Meditation – Rooted Seaford 5-13-18, Mother’s Day John 17:6-19 6”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth. Psalm 1 1Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 4The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. the word of the Lord
Trees planted If you have been to Trap Pond (used to Church picnic … better, closer) and gotten on the boat ride or a canoe (Sarah and me…pretty funny to watch) You can navigate through the cypress trees And you might notice, that these trees that like to grow on riversides, in swamps, and right in the middle of the pond. The bald cypress trees have, what are known as knees Cypress knees – little protrusions of gnarly wood all around the base – above the roots It is not known for certain what is the function of the knees One – my favorite theories – they are buttresses to keep the tree balanced in the soft swampy mud They are support – we all need support to stand – some of us more than others
I invite you to - Stand as able – or stay seated – but try to still imagine - In yoga we have a pose call Mountain Pose. It is not just standing straight it is feeling all four corners of both feet spread out and balanced on the earth (remove shoes, but, ok – just imagine) if seated feel feet flat on floor – outside/inside – all flat Feet - rooted And then it is checking in with every part of the body Legs – knees not locked Back not arched, abdominal muscles engaged Shoulders DOWN (Hard) Arms straight – not rigid, relaxed, at side back of top of head – crown - as if pulled by a strong to heaven and breathe – all the way down – all the way up through body This is the pose we must master before trying to do TREE pose which lifts one foot… stand a minute Check in w how it feels to be solid – rooted – planted you may Sit
We sometimes forget, in worship, in church, that we are physical as well as spiritual beings taking care of our physical selves can be as much worship as time in prayer or reading the Bible the Greek and hb word for spirit – same as breath taking in breath – aware of that breath – can be an act of deep prayer
Did you have a mother who reminded you “don’t slouch” – stand up straight? Some of our mothers had a way of reminding us of lots of things (I have a pad of paper, titled : I am not nag… I am a motivator) they wanted – or want – as we want for our children – for us to be planted well like a tree that is planted The roots go deep and get water and nourishment
Did you have a mother who made you clean your plate at meal? Or… slow down when you eat Or…if you don’t eat… you don’t get dessert… Bob and Irene – taught my kids – food side, dessert side THAT, amazingly, the kids picked up first time heard it
Our families are where we are rooted – and nourished Or – where we realize we were not so nourished – and have had to learn a different way Jesus wanted those who came after him to know how to stand in mountain pose He prays – I have given them everything you, God, gave to me not unlike a prayer many of our parents have most likely prayed I pray the children – the disciples – the followers – those who come after me and will hopefully outlive me I pray – they know the depth of love that they need to be firmly rooted – and growing and flourishing bearing fruit how do we – how do you – stand sure and rooted – being nourished – let us ask God to help us be aware the psalmist says - Blessed – happy – content – in good shape – are those whose DELIGHT is in the law of the Lord the psalmist is telling the people of God immerse yourself in the things that will teach you of God of God’s nature
Jesus says – sanctify them in the truth – your word is truth again – immerse them in the things that will teach us/them of god of God’s nature
And part of God’s nature – is just like a mother (good mother) nature who would do anything and everything possible to make sure her children know love and acceptance and get along with each other and know the way of peace not – the way of the world as much as they way of the new heaven and new earth the way of love Jesus ends this part of his prayer with “sanctify them in the truth” To sanctify is to set apart – to consecrate – as we do with the common bread and common juice – setting them apart for sacred purposes Jesus is praying that we – you and me – will be set apart – How? By god’s truth And you do not need me to tell you that searching for truth is hard in today’s world Jesus says – we will be in the world but will not be part of the world meditating on God’s nature – God’s word – worshiping with God’s people being open to God’s spirit these things will lead us into truth
and truth is rough “the truth will set you free… first miserable” I have been hit in the face lately with very uncomfortable truth I preach – as you know – a lot about love and acceptance and about 3 times in the last 2 weeks I have been shown the people I have trouble loving and accepting hard – uncomfortable – humbling Sanctification is the PROCESS of being set apart apart from the lies and deception and rationalization apart from the judgements and criticisms apart from reacting in anger or easily putting someone else down apart from bullying and name-calling Set apart – by facing truth no worries – God does this fine! Too fine sometimes. Prayer - sustain us o god – at the table, and as we go from this place
______________________________________- Sermon – A time to see for real Seaford March 15, 2020
John 4:5-42 5So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and truth, God seeks such. 24God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.” 27Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30They left the city and were on their way to him. Skip to 39 39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
When life turns us upside down, we need to adjust your view
How many of us like to be asked to help?
