Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lent 5

Readings for today.

Listen to the Sermon.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24)

Wheat is often used as a symbol of rebirth, or new life, or sometimes of the life of a community.  At our house, we are growing wheat right now. A couple of years ago, I planted a container of wheat at the beginning of Lent.  Nothing happened for the first two days after we scattered the seeds, covered them with some soil, and watered them. Then, on the third day, we noticed something:  the seeds were swelling and starting to put out little roots. By the fifth day, there were little green shoots pushing up out of the soil. In the second week, there were days when you could almost see the shoots growing, reaching for light.  Four full weeks into Lent, the wheat grass was about 10 inches tall. The fruit of our tabletop wheat garden was the fruit of reflection, of taking time to watch it grow, of wondering at God’s creation.

Before watching this wheat spring up in the middle of our dining room table, I never really understood how the symbolism of wheat connects to Easter.  Now I know!! It takes three days for wheat to germinate.  Three days to die and come back to life.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lent 4

Readings for Today.

Listen to the Sermon.

When I met last Sunday with the parents of the children who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil, we talked through the Baptismal Covenant.  (It’s on page 304 in the Book of Common Prayer, if you’re curious.) As we looked at the promises about how we will live out of our baptisms, we took special care to note the response:  “I will, with God’s help.” This is an important answer. Every one of the promises is a huge task: we could spend our entire lives trying to accomplish just one of the promises, and still never quite get there.  God’s help is vital to our lives as faithful disciples of Jesus, living into and out of our baptisms.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lent 3

Readings for Today.

Listen to the Sermon.

Can you believe that the halfway point in Lent is on Thursday this week?  At our house we are already making plans for Easter dinner.  Which puts us right in the midst of looking toward the future instead of living in this moment, something I preached about the first Sunday in Lent.  And even as we make plans for the celebration of Easter, we continue our Lenten disciplines.  We continue preparing ourselves, deeply and spiritually, to be ready to receive God’s amazing gift of grace and love, made known in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  We are preparing for the seemingly impossible.