Today is the first Sunday in Lent. And throughout Christian history, this has been a season of preparation. It is a season that we prepare our hearts and minds and spirits to meet the good news of Easter Sunday.
Jesus came into this world knowing the horrors of it, knowing its pain and trouble. Jesus did this, not because it was comfortable or easy, but because Jesus wanted to redeem it and make it whole again. Because Jesus loves you that much. Because no one is left out of God’s story.
But if God is with us, what can possibly hold us back? If God is with us, what do we have to fear? If God is with us, then what dream, what vision, what calling is too big?
In our world, it can be so tempting to rush on by people, to look past our neighbor, or even worse, to look down upon them. It comes out of our busyness. It comes out of our fear. It comes out of our own wondering whether anyone actually sees us. But in our lives where we are constantly rushing, these words from Hagar should give us pause. For God came to the wilderness. God saw the person, and not just the slave. God called her by name. The God we serve is El-Roi, the God who sees.
Plow – Luke 9:51-62
Paul is saying, this is where true joy and life are. Take a risk. Take a chance. Do things that go against the common wisdom of the world. Don’t worry about how the world judges you or ranks you. Live as a child of God. Join in being that new creation.