DATE: 3 January 2016
TO: Manantial de Gracia
TITLE: Springing up in the Wastelands (Brotando en los Páramos!)

LLAMADO A COMUNIDAD / CALL TO COMMUNITY: Isaiah 44

One: Turn to each other and repeat after me: Mirensen un@ a otr@ y repitan después de mí:
All: Listen… God says to each of us. Don’t be scared. Escuchen… Dios nos dice no se asusten.

That is what God said, Eso es lo que Dios dijo,
“Don’t be afraid!” “No tengan miedo!”

When we are thirsty, Cuando tenemos sed,
God will pour water on the land. Dios derramaré agua sobre la tierra.

When we share God with children; Cuando compartimos a Dios con niñ@s;
God will pour the Holy Spirit and bless them. Dios derramara el Espíritu Santo y los bendecira.

Do not tremble, do not be afraid. You are all witnesses: No tiemblen, no tengan miedo. Vosotros sois testigos: there is no god but God. No hay dios sino Dios.

God who blots out our transgressions and remembers our sins no more. Dios borra nuestras rebeliones y olvida nuestros pecados.
Our God is a God of power and strength! Nuestro Dios es un Dios de poder y fuerza!

God who created each of us with tender care. Dios que nos creó a cada uno con tanto cuidado.
God loves each of us with tenderness and passion. Dios nos ama a cada uno con ternura y pasión.

Our God calls us each by name. God calls each of us to unite in worship! Nuestro Dios nos llama por nombre. Dios nos llama a unirnos en adoración!

ENVUELT@S EN LA PALABRA / ENGAGING THE WORD: Isaiah 43: 19

And God said/Y Dios dijo:

Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already – you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there. (GNT)
Pues estoy a punto de hacer algo nuevo. ¡Mira, ya he comenzado! ¿No lo ves? Haré un camino a través del desierto; crearé ríos en la tierra árida y baldía. (NTV)

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. (MSG)
¡Voy a hacer algo nuevo! Ya está sucediendo, ¿no se dan cuenta? Estoy abriendo un camino en el desierto, y ríos en lugares desolados. (NVI)

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (NIV)
Yo voy a hacer algo nuevo, y verás que ahora mismo va a aparecer. Voy a abrir un camino en el desierto y ríos en la tierra estéril. (DHH)Springing up in the Wastelands! (Brotando en los Páramos!)

Happy Sunday! Merry Christmas! And finally, Happy New Year!

I have to share with you that this has been an especially difficult year for me to come into… I wont speak for the rest of you but I must say that the words of our last sermon title have been swimming around in my head all week…

Necessary Endings! Things have to finish… the end of something has to happen in order for there to be a new thing.

We have to get unstuck from our past so that the future can finally be with us. I have been suffering the worse of pain in my molar… a filling came out… but it was necessary for that filling to come out so that I could be so uncomfortable that I would visit the dentist and he could tell me some harsh truths. Necessary Endings!

I am sorry, that I am going to talk about me for a second longer, but I have to share with you that sometimes it is easier to hear about someone else’s hardships than our own… necessary endings.

But, let us return to today’s text:

“Don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (MSG) “¡Voy a hacer algo nuevo! Ya está sucediendo, ¿no se dan cuenta? Estoy abriendo un camino en el desierto, y ríos en lugares desolados” (NVI)

This morning you heard read aloud 6 versions of the text. And while each may feel different, there are a few words that seemed to resonate in all:

happening=sprouting/springing up
road=path/way
desert=wilderness or a new Exodus
river=streams
dryland=desert/wasteland

I am not going to go over each of these words, but I want you to think about them for a moment:

When something is still happening it is sprouting forth—if we were to imagine a seed that has outgrown it’s pod IT has to BURST through the layers of the seed in order to become a beautiful flower. From necessary endings we get new things.

For some of us, the closest we will get to walking through the dessert is a day at the beach. We have all of the things we think we will need to enjoy our day at the beach, but first we have to make it all the way there… imagine that you are the first person to make it to the beach on a particular day… there is that sometimes overwhelming feeling of an endless dryness as you carrying all of our possessions through the hot sand… there is no road or trail or easy way to reach the perfect location for you to set up camp… it is necessary for you to break ground all on your own… But we are not alone. God is with us.

I know we can each imagine what it feels like to be thirsty. The kind of thirsty that happens to those of us who don’t like to use public restrooms and have no choice but to avoid drinking liquids as much as possible during long road trips for fear that we will be stuck on the highway having no choice but to use a public toilet… but finally we reach our destination and it is like a miracle! Clean toilets and running water!!! Be still my heart.

Are you ready?

When we read today’s text, many of us are so concentrated on the first part of the verse:

Watch for the new thing I am going to do Pues estoy a punto de hacer algo nuevo. Forget about what’s happened ¡Voy a hacer algo nuevo!
See, I am doing a new thing!

That we miss out on living and learning from those very moments that as they are happening. The new things that God is doing are manifestations of God’s power and love, but so are the old!

See, God delivered Moses and the Israelites’ from their oppressors, but they had miracles and greatness and love in the midst of their journey… they got through the Red Sea. Water sprang out from a rock. Manna fell from above.

Today we are in a wasteland, waiting for the New Thing that God is springing up. But, today we have greatness all around us, we need only open our eyes and see.

“It is happening already – you can see it now!” (GNT) “¡Mira, ya he comenzado! ¿No lo ves?” (NTV)

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