Devotional ~ Refresh During Lent
The long days of Lent can try our self-discipline, stir our irritation, and draw us to parts of our souls we’d rather not visit. Such is the uncomfortable way of the cross. Our ashes have been washed off, but we are not yet living the sacred moments of Holy Week; we are not yet finding the tomb empty. If there is an awareness of a tomb, it’s our own inner lives that echo the reality Jesus spoke of: painted fresh on the outside, rotting decay on the inside.
Yet none of us can grieve our own wretchedness indefinitely, even as, in North America, more rounds of winter weather hit, keeping spring blooms at arm’s length. This past Sunday was Laetare Sunday – “Refreshment Sunday,” “Mothering Sunday,” or the “Sunday of the Five Loaves.” It is a rest stop on our long journey towards the cross: instruments are played again on this moveable feast day, rose takes the place of imposing purple in liturgical colors, and the grieving lets up just enough to allow us a breath of fresh air.
Refreshment for the journey is vital: Jesus, the God-Man, ate and slept and took time to himself. As we yearn for home, peace, and unsullied celebration, we crave resolution to the “already/not yet” of the Kingdom of God. The music of our age is an unresolved chord.
Our God is the God of Sabbath, though – delighting in re-creation. “Let the children come to me,” Jesus said. That’s no small thing: have you been mauled by an enthusiastic, sticky child recently? But the Savior, the Logos, knew how much we need to breathe and laugh and, yes, even play.
It is impossible to share your faith when you’re dozing off from exhaustion; it is difficult to witness to the joy of the resurrection when you have pushed yourself long and hard and haven’t stopped, like Jesus did, by a well. In the tension of Lent, pause and reflect on a Sunday celebrating five loaves of bread in the midst of a season of fasting; think about the reprieve of music during a period of enforced silence, and rejoice.
Your rejoicing, when you are fed, rested, and renewed, is itself witness.
News of Note
New Evangelism Resource
E. Stanley Jones & Sharing the Good News in a Pluralistic Society is a new volume exploring the significance of the famous missionary’s work. WME Executive Director, Dr. Kimberly Reisman, and WME Associate Director of Education and Leadership Development, Dr. Rob Haynes, have both contributed chapters to this compelling new work. Find it on Amazon here.
WME at Wesleyan Theological Society
Recently Dr. Rob Haynes, Associate Director of Education and Leadership Development, was presented with the Dissertation of the Year award by the Wesleyan Theological Society for his work entitled, “Consuming Mission,” completed at the University of Durham in Durham, England. Dr. Haynes joined WME in 2017 and is leading the Convergence trip to England this summer. Congratulations, Rob!
From 30 May to 6 June 2018 young adults from across the globe will gather in Costa Rica for Metanoia 2018 – a faith strengthening, mission empowering, horizon-expanding time of transformation!
In Case you Missed it: Featured Posts from Wesleyan Accent
Matt LeRoy ~ Radical Disciple Making
Click the link below and enjoy an intriguing look into mission and discipleship from Rev. Matt LeRoy, Teaching Pastor of Love Chapel Hill, a church plant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Tammie Grimm ~ Why Pilgrimage is Part of Discipleship: Discovering Lindisfarne
For years I casually entertained the hopes I might visit the Northumbrian Community that produced Celtic Daily Prayer. Inquiries to the community recommended a minimum stay of two nights and three days. Required trips to the United Kingdom for PhD residency never quite afforded the wiggle room on either end to steal away for the time necessary.
Tom Fuerst ~ Still A Man: Race and Violence
We encourage you to watch this important, nuanced sermon from Order of the Flame member Rev. Tom Fuerst.