June 01, 2009

Looking Ahead to June 7, 2009 -- Trinity Sunday, 1st After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Isaiah 6:1-8
  • Psalm 29 (VU p.756)
  • From the Letters of the Early Church: Romans 8:12-17
  • From the Gospel: John 3:1-17
The Hymns this week are:
  • 315 Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
  • 624 Give to Us Laughter
  • 675 Will Your Anchor Hold
  • 424 May the God of Hope Go With Us
The Sermon title is: Searching for Re-Birth

Early Thoughts: What does it mean to be re-born? Is birth happening here and now? What is the Spirit up to?

Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and asks a fairly obvious question. HOw is it possible to be born again? From a literal point of view it makes no sense. But of course it isn't meant literally, it is a metaphorical birth. And if we are going to be honest, we spend a lot of time looking for a re-birth, a new start, a new hope.

Last week we heard about Ezekiel and the dry bones. Told by GOd to prophesy to the bones Ezekiel was unsure why. But the SPirit of GOd moved in the valley and the bones were reconnected and given flesh. What are the bones in the valleys of our lives that are waiting to be reconnected and given life?

Because we really need that SPrit-Breath these days. In our communities wracked by mill closures, in our congregation wrestling with rising costs and aging memberships, in our denomination struggling with a declining income. We need the re-birth that we are told to look for. WE need to let the SPirit blow through us and reshape the bones of our communities and congregations into new beings. Bone-by-bone, breath-by-breath something new can emerge.

In the documetn "Called to be Church" the United Church of Canada is called to re-discover our passion. THis is a call to embrace re-birth. When we find what it means to be "Called to Be Church" then we will find new energy and vitality. YEs, some things may have to be let go of in that process. Yes, the new body that emerges may be very different from what what we have known.

But life after birth is never the same as before hand is it?

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