CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, March 5, 2023

Genesis 12:1-4a & John 3:1-17

The hardest questions of life seem to come at night. Often, they’re about what we’re facing, enduring, or seeking to solve. In our scriptures today we hear of Nicodemus who comes to Jesus on just such a sleepless night. He’s challenged by Jesus to be born again, born from the heavens on high. It’s not just a question of improvement, but of transformation. It’s a calling to perpetually be renewed, made-new by the Spirit of God who expands our vision, focuses our hearing, becoming our true word and wisdom. Such transformation isn’t forced, but rather chosen; responded to as a vocation. It’s a perpetual reality that each time “the saints gather to encounter Jesus, the Spirit calls us to continuous transformation, calling dead things into new life and Holy Spirit revival.” Faith is this process, journey of being re-formed and redeemed.

Abraham and Sarah receive a similar call to a new beginning, requiring them to leave what they’ve known for a new different land promised to be a home long longed for. There was no GPS, or iPhone to use for navigation. They had to cross borders physical, spiritual, and social, leaving behind an identity rooted in their ancestry and tribal identity. And it wasn’t just the destination that would be their blessing, but in the journeying itself they would be blessed and discipled into becoming a blessing to all the families of the earth.

We’ve talked much these past three years about new normal-s, leaving the past behind that has often siloed and divided us over historic notions of racial superiority and legacy, immigrants leaving everything in the hope to cross borders for a new life. New beginnings is something that we all long for, and maybe something that we’re not that good at. Maybe this challenge is at the root of faith? Only God can bring us to and through the new beginnings that we all need and long for. The word repentance (metanoia in Greek: meta (change) + noia (of mind). It’s similar to the word metamorphosis from Greek: meta (change) morphosis (of form or shape). It’s not a tweaking, or making better, but a resurrection, a total transformation of something, someone who mysteriously remains the same like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.


• What engaged, enraged, or surprised you in this text?
• Do you believe in the possibility of new beginnings? How are you in need of one? And, when the opportunities are revealed before you, Will you be willing to step into the promise of what may be in faith?

Some quotes and wording come from Lenten devotions written by Hann Garrity & Carmelle Beaugelin | A Sanctified Art LLC |

Download a study sheet PDF of the text HERE.

About capcoakland

We are a community of faith seeking to live God's will together: that space where the passions of our hearts and the needs of the world meet in our context of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Our perspective is based from a Christian center, open to the mystery of God's presence in our world. Our core values are celebration, community & prayer. This blog is our avenue for program updates and information.

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2023 by in Blogging Towards Sunday.
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