Friday, April 4, 2014

Gentle Lent: Wrestling in the Mud

Each time the Body of Christ gets into a tussle, I groan. It hurts my heart. I was grateful earlier this week when God lifted the burden of grief. 

Yet, I still wrestled with the scar it left behind. In Lenten service a few weeks ago Jacob wrestling with a Man on the shores of a river was the topic.

Photo taken by almogaver
Jacob chased from what was comfortable and into uncertainty. He had cheated his brother and lied to his father. Alone, in the middle of wilderness, on that desperate night, with a stone for a pillow, God met him in a dream: on a ladder from heaven to earth, angels walked.

God spoke to Jacob the promise of Abraham and Isaac. Then God said something personal, “Look, I am with you. I will guard you wherever you go, and I will bring you back into this land, because I won't leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15

Jacob’s response is this: “Truly, ADONAI is in this place - and I didn't know it!... This place is fearsome! This has to be the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!...”

Jacob saw that small corner of the wilderness as something magical: a physical place where God was: Bethel-House of God.

Years later, Jacob sat on the banks of the lower Jordan. He was again on the run, the “victim” of deceit and cheating from his father in law. Then God showed up and Jacob wrestled with him. Jacob spent the entire night, grappling and struggling with a piece of God.

Then the Man touches Jacob and injures him. Jacob hangs on. The Man tells Jacob to let him go. Jacob says, “I won't let you go unless you bless me.”

As I sat in that Lent Service and Holy Spirit whispered to me: That’s what you do.

Since my 20s, I keep coming to that river-The Body of Christ. I keep showing up in either a church or bible study. As I sit on that bank sometimes my thirst is quenched.

Photo taken by RoganJosh
Other times I dig through the mud for a handful of water for my dehydrated soul.

BUT each and every time it is to meet Jesus. To feel the breath of Holy Spirit. To experience that Perfect Parent, Creator and Divine Love.

I wrestle with Jesus and refuse to let go until I am blessed. It is not a platform for my political views, or to complete some kind of super hero agenda. I simply come to share what I have learned. The more I become acquainted with God’s love , the more I cannot resist giving Love and Grace to others.

As a child I saw the church as God’s place: a specific refuge for my battered and frightened mind, soul and spirit.

Now that I am an adult I see God has never left me. Divine Love has been with me as I wrestle in the mud.

So, I cannot walk away. I cannot abandon Christianity or the Church

No matter how dry the wilderness is
No matter how fierce the enemies
No matter how bitter the words of others might be

because Jesus hasn't.

I want to join Him as a table is set for us in the presence of enemies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting the lily pad.