2 LENT Readings
This weeks lessons revolve around journeying. In the case of Abraham it is an external journey and for Nicodemus it is an inward journey. Both are seeking blessing. I define the word blessing as a state of being where we feel at one (atone) with the holy. In our last week's lesson Jesus went into the wilderness to test himself (his being) against the temptations that we all experience. Now he can speak from experience to the issues of humankind. Abraham leaves home to seek this blessing in a strange and unknown land. Nicodemus is challenged by Jesus to be born "from above" - the word Jesus uses has multiply meanings - born again, born anew, born from above - all indicating an awakening into another way of looking at oneself and one's life. Jesus speaks of a wind that blows where it chooses, and we do not know where it comes from nor where it is going. The life of the Spirit calls us to that sort of awareness of the moment - a relationship with God who may call to us from all sorts of places and send us on unlikely journeys.
From my last post you can see that I am thinking about this theme. Partly from thinking about my own ancestors and their search for a "promised land," partly because Jim and I are on a trip to the Oregon coast and other points west, and partly because I have been thinking about my own life journey. Mostly I have questions and not too many answers. But I see parallels in all traveling - spiritual, physical, emotional. We depend upon angels and strangers as well as family and friends. WH Auden wrote a poem (it is a hymn in Hymnal 1982 also) that speaks to me of this type of journeying.
He is the Way.
Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;
You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.
He is the Truth.
Seek Him in the Kingdom of Anxiety;
You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years.
He is the Life.
Love Him in the World of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.