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March 21, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Twenty-One

Week Three: Mission Field

Reflection for the Week: What encourages me to engage more fully in the mission field?

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. (www.medlineplus.com)

Bone marrow is a wonderful mystery to me. I think it is cool that at the very core of our being there is something with potential to become what I need to live. When needed, the stems cells become red cells to carry life giving oxygen. When needed, the stems cells become white cells to fight off infections that could kill me. When needed, stems cells become platelets that help me heal. Those are all “good works” in my book. What a wonderful blessing that God has placed within us this life giving source. It is wonderful and real, but it is still a mystery to me.

The mystery of the indwelling Christ is a similar. Christian theology teaches that the life-giving power that was in Jesus while on earth was Holy Spirit. The story of Pentecost teaches us this Holy Spirit is now in us as the church (Acts 2:4). This fits with Jesus’ promise in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” NRSV.

There is something at the core of our being as Christians that keeps urging us to do good works. There is something at the core of our being that calls us to acts of kindness. There is something at the core of our being that wants goodness and life, something that cries out against the spiritual infections of evil and despair, something that enters with healing when we are wounded. The Spirit of Christ is not floating around us, it is moving within us bring us goodness and calling us to do good works.

When you begin to courageously accept the indwelling power of Christ in your life, it reshapes your whole identity. It changes you — right down to the marrow.

Prayer: Living, loving God, May your Spirit be in me and move through me. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference