I am pretty busy this Lenten season. There are some new activities I have taken on just for Lent.
One is morning prayer and we are doing daily readings of a book called "The Miracles of Jesus" which has been a really rich and meaningful way to start the day.
Last night I had my first meeting of the 5 week study of "Who is this man?" by John Ortberg. The subtitle is: "The unpredictable impact of the Inescapable Jesus." We saw a video and spent time talking about the revolutionary teachings of Jesus. We looked at a worksheet that listed 10 of them that included Bible verses. They are:
1. Embrace a surrendered and sacrificial life.
2. Love your enemies
3. Do not take revenge; turn the other cheek
4. Forgive - without ceasing.
5. Share the best of who you are and what you have with those who can't reciprocate
6. Do not worry
7. Practice servanthood - it is the path to greatness
8. Protect yourself from greed
9. Do not judge or condemn
10. Humble yourself.
It is instructive to just look at these 10 statements and recognize how culturally revolutionary they continue to be. And they really are a window for all of us into the abundant life - but very, very hard to live out.
This morning the scripture we read and reflected on was Mark 5: 1-15 - the healing of the Gerasene Demoniac. He said to Jesus: "What do you have to do with me?" Here is a quote from the book:
"Perhaps we expect Jesus to treat those hidden parts of our lives the same way other do. They bind, reject, and abandon us. But not Jesus. We let Jesus touch these parts of our lives with love. He gives us hope. Jesus can restore lives and heal our brokenness. We find our new identity in God's love."
And so I begin this day loving Jesus - not only the revolutionary teachings that show us a new way of living in this world - but also Jesus who can touch the broken and damaged and ugly parts of ourselves and restore us to wholeness.
May my life be open to his touch today.