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“Getting Over Our Fear of Hope”

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The Fire

The Fire

 

 

“Suddenly a violent rushing wind from heaven filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Tongues of fire distributed and rested on each person.  Everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in the utterances of the Spirit.  There were religious folk living in Jerusalem, from every nation on earth.  When they heard the noise, they came together, amazed that they were hearing their own language.  ‘These are Galileans.  How is it that they are speaking our language?’ they declared in astonishment, ‘We hear of the mighty deeds of God in our own tounge.’  They continued in great amazement saying, ‘What does this mean?’  But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine.’”

 

Acts 2:2-13

 

Stories like this are difficult to encounter.  We are a skeptical people.  This story sounds silly.  When we hear of violent winds, spirits, foreign languages, and supernatural movements all coming together we conclude just like the folks in Jerusalem, ‘They must be drunk.’  You are looking at one of the biggest skeptics of them all.  I have been beat down and broken time after time by false stories of religious experience.  I have had pastors and religious leaders lie to my face about God to get what they want.  There is no question that sometimes there is reason to be skeptical, but then again there are other times…

 

Times where the impossible seems possible.

Times where love seems to reign.

Times where hope seems real.

 

Today we live in the deep chasm existent in the space separating ‘what is’ and ‘what if.’

 

Too often we allow ‘what is’ to guide our lives and respond like the religious folks in Jerusalem.

 

I experienced a pastor this week in Guatemala who told me that he saw and heard the physical manifestation of Jesus during the genocide.

 

What do you say to such things, ‘He must have been drunk.’

 

I heard a story yesterday about a near death experience.  An Episcopal priest in Massachusetts met a 3-year-old girl who told him all about his life and what she had learned when she almost died.  The problem was they had never met.

 

What do you say to such things, ‘He must have been drunk.’

 

We are working for justice and equality here in Denton, Texas.  I know that a time is coming when there will be full equality and gay marriages in all the churches in this town.

 

What do you say to such things, ‘He must be drunk.’

 

I believe that God loves us and has prepared a place for us called heaven.  I believe that Jesus rose from the dead.  I believe that there is healing to be found in prayer.

 

What do you say to such things, ‘He must be drunk.’

 

Your skepticism betrays your ability to see, feel, taste, or experience the beautiful.  Your skepticism keeps you from a place called hope.  Ya’ll ask me all the time, ‘Why can’t I fall in love?’  The answer to that is simple, ‘Because you think relationships have to fit into a scientific equation.  You dissect them like you are in a physics class.’  Just let love and hope be…

 

Quit thinking you know so damn much!

 

Allow your heart and soul to lead every once in a while…

 

We are not going to be able to do anything as a people until we begin to be comfortable in the space of ‘what if.’  While we are not going to forget ‘what is,’ because we want to always keep a good idea of the what is around us, we are going to start dream about what God can do in our lives, in this space, and in the world.

 

I believe in love and I want to see the power of love unleashed.

 

I want to see love come down like a mighty wind and flabbergast our neighbors.

 

Can we get over our fear of hope and start believing in more than what the limits of our mind allow?

 

Maybe…oh just maybe…we too might experience the fire.

 

Amen.

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