Continual Movement

Thursday, April 11, 2019

“After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” [Luke 19:28]

Jesus had been in Jericho, healing a blind beggar and eating with Zacchaeus according to the narrative of Luke.  Next, Jesus tells the parable of ten pounds, which is similar to the parable of the talents found in the Gospel of Matthew. The text doesn’t tell us if Jesus is still in Jericho or somewhere along the way Continue reading Continual Movement

Reaffirming Faith

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. O give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good, for the Lord’s steadfast love endures forever.” [Psalm 118:28-29]

Do you remember the first time you emphatically said, “You are my God?”  If you came to faith later in life you may remember the exact date when you gave your allegiance to God. If you grew up in the faith, as I did, your allegiance may have naturally unfolded over the years without a specific date. I remember my sons as preschoolers declaring exuberantly,  Continue reading Reaffirming Faith

Rejection – Not the Final Word

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing it is marvelous in our eyes.” [Psalms 118:22-23]

According to Wikipedia “A cornerstone will sometimes be referred to as a ‘foundation-stone.’ Yet, a chief or head cornerstone is not located in the foundation, it is placed above two walls to bind them together or to prevent a building from falling apart. Living as post resurrection people, we see in this phrase from the psalmist Christ.  Of course, Apostle Paul did as well referring to Christ as the ‘head of the corner’ and as the ‘Chief Cornerstone of the Church’ (Ephesians 2:20). Christ is both foundational and essential Continue reading Rejection – Not the Final Word

Gates Flung Open

Monday, April 8, 2019

“Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.” [Psalm 118:19-20]

I remember waiting for the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem to open each morning.  About five of us would venture out of our hotel just as the sun crested the horizon and we would make our way through the cobbled streets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We entered through the city gates  Continue reading Gates Flung Open

Remembering

Sunday, April 7, 2019

“And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.” [Exodus 32:14]

Our relationship with God has agency. Moses implored the Lord his God, saying, “Remember.” “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them, by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit forever.’”  “Remember,” said Moses and God did. God was moved. God’s mind was changed. God chose not to bring the disaster upon the people that anger had planned. How might remembering our promises help us in the heat of the moment? In the heat of a marital dispute, how might remembering our vows lower the temperature? In the face of injustice that angers our soul, how might remembering that we are to love our enemies regulate our actions? Remembering whose we are and who we are called to be may change our minds in the heat of the moment, just as it did for God.

Prayer

Holy One, I stand in awe of our relationship. I do not know if I have changed your mind, but I trust that you weigh my thoughts as you did with Moses. In the heat of my own anger, help me to remember that I am your beloved child and that you call me to the standard of love. Amen.

 

Staying Present To Anger

Saturday, April 6, 2019

“But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say it was with evil intent that you brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’?” [Exodus 32:11-12]

God said to Moses, “Now let me alone.”  God was enraged. God wanted to consume the Israelites. But, thankfully Moses didn’t leave God alone. What do you do in the face of somebody else’s anger? Personally, I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for Moses to face God’s anger.  Yet, Moses did. Continue reading Staying Present To Anger

Observe Your Pronoun Use

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it,’ and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” [Exodus 32:7-8]

Did you notice the pronoun? God said to Moses, “Your people…” God doesn’t claim the Israelites. God assigns them to Moses. Yet, wasn’t it God who said earlier in Exodus, “I have observed the misery of my people… I will send you, Moses, to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”  This exchange reminds me of parents Continue reading Observe Your Pronoun Use

Appeasing the Restless

Thursday, April 4, 2019

“Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So, all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” [Exodus 32:2-4]

What amazes me about this text is that Aaron must agree with the people who said, “We don’t know what has become of Moses.” Aaron doesn’t suggest they wait longer for Moses to return. Aaron doesn’t remind them of all that God has done and suggest that God will provide for them even if Moses doesn’t return. Aaron doesn’t do anything other than figure out a way to appease the restless crowd. Continue reading Appeasing the Restless

Tired of Waiting?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” [Exodus 32:1]

How long are you willing to wait for some one? If you are to meet someone, do you give them five minutes or ten or more?  The Israelites had been waiting for Moses not for just minutes, but for days that turned into weeks.  The biblical text tells us that Moses was on the Mountain for forty days and forty nights and the people got tired of waiting.   Continue reading Tired of Waiting?

A New and Right Spirit

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me… and sustain in me a willing spirit.” [Psalm 51:10, 12b]

What would a new and right spirit look like in you?  Would a cloud of gloom be lifted?  Would a vortex of anxiety loosen its grip?  Would the fear of not being enough or having enough vanish? Would there be a new pep in your step? These words, “Put a new and right spirit within me,” follow King David’s plea for mercy. He passionately cries out to God for forgiveness Continue reading A New and Right Spirit