Archive | January, 2017

Good News Travels Fast

14 Jan

Good Morning Friends,

Reading the Bible is so amazing.  It has really been a gift to read it over and over again through a number of years.  I read it so often not because I am particularly devout, but because I have got to come up with something to say on Sunday.

Anyway, this morning it slapped me in the face again about the nature of human beings.  Jesus is clear that he has come to tell the Good News that God is with us, and loves us and wants relationship with us and wants us to live in just relationship with one another.  Yet, everyone starts mobbing him because in his compassion he healed some people too.  He keeps going to new places to tell about God, but the word has spread about his ability to heal and people are coming from everywhere.  Even the historian of the time, Josephus, records the news of a great healer in Galilee.

7-10 Jesus went off with his disciples to the sea to get away.  But a huge crowd from Galilee trailed after them—also from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, across the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon—swarms of people who had heard the reports and had come to see for themselves. He told his disciples to get a boat ready so he wouldn’t be trampled by the crowd. He had healed many people, and now everyone who had something wrong was pushing and shoving to get near and touch him.

11-12 Evil spirits, when they recognized him, fell down and cried out, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus would have none of it. He shut them up, forbidding them to identify him in public.

In the gospel we hear that the evil spirit could recognize him and Jesus makes sure that can’t continue to speak.  I am not sure what this looks like, but it seems clear that this is not about Jesus, it is about God.  Jesus’ entire life was trying to tell about God and make God presence on earth really. . .to be a living example of the Divine Presence.

So, here’s my question.  Do we only come to God when we want something (like those folks who wanted healing.)  I am not saying it is a bad thing to look to the Divine Presence for healing, but IS IT THE ONLY THING?

Jesus came to tell Good News of God’s grace, to show what it was to live on this earth as God’s person, the healing was just a side line.

I think living into the fullness of the Divine is the way to live a whole and holy human beings; to live as we are meant to live.  That’s what Jesus was trying to tell us.  Yet, too often we get distracted with wanting a miracle cure, wanting God to change something in our life to make our lives easier.  [actually I find that we want God to change someone else so our lives with be easier].  I think the wanting of a specific healing or outcome closes our awareness to the blessings that are all around us.

So, here is my invitation today.  Think about the good news of God-with-us.  We just celebrated a month of this gift of the Divine Presence dwelling with us.  Imagine, God’s spirit walking along with you all through the day and see what that spirit might be trying to show you in your life.  I usually find it is showing me the blessings that are all around me.

Peace,

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Let Me Make This Clear

2 Jan

Good Morning and Good New Year Friends,

When we last left Jesus at the end of Chapter 2 he was doing things he should do according Jewish law; specifically breaking the Sabbath law by doing “work.” [doing anythings at all on the Sabbath was illegal]

1-3 Then he went back in the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He said to the man with the crippled hand, “Stand here where we can see you.”

Then he spoke to the people: “What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?” No one said a word.

5-6 He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out—it was as good as new! The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod’s followers and ruin him.

There are so many things going through my head as I read this passage;

  •  The Gospel writer is clearly showing why people wanted to kill Jesus.
  • The work that Jesus was given to do didn’t match the “God rules” of the day and he didn’t care.
  • People hate to be embarrassed and out maneuvered, particularly when their word has never been questioned.

However, the question that Jesus leaves us with is, “What kind of action suits the Sabbath best?  Doing good or doing evil?  Helping people or leaving them helpless?”

To answer Jesus question, I like the quote from John Wesley, founder of Methodism, best.

The best thing of all is God is with us. Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

I think it is a good idea to keep in my head to start this journey into 2017.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Mary