On average, Death Valley gets two inches of rain a year. Two inches. There are two major mountain ranges—the Panamint Range, pictured here, and the Sierra Nevadas beyond them to the West that trap weather systems that would otherwise drop precipitation from the Pacific, making it one of the driest places on earth.
Yet it is fair to say that Death Valley, one of the driest places on earth, has been shaped by water.
Well, water and tectonics.
Exodus 17:1-7 † Psalm 95 † Romans 5:1-11 † John 4:5-42
So last week we met Nicodemus. He was the Pharisee who snuck out in the middle of the night, face hidden, phone off to ask Jesus his questions. He had a lot to lose, after all. He was a man among men. A community leader. A member of a club that had stacked the deck for themselves. So he had to come at night.
Sometimes it is like that for us too. Some of the questions that we want to ask, people around us don’t want to hear. Questions about deep things, questions that show our flaws and our doubts aren’t always welcome at the gym or around the dinner table at the retirement home. Vulnerability doesn’t play well in corridors of power that have a lot to protect.
The problem is, even in our churches we sometimes get the message that some questions are out of bounds, that you have to be a certain thing, think a certain way in order to show yourself in the light of day.
St. Andrew Sermons