Timothy Merritt, Editor of Homiletics, shared this recently. "Someone once asked a rabbi if it's necessary to follow all the traditions of Judaism in order to affirm the Jewish faith. The rabbi took a glass of water and poured part of it out on the ground. "The water in the glass and the water on the ground," he explained, "are identical. But for me to drink the water, I need to have it in the glass."
The season of Lent is upon us. By the time you have read this article the Ash Wednesday Services have taken place, and "off we go" on the Lenten journey. As I shared in last week's article, as we are preparing for the Lenten Season, wouldn't this be a good time to revisit our covenant with God- then and now? Wouldn't this be a good time to understand that we are shaped by "words" and, therefore, not only are we to read and pray and sing about our specific relationship with God, but respond with proper words outside the sacred space of worship?
I also invited us to join together in our covenantal relationship that we have with God, with those here at Spring Creek, and those outside these walls. I encouraged us to look for tangible ways to live out our special relationship known as "covenant." On March 4th after the worship service we will have one of those tangible moments. Those who are members and regular attenders who have felt in the last few years that this special relationship has had some "rough edges" to it, and believe you need to share your feelings in a public environment will have a chance to do so.
This gathering will take place in the Fireside Room after an abbreviated worship time. We will gather around the tables to share refreshments as well as sharing how we feel using a specific way to dialogue with each other. There will be facilitators from our congregation who will keep each table on track with the directions for conversation and sharing around the tables. It will not be a time of blaming or not listening to others' feelings that may be different than yours. It will be a time when we discern, with the help of God's Spirit, how we bring all this together from the past, into our present, so we can move faithfully into the future.
We will practice "holy manners," and we will promote "active listening." Also, we will be attentive to the Word that shapes us — God's unconditional love made known to us through Jesus Christ.
To prepare for this time of open conversation, I share these words from Merritt:
How many people today are down on their hands and knees, faces to the ground, trying to suck some sustaining moisture out of parched desert sand? Far better to hold the brimming glass of our faith-tradition in our hands: God's covenant, which is for all generations.
Whether you are a "glass half-empty or half-full" kind of person, you are welcomed to drink from the healing waters of God's reconciliation and healing at this time as well as during the Lenten journey we make together in covenantal love.