Our Scripture lesson for this fourth week of Lent is chock full of mystery. We all know the words of John 3:16, maybe the most famous of all verses in the Bible, but Jesus introduces that famous verse with a bizarre story from Numbers 21 about Godís people being attacked by poisonous snakes and then receiving healing by gazing at a bronze snake lifted up before them on a pole. What an odd, mysterious story! And then Jesus uses that story to introduce John 3:16 Ö weird.
We have a new dog in our home. His name is Jax. Heís a bundle of energy and fun, but itís like having a new baby. Needless to say, Iím exhausted. Today (Tuesday) we are bringing him to a second vet appointment where he is getting a round of shots, vaccines to protect him against various diseases dogs face in life. I remember when my children needed to get these vaccines to protect them. Iím not looking forward to it for the puppy. Itís an interesting practice, vaccination. We take in part of the disease (either alive, but weakened, or dead, depending on the vaccine) to train our bodies to know what to do when we face the real thing. We take in the bad stuff, a little, so that we can defeat it when we face it later on, if we face it later on.
I wonder if thatís sort of what is happening with the snake story, and I wonder what that might say to us about the cross of Christ. If youíre curious about the strength that faith can offer when you face the bad stuff of life, join us. Parkside is a place where you belong, and we all need a booster shot from time to time!