Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!Where's the Faith? Friday, September 9th, 2011
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
I have a confession to make to you: I watch The Weather Channel! I’m fascinated by weather – snow, heat index, tides, severe weather. I’ve heard that The Weather Channel is the MTV for older people!
During these hot summer months, we are constantly told to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. It’s so important to: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
I have a friend who told me how each night before he goes to sleep he puts a full glass of water next to his bed so that the first thing in the morning he drinks the entire glass of water. This has multiple benefits – it’s good for the digestive system and the skin – even keeping wrinkles from being so noticeable.
The Gospel of Mark is one of four gospels that relate the life story of Jesus and the teachings he brings. Having four different gospels is like having four different stations to watch NFL highlights on (or if you prefer, insert H&G channel or The Food Network). They all cover the same events, but with different slants and emphases.
If the gospels were movies, Matthew and Luke would be epics like Gone with the Wind, Gandhi, Dances with Wolves, or Dreamgirls. Long stories, long speeches and lots of character development.
John would be a love story like Sleepless in Seattle, Dr. Zhivago, Titanic or Shrek. A strong focus on love and its impact, no matter who you are or what shade of green you are!
But Mark would be Terminator 4, Enemy of the State, Live Free or Die Hard, or Armageddon, action films! Not much on flowery speech, but long on action and adventure. A vivid, quick account that emphasizes what Jesus did more than what he said. The cutaways and scene changes are fast and furious, action scenes pile up one after another until you go “Wow!” and reel from the impact.
Like all good action films, this one starts with a bang. As the opening credits roll off the screen, there’s an explosion. John the Baptist explodes on the scene. He’s explicitly connected with the Old Testament promises. He’s the one!
The prophets said there would be a messenger, who’d be in the desert, and the message would be, “Get ready for the Promised One.”
Here’s John, in the desert, he’s definitely a wilderness guy, as his clothes and food attest. And he calls people to repent, to return to God – a loving God who loves you just as you are.
So, John “The Baptizer” is calling people to come out to the desert to be baptized as a symbol of accepting God. And they do! Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
But John points to something bigger. One much greater is coming. “This One will baptize you with a comforting Spirit.”
“Get ready! It’s a new day!”
Can you feel it? Do you feel the energy in the air? God is calling us to drink in the refreshing and life-giving spirit of God. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
God is light, and this light brings life to us and shows us our path and shows us our way.
So, there was a tremendous response to John’s message. Crowds gathered and people came from everywhere. No sooner had the dust settled from this explosion in the desert than something else big happens. Suddenly, we’re introduced to our main character: Jesus.
Jesus, our example, obeys John’s call to come to the desert to prepare for a great future. But something amazing happens when he gets baptized.
Literally, all heaven breaks loose!
Jesus is baptized, God speaks, and the Spirit descends like a dove.
Now notice what happens when Jesus acknowledges this relationship. Jesus goes deeper into the wilderness to affirm this relationship, to have it tested. Here Jesus enters into conflict, and in the end Jesus decisively wins! And Jesus won by speaking the powerful words of God.
If you find yourself deep in the wilderness experiences of your life, now more than ever you need to guard what you say and not allow any negative, destructive words to come out of your mouth.
I think we create an environment for either good or evil with our words, and you are going to have to live in that world you’ve created.
If you’re always complaining, and talking about how bad life is treating you, you’re going to live in a pretty miserable, depressing world. You may be tempted to merely use your words to describe negative situations, but God wants us to use our words to change our negative situations. Don’t talk about the problem, talk about the solution.
The Bible clearly tells us to speak to our mountains. Maybe your mountain is a sickness; perhaps your mountain is finances or a troubled relationship. Whatever your mountain is, you must do more than think about it, more than pray about it; you must speak to that obstacle.
In Proverbs 16:7, we read, “Give thanks with a grateful heart, and let the weak say I’m strong. Let the oppressed say I’m free. Let the sick say I’m healed. Let the poor say I’m well off.”
“Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is!”
Are you hydrated or de-hydrated? Let the living water of God’s spirit refresh and renew you.
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Thank you, to all of you who nominated and voted for The Metropolitan Community Church as the Outstanding Community Organization for the Nicky Awards. I had a great time at the awards ceremony – it was great to see so many of you there. Please know you’re always invited to come and visit us, wherever you are on your spiritual path. We’re here for you.
Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org.
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