|Sunrise at Pohale beach, Kauai|
Last night, our young adult small group watched Rob Bell's Nooma video called "Today". It's a great series that we've been going through each week. Very thought provoking and great for starting conversation. You can watch it here.
So many good points to ponder. The basic message was that things in life change. The nature of living is that things can't stay the same. Children grow up, parents die, babies are born, and friends move on with new ones to take their place. The pages on the calendar turn. We don't live in a static world. What do we do with that change?
In John 20, we are told what happened on the morning of the resurrection. Mary Magdalene had gone to the tomb before sunrise to bring anointing spices for Jesus' body (Lk. 24:1). You know the story. The grave was open and empty. Mary saw a man she thought was the gardener and asked where Jesus had been taken. Jesus got Mary's attention by calling her name, "Mary!" When the realization hit, Mary presumably lunged for Jesus in an attempt to hug him. But Jesus' response was, "Don't cling to me..." This is something I've always wondered about. Why can't she embrace the One she loves? But Rob points out that it was not the hug that was the problem, it was her intent. It seems she was not only embracing Jesus for that moment, but embracing the thought that everything was going to be just as it was before. Things where going to get back to "normal". Jesus told her that it wasn't to be. Things had changed, and there was a new mission ahead.
Change has always been a challenge for me. I think I am getting better, but only a little. Perhaps it's a God-given desire for things to finally be at peace, an inner longing for Heaven. Whatever the root, it is a constant reminder that we are not yet living in the Peaceable Kingdom, and as followers of Jesus, we have a mission to accomplish here on earth. We're not going to get it done sitting on our blessed assurance.
My take-away from this video was this quote, "When we're still holding on to how things were, we aren't free to embrace today." Talk about a kick in the pants... Yes. When it comes down to a choice of yesterday or today, I definitely want today.
Later that evening in Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to the disciples (Jn. 20:19-22). He walked through their locked doors and stood among them in the midst of their fear and said, "Peace be with you." He proved His identity by showing the scars of His death. Fear must have gripped them again. He had to repeat, "Peace be with you." Then He told them the new mission, "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." It was as if He was saying, let go of the past and its scars, get ready for the future - but most importantly - the I AM is with you and will be in you. You and I will be one. That will take care of your "now". Live in My presence.
But what does that look like? Rob says we do this by "being fully present here and now that you don't miss a thing in this day." That sounds a lot like simplicity. Something I have been striving for for a long time. It means that I slow down and recognize that God is in this moment. That I must focus on those in front of me, right now. Being present means I can't harbor regrets of the past, or worry over the future. I must lean into the great I AM of God. Now. When I do that, I am instantly awash in His peace. Ahhh! Maybe the Peaceable Kingdom has come, right now, in this moment. Today.
Here are some ways we've been enjoying the view lately:
|Bonfire at Pohala Beach, Kauai|
|Waimea Canyon, Kauai|
|Sunset at Pohala beach, Kauai|
|More Pohala beach|
|Great friends, and wonderful Kauai hosts!|
|Lookout over Kalalau beach, Kauai|
|Fishing with my grand-nephew in Kailua|
|Fishing with Andrew in Kailua|
|Love this kid - will still fish with his mom!|