We all need help – every step of the way…And yet – we come to a point – in adolescents or adulthood – and certainly as we age
Where we are afraid asking for help shows… what? Weakness? Inability? . Feels good to be asked… but we still don’t like to be the one asking
To be a parent takes patience – this of course is an understatement
When mom or dad is ready to go out the door – thinking everyone is ready,The 2-year-old, sits down, takes off the shoes we wanted them to wear – and took all morning to find the pair - and begins to look for the others
And if we try to help? “I CAN DO IT MYSELF”
It is not a good idea to try to MAKE a toddler do anything
ME MYSELF and MINE must be mastered before you, yourself and yours… can be understood
This woman at the well in John’s Gospel, is about to have her whole world turned upside down
Jesus walks up to this woman
A woman – meaning Jesus should not, by social and cultural norms – be talking to her in public
A Samaritan – meaning Jesus should not, by religious and moral norms – be anywhere near her
And – Jesus asks her for water – asks for some help
John tells us – Jesus was tired, from his journey. Do we ever think that Jesus got tired? Got hungry? Thirsty? Felt annoyed? Inconvenienced?
How often we think of this very human side of Jesus? He was tired…And so, Jesus sat – and when someone came – he asked her for water
Jesus asked this social and religious outcast – for a favor
Do we realize, I wonder, what an honor it is to be asked for help?
How many of us feel blessed to offer real help?
And yet – how many of us still shy away from asking!
When the woman helped Jesus,she had no idea how her view of herself and her life and all the things she believed in – would turn upside down, show her who she really is, and require her to change
First – puzzled, confused, maybe a bit skeptical….she asks – how is it – that you would ask me – a woman and a Samaritan – for a drink?
She knows the absolute and impenetrable rift between a Jew and a Samaritan
And yet – she stays – gives him water – and listens
She knows that this well – Jacob’s well – is a holy place – and yet this stranger tells her that the water is nothing like the living water he has for her
And rather than walk away – and mumble to herself over this crazy person
She is drawn – there is something here that feels REAL ….That is worth investigating
And so, she says – ok – give me the living water!
Change my whole world – change the way I see – and all I have believed,
about holy ground, and worship, and religious division, and… life
V 19 – the woman backtracks a little , “Well – I know that we have different holy places – you say Jerusalem – we say this mountain” – she gets maybe a little defensive, Maybe wondering why she is even listening to this person, maybe afraid this change in sight will blind her
But then – she hears – this place – that place – the differences, the divisions -
will not matter
Because everyone will worship in spirit – and in truth
Woman – the way you see the world – is being turned upside-down.
For many of us – the world has been shown to be upside-down this week
We thought this virus would be over there – far away ….And we could ignore it
But suddenly, here it is, In our midst
Interrupting our plans and OH NO! Delaying the NYY games!!!
Perhaps this change is making us afraid – or cynical – or skeptical – or annoyed
Our culture is pretty good at lauding the sacrifices of others – the first responders, the people in uniform, or volunteers out helping all over the world –
But we are not always so good at personal, inconvenient sacrifices
Fist fights have broken out over toilet paper – shelves have been cleared of hand sanitizer – too bad for the other guy
And now – many of you are learning how to go online just to be in virtual worship with us this morning, Even tho this might not be your favorite kind of thing
Friends had to cancel a trip to Spain to see their children
Others have to be quarantined on an army base, Others have to stay at home
I just read an article of refugees – without a home – in a camp – handling this viral outbreak
Imagine – dirty water, no food, limited supplies, sparse medical facilities at best – Much more than an inconvenience
Or people in nursing homes – so afraid of waking up not being able to catch a breath – and - knowing friends are dying daily
My daughter, Sarah had a very scary experience Wed evening – many of you thought you were praying for her surgery on Wed (and thank you for prayers and cards)
Well - you were praying instead for her medical ordeal
Surgery was postponed because Sarah had a cough and a fever: 2 of the Covid-19 symptoms.
We ended the day at Nanticoke Hospital ER – in an isolation room
None of the doctors or nurses would come in the room without full protective gear
The receptionist registered her by phone – from outside of the room
And at one point they warned Sarah – if they needed to test for Covid 19 she would have to be moved to a different facility
Our eyes were opened….And we saw the world differently
Sarah was afraid, The staff was afraid
People did not know what to do or how to do it We all needed help!
If you have read Joan Chittister’ “a time to weep” this week – “lent is a time to strip away the false self”
I would add – A crisis is a time to strip away the false self
When the world is turned upside down, we need new lenses, we begin to see with different eyes
All the pretense is gone – and we see anew
All of a sudden – shopping for the latest gadget, showing off our latest accomplishments, worrying about what to eat or what to wear or ….who will win the baseball opener … is transformed – and we look inside
We begin to ask:
What do I believe about doing it all by myself? What do I believe about needing help from others?
What do I believe about death?
Am I ready to die? (more self-will websites have been googled this week than ever before)
The woman was amazed that Jesus knew her story
And suddenly – her secrets and shame are gone, false sense of self, stripped away -
Her reality is exposed – she is out there – and vulnerable
And she realizes,
– it doesn’t matter where she had been or what she had done
She had now tasted the living water.
Glennon Doyle said: “you have been offered the ‘gift of crises.’ As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is ‘to sift,’ as in to shake out the excesses and leave only what is important. That’s what crises do. They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most. The rest falls away.”
The gift of crisis – stripping away the false
What is true is that we need help - Asking for help to change the lenses – and see anew