A prayer for the day

O Father and Mother, O Giver of Life, we know deep within ourselves, that you surround us. We rest a moment in that thought. You surround us.

Not only that, but you are also deep within us. Your presence is given, a gift, a grace, the only real thing you have to give, and the only real thing we need. Let that awareness of your presence spur each one of us to listen well (to attend to your Word), and to #BeResurrection for all those who despair among us.

In the name of your resurrected Son, Jesus, who is everywhere to be experienced, we offer these words. Amen.

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A snowball fight today …

I had a snowball fight with Grace and Hollis before leaving for school today. What fun it was! I was like Will Ferrell in Elf, standing behind my truck. Got Grace with a big snow ball right in her forehead. It was great! They didn’t even know how to pack a snowball. It was a crying shame!

The Lord is risen and everywhere to be experienced and enjoyed. #BeResurrection

Boy, this got me thinking…

Jesus was a Jew. And Jesus was a poor Jew. If we dare take the position that in Jesus there was at work some radical destiny, it would be safe to say that in Jesus’ poverty he was more truly Son of man than he would have been if the incident of family or birth had made him a rich son of Israel. (Taken from Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, pages 5-7.)

Peace in the midst of the storm

October 4, 2017 at 3:04 pm.

“This morning when I went out to the patio of my home I looked at an old familiar oak tree. I had never seen him so bare of leaves and branches. The winds of the hurricane left him like this. Before the hurricane, it was always green and its flowers were beautiful. When I was about to start crying, this nightingale came and stood on one of its branches, he sang to me as always, his song did not change in spite of the storm. He did not deny his singing and posed for a long time. Before the hurricane, I could only hear him singing hidden among the branches.  Today I could see it as it is. I remembered Job 42:5 “I heard you more by ear now my eyes see you.”

-Rev. Justino Pérez, Villa Las Lomas, San Juan (CCDCPR).

Promise

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis‬ ‭9:12-13‬)

“It is still raining … The story is not over yet, but those of us who have heard it before have a distinct advantage over those who have not, because we know something about how it turns out in the end. In our own time, the ark does not so much look like a barn floating on a choppy sea. It looks more like a blue-green ball bobbing on the dark ocean of space … There are children in the Sudan eating hibiscus blossoms because there is nothing else left to eat and there are war-wrecked men and women who never leave their post at the small window of the ark, wondering when, please God when, will the dove return with the olive leaf in her beak.” -Barbara Brown Taylor #Promise

A day after the largest mass shooting on U.S. soil.

Gospel Medicine

We are walking around with Luke Sunday; it’ll be a last time until we do it again. Luke is like an old friend we haven’t seen in a while, but who always seems like he’s always there. I think of my friend Carl in that way, who lives in Happy Island, AK, with whom I talk every two weeks about books, and stuff. Happy Island, AK: I’ve never been there, but I’m envious.

Carl called me through all this last month. It’s been a month, don’t you think? Unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Carl called me every Monday morning at 9:30 and left me a message basically saying: Hey Pal, I’m going to just call you this time every week. You don’t have to answer. Just my way of saying you’re in my thoughts. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. I don’t deserve such a friend.

Luke is just that kind of friend to us through his story of Jesus. He shares Gospel Medicine.

Luke is uniquely positioned to talk about Jesus, because he’s a physician. He’s a physician, but Barbara Brown Taylor speculates that if Luke were to fill out one of those forms today and came to the box where you put your occupation, that Luke would write “disciple”. Luke helps us find the healing that all seek in the deepest places of our hearts.

Luke puts this on full display for us Sunday. He preserves his most personal story for last: Two friends on the road to Emmaus. I’m thinking he was one.

Read Luke 24:13-35

Gospel Medicine

Let me tell you what Gospel Medicine sounds like: If you want to find real freedom and deep joy in your life, don’t focus on yourself as the end and balance of it all. Focus on others, whoever they are. For, as Luke reminds us in the Story of Jesus,

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)

We will discover that we will then be called to live a life of trusting Jesus that all we need and more will be provided.

That’s what Jesus meant when he said, Do not worry about your life … what you will eat and drink and where you will sleep. All that will be provided. It was the Apostle Paul who said in Ephesians 3, when he broke out in a glorious, spontaneous benediction in the middle of that circulated letter:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (3:20)

That’s the Good News that is Gospel Medicine. That’s the Gospel Medicine that we need.