In the Lectionary

March 12, Second Sunday in Lent

Genesis 12:1–4a; John 3:1–17

I think that every baptism or confirmation class should include a showing of the movie Mary Poppins. Not for the suffragettes or the magic carpetbag. The point is the scene where Mary, Bert, and the children take hands and jump straight into the middle of a sidewalk chalk painting, emerging in an entirely new, much more colorful world.

That’s what becoming a disciple does. When you are grafted onto the body of Christ, you leave an old, dreary world behind—and enter a world where the unexpected becomes commonplace. It’s not enough simply to say you are a disciple; you actually have to jump.

I was baptized at 25, but I don’t think I really jumped until I was past 30. The story that gave me the courage to jump was the passage in Genesis 12 in which Abram is sent out by God.