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130217 – Rocky Road 1 – The Choice

jesus-tempted-self.jpgYr C ~ Lent 1 ~ Luke 4:1-13
Lent is a season of prayer, reflection, confession, and commitment. The themes in Lent tend to be more challenging, more weighty, and we find ourselves squirming a bit sometimes when the subject matter strikes close to home. Following the Way of Jesus is no walk in the park. Traditionally, Lent symbolically follows Jesus as he moves closer to Jerusalem and the cross. His wasn’t an easy road to walk either.

So I’ve called our Lenten journey this year a Rocky Road. Hopefully two things instantly pop into your mind when you hear “rocky road.” One is the obvious – that we are following a path and from time to time there are bumps along it, places that are hard to walk on, where our footfalls are unsteady and we’re worried about losing our balance.

Or when the rocks on the road are big and jagged and we have to be careful figuring out how to move around and between them for fear of what they might do to us. We’d prefer a well worn path or a freshly paved highway to travel on, but that is not always available, or desirable. The narrow way is better, even though it’s sometimes rocky.

And the other rocky road I hope comes to mind is the ice cream flavour. A delicious, chocolaty treat with smooth bits and a bunch of chewy and bumpy bits that create some excitement and add joyfulness and surprise to our tastebuds. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the rocks on our path like we see the “rocks” of rocky road ice cream – as delicious, surprising bits of wonder that bring something special to the experience? read on

130210 – Really

field-veil-illusion.jpgYr C ~ Transfiguration ~ 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Transfiguration Sunday is one of my favourite parts of the church year. Transfiguration means pretty much the same thing as transformation but it has the added connotation of being glorified – it’s a special spiritual transformation.

I love everything about the story. I love that it begins by telling us that Jesus went away to pray. I love that. The idea of Jesus needing to cultivate his prayer life, of Jesus needing quiet time, inspires me to do the same.  In fact, this transformation or transfiguration had to take place in a quiet place – it couldn’t happen amid the noise and distractions of regular life. We can be spiritual in the noise, obviously, but it’s virtually impossible to really focus on God when you’re distracted – even for Jesus!

I love that Jesus had this profound transformative spiritual experience, or possibly we could call it a mystical experience. He was said to be enveloped or enfolded in dazzling light, or a cloud. Mystical experiences are like that – ineffable, inexplicable, they lose everything in translation. But of course he had a mystical experience – he’s Jesus after all! He’s directly connected to God in a profound way.

Now for the best part! We turn our attention to 2 Corinthians 3 and we hear Paul say that WE ARE TOO!

We are directly connected to God in a profound way too! Not just Jesus. It’s not just for the spiritual superstars (whoever they might be) but profound transformative spiritual experiences (or maybe even mystical experiences) are for you! read on

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