Good afternoon all! Sorry for the delay!
John 3:31-36The Message
31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.
34-36 “The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.”
Every single person has some kind of super power. You may have the super power of sleeping in or of knowing just what flavor works in that soup. Perhaps your super power is saying just the right thing in crisis or picking just the right wine for the meal. We all have these super powers, I am convinced.
One of my super powers is somehow winning random concert tickets to mostly unknown bands. I like to enter the email contests when I can and I never win the trips or the cool stuff but I do seem to win a number of concerts of random small bands. It is actually kind of a lovely super power. This week that happened to me. I am not sure how I did it but I won tickets to a concert at Revolution Hall. I had never heard of the bands but there were two tickets just waiting for me at will call to this bluegrass band. So of course Jenny and I were willing to check it out. I also had heard about a Portland Night market happening last night and tonight and thought, “hey, let’s grab food, check out this market thing and then head to live music.” We went to a place for a snack and wine. Lovely. Then we headed to the night market. This was supposed to be full of local homemade stuff (like Saturday market but at night). Cool. Plus it was inside at night with holiday stuff. Awesome. When we drove over, we thought it was a little weird that parking was soooo limited but we found a spot. There were people out but we kept walking towards the building. As we approached we noticed there was a line that wrapped around the block and kept going. This can’t be it, right? Would there really be such a line at 6pm for a bunch of local goods? It kept going. We asked a guy what the line was for….night market? yes. Oh Portland. We wanted to see the line…it kept going and going and going. We peeked in the windows. Was it really so cool? Looks like a bunch of local artisans with their booths….like a saturday market…but with the hugest line possible. Musicians started playing for the line.
We stood looking aghast….there is a HUGE line for local handmade goods?
I couldn’t believe it. Why did that work so well? Why were people eager to stand in line for stuff they could buy in a neighborhood in portland? Why did it work on me? Jenny and I decided not to wait in line due to time but we contemplated it. Good story? Worth the wait?
People are yearning for something more…something connectional. Something that represents values. Something worth waiting in line for. This worked because it seemed valuable and people were eager to get the limited local goods. It worked because it was worked up to be so important that we would wait for a huge line to work its way in. It worked because we don’t want to miss out on something important.
The Gospel of John is to tell the divided people that this stuff is worth the wait. It is worth the line because what we wait for and yearn for isn’t something that is meager but it is extravagant and abundant. Love is doled out freely and without the line. It is local and handmade. It is part of the amazing super power of who we are. We could totally give out extravagant love because of God. It is all part of being in this community. It is here and now…..we don’t even have to have the side shows and we dont’ have to do anything for it and in Advent it is totally worth waiting for…for God to come here in flesh and bone to be with us.
What is your super power, btw?