Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grief becomes Joy

“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

The disciples are still wrestling with what Jesus is telling them about His imminent death and what it will mean. Jesus spells it out; "You will weep, but your grief will become joy".

Grief becoming joy. This sums up the human condition.  We live in a fallen world that, by definition, involves grief. There is sickness, pain and evil that we have to live with. But Alleluia! That is not the end of our story! After the crucifixion comes the resurrection. After Lent comes Easter.

On my down-days, when my world's fallen-ness overwhelms me, I need to lift up my head and focus on the resurrection.  When I do this my grief becomes joy. Jesus promised it so I believe and claim it.

Thank you Jesus that your dieing and rising means joy can be mine today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do it Anyway

I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
Acts 17:23

Paul stands up and preaches to the Areopagus, the Greek Council. He gains their attention by starting with an acknowledgement of what the Greeks already had, a shrine to an unknown God. This foothold lets him get to his main point, Jesus.

Saint Paul was a brilliant public speaker. This event in the Areopagus is a great example of his genius. But even here most people rejected his message. Some just laughed at the idea of resurrection. Some wanted their ears tickled (entertained) further, "at some other time". But some heard what he was saying and believed.

Things have not changed in two thousand years. However, Saint Paul is a wonderful role model even for today. He kept on preaching the Good News just for those few who listened and believed.

Some will laugh at my faith in Jesus . Some will find my faith entertaining. But some will listen and believe.

Lord Jesus, give me the courage to keep witnessing for You.
Saint Paul, please pray for me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Friend of God

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, "Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route." So he got up and set out.
Acts.8: 26.27

Persecution has broken out in Jerusalem and the believers have scattered, Philip amongst them. But instead of scattering in silent terror they burst out of Jerusalem in fervent joy. Philip is so full of God that he hears angels and instantly obeys them.

This incident of Philip's reminds me of Joseph, another man so close to God that he hears angels and unquestioningly obeys.

There's a Song by Kevin Prosche with the phrase, "Oh to be the friend of God". Philip and Joseph were friends of God and God used them powerfully. I want to have that intimacy with God. This morning's prayer time has been absent for a while. Perhaps it's a good place for friendship to start.

Jesus, thank you for being loyal while I have lazy. IR each out to be Your friend again.
Little Flower, please pray for me.