1 East Olive Ave., Redlands, CA 92373 - (909) 793-2118

Everyone Needs A Fresh Start

How Did I Get Here?

Feeling Stuck

Do you know anyone who feels stuck?  Perhaps hemmed in?  Maybe its you.  Have you ever felt as though maybe you’ve painted yourself into a corner?  That is a rough place to be, especially if we have no one to blame but our self.  I think it is inevitable that we will end up in that corner from time to time.  It’s not like we set out to end up there.  I highly doubt that anyone wakes up in the morning, thinking to themselves, “what can I do to make my life miserable today?”  Or, “What choices can I make today that will limit my choices tomorrow?”  In the abstract it’s easy to analyze the path.  However, when we find our self in that place the more abiding concern is how we get out of it.  How do we get unstuck?  How do we get a fresh start?

New Life Is Our Thing

For people who feel stuck, marginalized, dehumanized or in some other way separated from the human community, the promise and possibility of a fresh start is a gift with which we are intimately acquainted.  It is a promise that is the very essence of liberation.  Resurrection becomes the ultimate expression of the power of life over death.  On Easter we see it has a physical reality.  However, the promise also works at every other level in our life.  We experience loss of life in so many different dimensions.  Divorce, loss of health, addiction, chronic illness, depression and so many other human experiences feel very entombing.  As we endure these things we can easily feel cut off, separated.  Our faith and theology express a promise, given by God, that has echoed throughout the centuries.

Born-Again Christian Is Redundant

A Fresh Start

In our text for this week from the 3rd Chapter of John’s Gospel Jesus challenges Nicodemus to be born again.  Being the Pharisee that he is, Nicodemus does not have the capacity to understand this statement in any way but literal.  His mind is blown, and he is thoroughly confused.  Of course, Jesus isn’t talking about reversing our journey down the birth canal.  Instead, he is speaking about the transforming power of God’s love and grace.  In John 3:16-17, he is connecting all the pieces that also highlights the ‘why’ of it all.  God’s purpose in our world, because of how deeply God understands and loves us, is to bring about a life-giving transformation…a transformation that culminates in resurrection and eternal life.  However, it is not limited to that ‘someday’ hope.  It is, in fact a gift that we can experience now; even in the throes of all the things that we experience as death.  It is a gift that can get us unstuck.  When we see and receive this gift we know in the person of Jesus we begin the process of being born again…and again…and again… You are invited to join us in worship this Sunday as we celebrate this gift and strengthen our ability to understand and respond to it.