Read Judges 6:25-32
Have you ever done something you were told to do but had no idea “why” you were doing it? I’m sure Gideon had a bit of that going on when God told him, among other things, to “pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it.”
What do we see here? Gideon didn’t question God but got to work on the requested task. He did wait until the dark of night so he would go undetected. Gideon was pretty sure that this plan would cause a big stir and may have even feared for his life. Yet, he listened to God. That’s my takeaway from today’s reading.
Continue reading “Judges 6:25-32 – You Want Me To Do What?”
Read John 14:1-7, Mark 14:17-31, Luke 22:39-46, and Matthew 26:47-56
What a roller coaster of emotions. As we spend quiet time together today it’s time to really focus in on Jesus’ final hours with his friends, those closest to him. Jesus knew all along this day was coming, yet now that it is here there was so much to say. His disciples still didn’t seem to understand fully the importance of what was about to unfold. We can see clearly, yet do we still grasp what is happening? We’ve read the words, but what is happening in our hearts?
Each of these passages reveals something we can hold on to as we journey through our own dark night. There are beautiful promises. How often have we questioned something happening our lives, in our world? Jesus’ words in John, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Like Thomas, we’re still not sure, we want more assurance, more information. Jesus calms our fears when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus is our answer. When the tempests of life try to overwhelm us, we need only rest in these words. We may not know what the future holds, but we know who does know. Now we can find peace in the Father.
Continue reading “Holy Week 2020 – Thursday”
Read Matthew 26:6-13 and John 12:1-8
How did Jesus spend his last days? All these years later, what do his final words say to us? We have entered into Holy Week. In pastoral ministry over the years, this has been one of the busiest weeks of the year. Easter morning would often arrive and the week before would seem only a blur of preparations. How can you celebrate the resurrection joy when you haven’t taken time to feel the agony and desperation of Jesus’ final hours?
This year, in 2020, the whole world has been given a notice to isolate, to “socially distance” from co-workers, friends, neighbors, and loved ones. No church gatherings will take place. There are plenty of people feeling the agony of loss and the desperation of the unknown. Yet for this week, I want us all to try and focus on Jesus. Let’s set aside the craziness of the world’s events and just be in the presence of Jesus. Walk with him in his final days. Feel his passion. Sense his strength. Hear his promise that death has no power.
Continue reading “Holy Week 2020 – Tuesday”
Read Luke 17:1-10
How much time do we spend talking about sinfulness? It’s a subject we don’t like to think about because we expose ourselves, our faults and our wrong doings. But without exposure, how can we be cleansed. God sees our hearts no matter how much we try to cover up our messiness. When we do face our sin so that we can prayerfully ask for forgiveness, do we look beyond ourselves and pass blame?
We might say something like, “I wouldn’t have done it if so and so hadn’t made me.” We want to pass the blame torch, somehow lessening the guilt or shame we feel for our own sin. Rather, we should flat out admit we messed up and move on toward forgiveness. That is such a better place to be. Continue reading “Luke 17:1-10 – Faith & Forgiveness”
Read Luke 10:38-42
If Jesus was coming to your house for dinner, would you be frantic about the details or would you be excited to hear his stories? I’m sure Martha was both, but her focus on details kept her from enjoying all that her sister was clearly experiencing.
For me, I would want everything to be perfect, just like Martha. I would only later feel regret I wasted so much time stirring the soup or setting the table that I missed even one story from Jesus. What about you?
As you evaluate yourself, remember it is not Mary vs. Martha. We should be Mary + Martha.
Continue reading “Luke 10:38-42 – Are you Martha or Mary?”