Come on down

When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” . . . Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:5, 9-10

“All spiritual disciplines are to help you trust this personal experience of yourself, which is, not surprisingly, also an experience of God. People are usually amazed that the two experiences coincide: when we know God, we seem to know and accept our own humanity; we also meet God. We don’t have any real access to who we are except through God, and we don’t have any real access to God except through forgiving and rejoicing in our own humanity.” ~From Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

Jesus came into the world to call me down out of the tree of observation. It takes a meeting with Jesus to find our true selves. In our search for ourselves we find that only through God can we realize who we really are and begin to value our uniqueness. With everything that God created, He claimed it “good”. He knew my name before I was conceived. God knew me in my mother’s womb. As He watched my heart beating He declared me beautiful.

Almighty Father, I thank You for sending Jesus into the world to call be down out of that observation tree to a full life of community. Help me to reach out to others this day. May I show the same patience and serenity that I have been shown. Amen.

God’s promises depend on God

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. . . . See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. ~Rev. 3:20, 22:12 NRSV

“It matters not whether you believe in life after death or resurrection or pie in the sky when you die. God’s designs do not depend upon your assent. Rather, you can depend upon God’s ability to bring to pass those things regarding which God has spoken. The awesome promises of God depend upon God and not whether you can or cannot believe God’s promises.” ~Norman Shawchuck

No matter how I mess up God’s promises do not change. Whether I do my part God’s plans will continue on. There is a huge release of pressure when I realize it is not all hinged on me and my abilities. But then there is also the realization that if I am not on top of things…. I will get left behind. If I am not ready and willing God will find someone else to do His work.

Almighty God, help me to be about Your will this day. Help me to hear Your nudges in the direction You wish for me to go so I may be about Your work. Amen.

To sit awhile with me

Jesus left and made his way to the Mount of Olives, as was his custom, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t give in to temptation.” He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed. He said, “Father, if it’s your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, not my will but your will must be done.” Then a heavenly angel appeared to him and strengthened him. He was in anguish and prayed even more earnestly. His sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. When he got up from praying, he went to the disciples. He found them asleep, overcome by grief. He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation.” ~Luke 19:39-46 (CEB)

“When Jesus was in his excruciating moment in the Garden of Gethsemane he needed his disciples to be with him while he prayed. He longed for the comfort of their presence and was pained by their inability to provide this for him. Jesus didn’t need Peter to slice off an ear of his enemy. He just needed Peter and the others to be there with him as he faced his enemies).” ~From The Cup of Our Life by Joyce Rupp

Heavenly Father, help me to remember that sometimes others just need our presence. They may not be looking for words of comfort or even affirmations. Sometimes friends may just need someone to be “with them” in the sorry. Help me to see this day how I might “be with” others this day. Amen.

God’s peace

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion. Sing aloud, Daughter Jerusalem. Look, your king will come to you.  He is righteous and victorious. He is humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the offspring of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem. The bow used in battle will be cut off; he will speak peace to the nations. His rule will stretch from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. ~Zech 9:9-10 (CEB)

Peacemaking must be the primary focus of all political leaders, whether in or out of power. But the temptations to personal power are too intense to be overcome by our insistently self-centered egos. Therefore, the peace must be God’s peace, a peace that is freely available when we turn inwardly to Jesus. Jesus is the model of the ultimate peacemaker, always pointing to Abba as the ultimate source of peace, justice, goodness, mercy, love, and creativity. In order to claim peace, we must relinquish our own private agendas and let ourselves be claimed by God. ~Robert A. Jonas from Henri Nouwen: Writings Selected with an Introduction by Robert A. Jonas

Heavenly Father, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. May all I do this day point back to you the Ultimate Peacemaker, our source of justice, goodness, mercy, love and creativity. Not my will but Yours be done. Amen.

The peaceful way

When Jesus and his followers approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus gave two disciples a task, saying to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’ ”

They went and found a colt tied to a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some people standing around said to them, “ What are you doing, untying the colt? ” They told them just what Jesus said, and they left them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it. Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields. Those in front of him and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. After he looked around at everything, because it was already late in the evening, he returned to Bethany with the Twelve. Mark 11:1-11 (CEB)

A prince is identified with privilege, rank, and special benefits, but Jesus, the Prince of Peace, comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, a symbol of lowliness. His entrance is greeted with affirmation and acclamation. There is a joyous mood in the crowd as the people anticipated the promise of the prophets before them.

‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth (Zech. 9:9-10)

The promise of peace for a people plagued by war and strife was wonderful news. Perhaps now their long agony would come to an end. The promise of peace is enough to make any suffering people celebrate. Do you suffer today? Sometimes the wars within are a devastating as the wars without. At some time in our lives most of us will know the darkness of loneliness, disappointment, and despair. When the Prince of Peace comes to offer release, redemption, help, and hope, we are also filled with joy and the ‘hosannas’ burst from our lips as well.

Jesus chose the way of peace in a violent world. He taught his disciples to do the same. Just for a moment Peter forgot, and because of that, one in the arresting party lost an ear. But still Jesus rebuked Peter and courageously continued his journey as the Prince of Peace on the way to his own death. ~Rueben P. Job

Help me to continue in Your way of peace O Lord, this day and every day. May I desire to be Your hands and feet in a world full of violence and despair. Help me to shine Your light in the darkness of loneliness and disappointment so that others might know of Your joy and hope, Amen.

Real presence

The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord. ~Isaiah 28:20 (KJV)

“But God is present in reality no matter what unreality our practices and our ponderings imply. He is forever trying to establish communication; forever aware of the wrong directions we are taking and wishing to warn us; forever offering solutions for the problems that baffle us; forever standing at the door of our loneliness, eager to bring us such comradeship as the most intelligent living mortal could not supply; forever clinging to our indifference in the hope that someday our needs, or at least our tragedies will waken us to respond to his advances. The Real Presence is just that, real and life-transforming. Nor are the conditions for the manifestation of his splendors out of the reach of any of us! Here they are; otherness, openness, obedience, obsession.” ~From The Captivating Presence by Albert Edward Day

Thank You Heavenly Father for being a real and a life-transforming Presence. I thank You for pursuing me consistently and guiding me in the ways that I should go. Thank You for never giving up on me. Amen.

Awake!

Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy. Since you call upon a Father who judges all people according to their actions without favoritism, you should conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your dwelling in a strange land. Live in this way, knowing that you were not liberated by perishable things like silver or gold from the empty lifestyle you inherited from your ancestors. Instead, you were liberated by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a flawless, spotless lamb. Christ was chosen before the creation of the world, but was only revealed at the end of time. This was done for you, who through Christ are faithful to the God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory. So now, your faith and hope should rest in God. ~1Peter 1:13-21 (CEB)

If wakeful Christians harbor a wish for heaven to fulfill, they wish not for an escape from reality, but for a deeper acquaintance with reality. When wakeful Christians lament this life, they grieve this world’s trivialization of itself that obscures the more profound reality of the kingdom of God in our midst. Yet, more often wakeful Christians celebrate life, finding the mark of God’s hand in this world and beginning their praise with the discovery of the holy here. ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Isa 6:3), the seraphim sang. Wakeful vision of other worldly praise reveal angels singing of God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven.” ~From A Wakeful Faith by J. Marshall Jenkins

Awaken my mind O Lord, help me prepare for action with clear thinking. Help me live boldly in this world for You. May I sing loudly Your praises when I see the work of Your hands. All glory and honor are Yours. Amen.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries