Lenten Devotional: Tuesday, Feb. 20

by Sarah Seabolt

Revelation 3:20: “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Let me start by saying I don’t read the Bible. I used to, religiously (excuse the pun), but I remember quite clearly laying it down in the summer of 2000 to basically never pick it up again.

From time to time things from my evangelical past bubble up to the surface and two years ago this verse from Revelation was one of them, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” I could not quite remember how it went from there but I was pretty sure it went “and whoever opens the door, I will come in and judge them and evaluate their worthiness.”

“Yeah, that sounds about right but let’s just look it up to be sure,” I said to myself. So I dusted off my bible and googled it. Imagine my surprise! Holy cow! The creator of the universe, the divine, the holy one, wants to just come in and dine with me?! This loving and all powerful God wants nothing more than intimacy, presence, face to face time, and to share the same bowl of hummus as we talk about our day?

The voice I am accustomed to hearing is one of fear, judgement, criticism—underscoring all of my “not-enough-ness,” but that is not the voice of God. May I listen for the true voice of God that is nothing more than an invitation, just as I am, to be in God’s presence.

Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” reminds us to feel comfortable in our own skin and to accept this gracious offering to just be.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place
in the family of things .

Prayer: Dear Lord, how sweet it is that you continually stand at the door and knock irregardless of merit. How sweet that you do not give up on me. May I be willing to let go of my despair and loneliness, my guilt and shame, so that I can listen and hear your true voice. With my hands empty, I will open the door and receive all that you have to offer me. AMEN

Sermon: If you’re not paying attention to the world, you’re not paying attention to God

006-christmas-wisemenHerod was surrounded by religious and political authorities, however, it was three wisemen — essentially pagan astrologers — who knew about the birth of Jesus. While religious leaders of time were very studied men, they were not open to seeing God in nature. It was the wisemen who were open to God.

In our life, we need to follow the cue of the wisemen. We cannot ignore what is happening in the world, or else we will miss seeing God, who is constantly seeking us. Are we open to seeing God in the world? Or are we too consumed with our own lives?

Sermon

The Word in Song: “Go With the Wise Men”

“The Two Books of Revelation”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Matthew 2:1-12
Jan. 8, 2017