Being Renewed

Being Renewed

This is the second Sunday after Pentecost. The Sundays that follow Pentecost and Trinity Sunday are technically during the season of “Ordinary Time.” Ordinary Times are wedged in between major Christian seasons like Advent and Lent. There isn’t much going on and the lectionary centers on the work of Jesus. Reverend Lori delivered a message of being born again that reminds us of the moments where we are renewed through Jesus. I imagine that Ordinary Time is a lot like getting over that Wednesday hump. The feeling of being bogged down with the secular busyness of what Monday brings so that we can live the “dream.” Even with the sacred busyness of pursuing your call or pastoring to the congregation, it still becomes a little draining and God seems to be not in the picture. 

There was an activity at camp where we handed out cups, upside down, to each of the campers on the field.  We turned on the sprinklers and hoses and told the campers to collect as much water as they could with their cups upside down and help each other fill their cups. Of course, they were a little confused and soaked as they ran around trying to figure out how to get water into their cup. It wasn’t until we had told them that this is kinda how we do life. We run around with our cups empty. It’s not until we consciously flip our cup and make room for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to enter into the cup and into our lives. 

Paul writes to the Corinthians of being raised with Christ, maybe a familiar tune to what we heard last Sunday.  A sense of being resurrected with new life, new direction- being renewed. Being renewed doesn’t always necessarily equate to getting an ample amount of rest. Not all rest is equal though and I, myself who is an extreme extrovert, do not find rest in solitude. Lying about gets me more exhausted than rejuvenated. As we go through Ordinary Time, let us be reminded to be renewed in our sabbath however that may be.  To make time to allow God to enter our lives and for Jesus to resurrect us.  To remind ourselves to flip over our cups so that our cups can runneth over.  It is only when our cups are full where we can pour ourselves into others.

All are welcome to join us for worship on-line or in the Fellowship Hall.  We will be adding more “live” elements to the Worship Watch Party throughout June.  No reservations are required to attend but all will be asked to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, including masking and social distancing, and if we have more people than can safely be in the Fellowship Hall, we’ll seat people outside with an audio feed of the service.  Our Church Council will be discussing changes to the California and local guidelines set to go into effect on June 15th and how those changes might impact us as a faith community.  We will modify safety precautions carefully and intentionally.  We want all who choose to come onto campus, from the youngest to the oldest, to feel welcome and safe.  I’m looking forward to being with you on Sunday, on-line or in person, as we worship God and open our lives to God’s grace, peace and invitation!  

Rev. Lori will be on vacation with Erich Grimm-Schmitt and Adam Marshall-Lopez leading worship for June 6 and June 13.  We will continue our in-person communion on Sunday, June 20th for this month. 

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 (NRSV)

But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Psalm 138 (NRSV)

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
    for you have exalted your name and your word
    above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
    you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
    but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
    and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Questions to consider:

  1. How do you sabbath?
  2. Where do you find time for God in the secular? Is it a place? Is it an act? Inaction?
  3. In what ways do you feel like you’re running with your cup upside down?
  4. In what ways do you pour yourself into others?
  5. What are ways you find praise in God?