Lent and Counting–Day 14–March 24, 2011

So, here’s an interesting calculation, at least to church calendar geeks like myself–
Lent is 40 days. The Sundays in the 6 weeks of Lent are not counted. So by my calculation today is Day 14. Last year, I got lost about this time, too, as the days of this season went by.

We’re a good third into the season, now. And Lent is really kicking in. I’ve been reading the blog Sarcastic Lutheran. Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor in Denver, and an emergent church leader in the ELCA. She asked a question on Facebook: What does John 3:16 make you think of? Her sermon this week is based on the several hundred answers she had to that question. It’s worth reading, and she is worth following (in social media sense–she’s a great pastor).

This coming Sunday, we’ll be following up Nicodemus’ experience of the “wind of the Spirit” blowing wherever it will, with Jesus’ promise of “living waters.” Jesus will have a lively conversation with a sassy Samaritan woman at a well, at least that’s the way I read her. Living water, like wind, are wonderful images for the folks who live here on Cape Ann, Massachusetts. We’re surrounded by living waters, on every side, and inland waters coming down from the northern hills and mountains flow by us into the sea.

We’re no strangers to wind, either, often buffeted by blasts from the north west, or south east,or north or south, or east or west, or all ten directions at the same time. It’s been known to happen. Wind is part of our lives especially this time of year. At the beginning of Lent, our reading from Matthew described the Spirit driving Jesus out into the desert. Wind can do that, push you into places you weren’t sure you wanted to be. But then there’s the adventure of it, too. Wind and water are forms of power in earthly life; they are what Krister Stendahl called the Holy Spirit, “Energy for Life.” May the living waters of Jesus’ well, and winds of the Spirit who hovered over the face of the void, whose breath blows through your soul, be your energy for life.

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