep knowledge and faith of Israel, Jesus in John calls us to a deeper understanding of this God. Not only is God alive and well and active, he comes in a person, right there in front of us. He is bread and light. He is Jesus of Nazareth who lives out the faith of Israel. On the Sunday when we said that Jesus was the bread of life, we ate a piece of bread. In one of our services, we shared Holy Communion and experienced the beauty of God’s love for us. Taste the bread. Taste and see that the Lord is good. This past Sunday, we came to Jesus as light of the world. We gave everyone a candle and asked them to light a candle this week every day as they prayed as a sign of Jesus the light. Mr. Light comes in to our world of darkness. He pierces the darkness and shines light on the way ahead. Sometimes all we can see ahead is the light take one more step. Jesus goes before us, no matter what our age, or circumstance, or position on the journey. Jesus lights the way. Jesus is the light of the whole world. Next week: Jesus is the good shepherd. See you in Church! Dave Nichols

Comments on Lectionary - Sept. 1

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