Lenten Journey – 2017

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in General

Transformation through Stories

We teach information, Jesus told stories. We give answers to deep spiritual questions, saving people from the hard work of living with difficult questions such as the meaning of suffering and death. Jesus gave us stories, open ended stories. As we hold on to the story of his death, and our own stories of suffering and death, we don’t have all the answers but we put ourselves in a place where transformation may happen.

This Lenten Season for our Water’s Edge Midweek Lenten worship, we will hear stories of transformation, stories of people in hospice and the people who walked with them, we will see Jesus’ story from the cross with “beginner’s eyes” — seeing the old, old story for the first time. This Lenten season, we will tell stories that open our hearts to transformation. This is a holy place.

Week One: Transformed Minds – Embrace Your Suffering

So much of life is filtered through our mind. We decide what we like and what we don’t like, what we want and what we don’t want. We like happy moments. We don’t like suffering. We do not allow ourselves to perceive any good from suffering. But it is only through great suffering (and also great love) that our self-centered view of life is broken and we begin to understand things differently. We begin to understand that suffering may be the best thing that ever happened to us. This goes against all reason. It can only be experienced as we follow Jesus, as we open our hearts to the lessons of suffering.

Listen to Ruby’s Story and Charles’s message here. 

Week Two: Transformed Left Hand – Forgiveness

It can be difficult to forgive people who have hurt us. We push people away, even close friends and family, carrying our pain and grudges for decades. Death has a way of transforming us, changing our perspective on what’s really important, finally breaking open hearts that have been hardened. We learn to forgive, to let go of all resentments.

Listen to Greg’s Story and Charles’s message here.

Week Three: Transformed Feet – Purpose

We all have a sense of calling. We consider the journey
we are taking, one step after the other. Metaphorically,
we look to our feet, the steps we take in life. We measure
our journey by the world’s standards of success
and worth. Is this the best measurement for the life well
lived? Is not life more than my little successes and accomplishments?
Am I called to follow Jesus’ footsteps
in loving the world? How do stories of death transform
the journey?

Listen to Ashley’s Story and Charles’ Message Here.

Week Four: Transformed Right Hand – Compassion

Caring for those in need is a work of pleasing to God. Having compassion for those in need is a work of Christ and the Angels, a work that can only flow from an open heart, from one who has been transformed. Great suffering can break open our hearts to the “other” beside us and find more than pity but community. We are one with all who suffer. (We remember the story of St. Francis who kissed the leper. He moved from revulsion to compassion, from pity to community. This was a transformative moment for St. Francis. He was one with all who suffered.)

Listen to Andy’s Story and Charles’ Message Here.

Week Five: Transformed Heart – Dwell in the Present

We all want heaven, someday. We try to make our own heaven here on earth or we await the future after death. But paradise can be found in the present moment, as we let go of past and future, living only to love and serve God, others, and our world. It is the transformed heart that no longer sees things from the dualistic perspective of the mind, but rather sees things from the mind of Christ everything belongs, everything is a part of God’s loving presence. To have the mind of Christ is no longer to look at the world from the perspective of subject and object but to see everything from the perspective of union and community with everyone and everything.

Listen to Ralph’s Story and Charles’ Message Here.

Week Six: Facing our Fear

Fear is a primitive emotion intended to protect us from imminent danger. However, in our modern society, fear has become a habitual state of mind, and is being projected into the future and applied to every unknown situation. Fear may be the core negative emotion behind every negative emotion, every hurtful word, and every unkind action. As we practice our faith, facing our fears one at a time and finding Jesus present in all of them, we can let go of fear. We learn to die before we die so that we need never be afraid again, not of death, nor of life. We are loved.

Listen to Lorraine’s Story and Charles’ Message Here.