Monday, March 16, 2009

John 3:14-21

Lent 4 – Year B

John 3:14-21

From Destroyer to Protector – go Kali Serpent Christ!

"In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And, because of her terrible form she is also often seen as a great protector." [good ol' Wikipedia]

Kali is sometimes described as darkness, as Ultimate Mother. Christ moving over the face of the dark deep is also known as Ultimate Word. Playing here could take up the rest of the day.

Moving on, the new Wesley Study Bible notes, "'So loved' does not mean 'loved so much' but 'loved in this way'; that is, God's love is giving and purposeful – to rescue and give life."

A question for this week is how we understand our having been loved enough to be lifted up as a sign of that love available to others. Though rescuing and giving life are modes open to fatigue, may you travel into your countryside with a gift of baptism – identifying beautiful, beloved people and helping them see that about themselves.

In the destruction of sin a newly birthed saint emerges.

Here is a "Wesleyan Core Term" from the new study Bible: "New Birth: When John Wesley listed the four most important doctrines found in Scripture, new birth was included. The others are original sin, justification by faith, and inward and outward holiness (see Notes, Preface to the OT, ¶18). The inclusion of new birth reveals a very important theme in Wesley's theology, and in all theology that calls itself Wesleyan. Martin Luther, Of course, proclaimed that we are saved by faith alone and his theology of justification became the heartbeat of all Protestantism. But there is a key difference between justification and new birth in Wesley's theology. Not only does Christ forgive us for past sins when we accept him as our savior, he also gives us a new life – a new life to live differently. Not only does Christ deal with the guilt of our sins, he also deals with the root problem that causes us to sin. In Wesley's scheme, new birth is the beginning of the holy life, the beginning of sanctification."

In what way have you been loved; in what way will you love? Will this be a new birth for you or a new birth reaffirmed?

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