Thursday, 25 February 2016

Leaning Into Lent: Day 14—6.66 or Jesus' Embrace

We’ve been working through John 6 in Evening Prayer.

…and the number shall be 666! They turned back.

…they said, so they leaned away. They stopped leaning in to Jesus. Observing a Holy Lent is disciplined leaning in to Jesus, who he is and what he is doing through us.

I heard a good word about that last night at our Wednesday night ecumenical community Lent service. The Rev Jan Stevenson from Westminster United Church, Medicine Hat, was the preacher. Her remarks included this:
It’s not what you or I or our congregations can accomplish, but what the Holy One can do through us, if only we get out of God’s way.  Lean into Jesus’ embrace instead of arming up. Sing praises when times are tough. Keep faith in God, not our latest wonder no-lose church growth strategy. … Our strength is in our song. Not money. Not armies.  Not innovative stewardship and evangelism campaigns, but in our staunch faith in God’s purpose. 
Believing in God’s purposes, I lean into Jesus’ embrace instead of arming up, or taking things into my own hands. I do the leaning, Jesus does the embracing, the accomplishing, the defeating of enemies, the providing and the growth.

Yes, the teaching can be difficult. Eat my flesh, drink my blood, die to yourself, forgive seventy times seven times over, but there is still and always the strong, loving embrace of those everlasting arms into which I can lean with absolute confidence.

So can you.

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