Friday, March 30, 2012
I commented in a recent sermon that the disciples really weren’t hearing what Jesus was saying. The passage above takes place as Jesus has just told them again that he is going to be arrested and tortured and crucified. And then James and John come up and ask to be at his right hand and his left hand. Something tells me that either they weren’t listening, or else they didn’t understand what he was saying. They were envisioning a military victory and an earthly throne. The other disciples are not uch further along in their understanding because they get mad at James and John for wanting to be the most important. These are human feelings and worldly actions being displayed by the disciples. So Jesus goes on to tell them:
". . . and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mark 10:44-45
What Jesus is saying is instead of wanting to sit at his right hand or his left hand, that he wants us to serve him by serving those in need. Because it is in serving them that we find ourselves at the right or left hand of Jesus who is also serving them.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
I imagine Joseph being very much like my dad - a man of purpose, of determination. I imagine Joseph protecting this child, Jesus, even with his very life, and teaching him what it meant to be a righteous man.
Thank you, Lord, for people like Joseph and like my dad, who exemplify you in all they do, in the love they share, and the protection they provide for those who are growing in love and knowledge of you. Amen.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
From today's reading: O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you. Psalm 69:6
Sometimes I feel so inept. I often wish I were smarter, knew more, or had better people skills. I often feel lost in a crowd, and sometimes don't have a clue what to say to someone. And I am often afraid that what I do say might seem trite or even inappropriate. It would be really easy to save myself from the possibility of failure by not doing anything risky. My foolishness is in believing that I have something to say and I sometimes get "puffed up" with my successes. My faults are in not always trusting God to speak through me and having all the fears listed above. God knows my foolishness and he knows my faults and God chooses to work through me anyway.
God knows our faults - we don't have to tell him what they are - but - he does want us to be open enough to admit our faults and to lift them up to him so that he can heal us and work through those faults. During this period of Lent, he wants to strengthen all our weaknesses. He is so faithful to minister to us and through us and just to be with us through everything.
Lord, take my foolishness and work through it to show forth insight and wisdom, Take my faults and help me to overcome them so that I may be a blessing in your name, just as you always provide a blessing to me. Amen.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
From today's reading: 'Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path. . . Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. . . Other seed fell among thorns. . . Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.' Mark 4:3-8
I am not struck so much by the result of each type of soil, but that the seed was sown in all types of soil. We have to remember that the result of our ministry is not up to us - and if something we do does not take root, it is not "our fault." If we are faithful to sow the word, if we are faithful to do what God calls us to do - then we have been successful. We have to remember that God will bring about the growth in his own time. We may or may not ever see the result of our planting, but it doesn't mean that it was wasted. Often times, the word is planted at exactly the right time, but it may take years for it to be remembered and to germinate.
I remember seeing a TV show once about the desert, where it may rain once every 20 or 30 years, and the seeds of the desert plants lie dormant in the desert sand, ready to grow and bloom when the rain finally comes. The other image that comes to mind is being on the lava flats in Hawaii and seeing a single plant with flowers in the midst of a black sea of lava. It is indeed amazing what God can bring forth if we are faithful to answer his call to mission and ministry - in our back yards or around the world.
For those of you who read my blog on Monday, my friend, Leah, is off of the ventilator and doing quite well. Thank you for whatever prayers you may have offered up on her behalf.