Thursday, February 27, 2020


Dear All of Us,

"It's a sin!"
"Oh yah? Says who?"

That's society's seesaw sin say.
Because of it, 
sorting out just what is sin 
can really conflict and foul up 
our spiritual living,
individually and collectively.
Sin there is, but what is sinful?
Without getting sin centered, 
we nevertheless want to be sinless.
Once we get past the "Biggies" - 
things like murder, theft, 
lying, hedonism, racism, adultery -
there has always been a lot 
of that conflicting, confusing 
     "seesaw sin say".

Ancient Egyptian religion 
considered masturbation a sacred experience.
The Roman part of the Church calls it a mortal sin.
So are just about all the teenage boys 
in the world going to heaven or hell?

In ancient Israel it was "an abomination" 
to eat any sort of shell fish.
So is that it for oysters, clams 
and a shrimp cocktail, 
to say nothing of the 
fishing industry, 
the annual blessing of the fleet 
and church fish fries?

For centuries the Christian Church 
insisted that it was gravely evil
to engage in usury.
Is everyone involved 
in the Vatican Bank, on Wall Street
and working at the local bank 
earning their way to damnation?

Things like these have caused confusion 
and even dismissal and denial of sin.
Yet, this sin stuff is serious.
It gets in the way of sanctity.
It is life disturbing.
So we address it.
It's like driving.
We want to make sure 
we get where we're going, 
not end up in a ditch.

Well, it's Lent, 
and like Jesus' public ministry, 
both start off with 
   "Repent and believe the good news"

 ( Mark 1:15 and The Imposition of Ashes )

That's not meant to be a guilt trip.
It is meant to face the mess - 
personal and social - 
and get it cleaned up.

It is meant to be an invitation 
to turn away from the negative 
and toward the positive,
from the unreal to the real,
personal and social.

It's meant to call us to be spot on, 
not way off base, personally and collectively.

To r
epent means to turn away from sin 
and turn toward an amendment of life.
It means to correct course and get going right on. 

The Latin root for repent is "poenitentia" - 
regret and reform. 
It means we lament the errors of our ways 
and determine to reconfigure.   
It's all really positive and promising.

The ancient Israelites understood sin 
as going astray, losing our way - "hata".
Christian scriptures understand sin as 
missing the mark - "hamaritia".
By whatever name they mean being a loser.
We don't want to be.
So it's not only ok, 
it's good to see sin and repent.

During this season of repentance 
we pray and ponder.
Being acutely candid and specific 
we consider, we name:

         What is it in my living these days
         that that causes me to loose my way?

         What is it in my living these days 
         that causes me to miss the mark?

         What is it in our shared, 
         our social living that causes us as a people 
         to loose our way, to miss the mark?
         What do I and we need to do 
         to be on course, to hit the mark?

All this praying and pondering 
we do in good company, 
empowered by the very Spirit of Jesus:
    " I have come not to call 
      the righteous but sinners."
                                         ( Mark 2:17 )
     " I am the way, the truth, and the life."
                                         ( John14:6 )

     "I have come that you might have life 
      and have it to the full."
                                         ( John 10:10 )

           We're sinners sought.
           We're offered a saving from sin.

    "Repent and believe the good news."

        It's a call and caller we sure want to take.

                 Praying for all of us this 

                     Turn Around Time.

                         John Frank




     We pray over and ponder. 
     We ask what is being shared here.
     We see how it is and can be with us.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus 
 has set you free from the law of sin and death." 
                                        ( Romans 8:2 )

"And the testimony is this, 
 that God has given us eternal life,
 and this life is in His Son."  
                                         ( I John 5:11 )
"So then as through one transgression 
there resulted condemnation to all men,   
so through one act of righteousness 
there resulted justification of life to all men."  
                                          ( Romans 5:18  )
( Are Adan and Eve's transgression 
  a type/symbol of all error and sin?)

"In Him was life, 
  and the life was the Light of men."   
                                           ( John 1:4 )
"For as in Adam all have died, 
 so also in Christ all will be made alive."  
                                            ( I Corinthians 15:22 )


A warm welcome to all joining us for the first time. 
                    Good to be together!

                        "frankly speaking"
                    spirituality for the street

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