Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Resurrection and the Life

‘I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

Jesus has come to the place where Lazarus is buried and is met by a grieving Martha. She remonstrates with Jesus over his late arrival but still places her hope in him. In so doing, she identifies who Jesus really is, Christ, the Son of God. As a son, Jesus then glorifies the Father through the resurrection of Lazarus.

I had a knock on the door yesterday from an old neighbour whose husband has just died. She wanted me to know his funeral is today. I shared with her my belief that her husband's death was not the end of his story. "Oh yes" she said. "I know we are going to meet up again".  She had such a smile on her face it was hard to accept she was a new widow.

Faith in the resurrection does that. I will rejoice for John at his funeral today.

Lord Jesus, let your great mercy triumph over justice for John. May he be speedily be welcomed into your arms.
Saint John the Apostle, pray for us.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Keep Still

Moses answered the people, ‘Have no fear! Stand firm, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today: the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will do the fighting for you: you have only to keep still.’

The Israelites have followed Moses and escaped Egypt. Pharaoh rallies his superior army and catches up with the Israelites in the wilderness. In their panic the Israelites turn on Moses and curse him. In the face of their unbelief Moses calls on them to have faith in God.

Great escapes can turn into great disasters.  The disaster can be the signpost to turn and get back on track or be the test to have faith and stay on course. The difference depends on the how the journey started. Was it from a prompt of God, as in Moses' case, or was the journey launched from my own fleshly ideas?

When God is the navigator, all I have to do is keep still, stand firm and God will do the fighting. What a relief!

Jesus, you know I am the Master Chef of half-baked ideas. Help me let you be the Master Chef of my life. Let me have the peace that comes from trusting in you... today.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

He Rescued Me

The night, when the Lord kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, must be kept as a vigil in honour of the Lord for all their generations.

A estimated three million Israelites have fled the slavery of Egypt. It is written into the very soul of the Hebrew people that God rescued them and they are never to forget it.

God is in the business of rescuing people. He did it dramatically for the sons of Israel. He did it dramatically for all mankind through Jesus.  He did it dramatically for me. What is my "vigil in honour of the Lord" for him rescuing me? This early Saturday morning prayer time is a start I guess.

There's something beautiful about a thankful heart.  People who count their blessings seem to be good people to hang around. They're positive and uplifting. They warm a room when they enter rather than being a "stepmother's breath".  Oh may I be a thankful heart today.

Lord Jesus. I thank you again for rescuing me from the self-centered, tiny world  of me. 

You rescued me, and picked me up
A living hope, of grace revealed
A life transformed, in righteousness
Oh Lord you have rescued me

Forgiving me, You healed my heart
And set me free, from sin and death
You brought me life, You've made me whole
Oh Lord You have rescued me

And You loved me, before I knew You
And You knew me for all time
I've been created in Your image, Oh Lord
And You bought me
And You sought me
Your blood poured out for me
A new creation in Your image, Oh Lord
You rescued me
You rescued me
You rescued me

Geof Bullock

Saint Augustine, pray for me.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Sound of a Man Forgiving

No one therefore was present with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers, but he wept so loudly that all the Egyptians heard, and the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.

Joseph has had planted in the grain sack of his brothers a sliver cup. The brothers beg for mercy for the sake of their father Jacob. Joseph forgives the brothers everything, including their injustice to him, but not without loud tears.

Joseph wept so loudly, the Bible records, that the whole palace heard him. I imagine the remarks in the palace; "What is that sound?" "Oh, that is the sound of a man forgiving".

Authentic forgiveness is painful. It means giving up my rights for revenge. It means cancelling an unpayable debt. It means dieing to my flesh to be born alive in the spirit. Like all births, it involves pain and screaming and groaning.

Forgiveness gives new life. Joseph's forgiveness gave new life and blessing to the Hebrews who then came under Pharaoh's protection. It allowed God's plan for the redemption of creation through Jesus to regain traction and move forward.  Oh, forgiveness is painful but it is essential for God's life to flow in me.

Lord Jesus, you forgave your persecutors from the very cross. Help me always forgive that you may live in me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Son

‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering.

God is putting Abraham to the test. How? By asking him to sacrifice what is dearest to his heart, his only son.

The parallel between Abraham sacrificing Isaac and God the Father sacrificing Jesus is clear here. God chose what is most precious to Abraham, signaling the depth of sacrifice he will make in offering up His only Son Jesus.

I am led to consider the preciousness of my own son, my only son among four daughters. I think it's time I told him again how much I love him.

Father in Heaven, the immensity of the sacrifice of your son Jesus has been revealed to me this morning. I look to my own son and thank you once again for the gift of him.
Saint Thomas Moore, please pray that I may be a worthy father.