Tubing out on Birch Bay, Washington with some friends. He had just splashed her and was making nice! It was a great time all told.
Would we forgive as quickly as these two did. How often do we let grudges legitimate or otherwise cling to us darken our days and keep us from the fullness of life and relationships we are meant to enjoy? I know it isn’t easy. But, what of great worth comes easily or cheap? Not much. Even the gift of God’s grace that comes to us freely is deeply costly. That cost is born out of a deep and abiding love for us. Forgiveness is a major theme of scripture for a reason, it is what God does, for us, and calls to us to do as he does.
What do you see here… these are Brown E’s to be sure.. but they are in a pan so does that make them Brownies? I wouldn’t want to eat them!
These were produced as a little April fools gag in the office. They were presented at our staff meeting as our snack! It took one or two folks a few seconds to process this… “what is that!” “they are Brown “E’s” get it… Brownies…. and they are gluten free….” tick tick tick tick tick…. “oh….!!!! I get it!”
Now I am not always the first to pick up on this stuff, its no that I don’t see it, but I am looking for something else so I can not observe what is right in front of me!
During Lent and Holy Week we look at the fact that Jesus stands accused of being a king… the King of the Jews… even mockingly they plainly see that is what he is, but they can not see, truly see that he is THE TRUE KING!
Lest we give Pilate and the crowds to hard a time in these stories, we often times confess Jesus as Lord, as King of our lives but do not see what that is to entail. His Kingdom changes things, and we do not always perceive it. We see the world as we see it, but Jesus calls to us to open our eyes to see the world as it really is in his Kingdom.
What things have you seen one way, then when explained or pondered upon you have seen differently?
How does living as a child of God in the Kingdom of God in the here and now change the way you see things? If you don’t think it does, or hasn’t yet why not?
Though it is hard to demonstrate. I am #blind as a bat without my glasses We all actually have lenses, most of the built in ones tend to work fine for a while but at some point in time we need correction, either so we can see close up, or far away… or both!
Without lenses we can not see things clearly. But there are also lenses out there that are not for us, the correction is to strong, or too week. Other lenses change the way we see things, some times that can be good they keep our eyes safe, other times, they can keep us from seeing what needs to be seen.
As I write this I am in the midst of preparing for Holy Week so those texts are bumping around my brain as I contemplate this.
On Maundy Thursday we contemplate Jesus’ model of service, the gift of a meal, and a new yet not so very new commandment… that we love one another as he has loved us. The Good Friday text I am focusing on is the “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” portion from Luke.
Those are all pretty strong lenses to view ourselves and the world. We are to serve, we are fed and nourished to do so, and we are called to love each other through it all. Lastly following the example of our Savior, we are to forgive, sometimes that is the hardest correction of all!
How do these lenses change the way you see things?
Do you have other lenses that change the way you see things personally? How do you know you are looking though those lenses and is this a good or bad thing!?
Finally in the meal, Jesus promises to be there for us! How does this lens effect the way you see the rest of Holy Week? How can this lens effect the way you live your day to day life?
No fight in the pup tonight, just being mr mellow for the time being. I like it.
Like this little dude… so often we fight just, being at peace. He loves to play, and fight and wrestle. So much so it gets a little tiresome. Not for him so much as it is for us. But there are moments, when the fight is gone, and he is tuckered out that can be so nice.
It is calm, and comfortable, it is a time when you can just be.
Life is like that as well isn’t it? Ok, maybe I am reaching a bit, but much of life is a fight. Trying to cram in all you can into a day, trying to prove your point, or prove your self can be a real fight. There are moments when there must be a fight though, one must often fight the momentum of worldly expectations, fight against injustice, fight for justice, fight for your right to parrrrty….. (sorry about that one)
I am not much of a fighter personally… I have taken more punches than I have given in your typical understanding of a fight. However, I like to think when it comes to the important stuff, I have fought well, not will violence or force, but with love, grace and mercy. Most days I hope that is who I am… ask my younger siblings, it may not have been who I was… but there is forgiveness right? :) And I am always becoming who I already am in Christ Jesus who fought death and won for you and for me.
Scanning old slides from St. John tonight. No doubt the “women” are better looking now! Not speaking of this silly old Photo from some men’s group event in the past, doubt is a funny thing.
We are often very uncomfortable with doubt. We like our facts, we like our rock solid proof, but in the realm of faith, doubt also has its place. Just think about the most well known doubter in all of Christianity… Thomas.
I don’t know about you but mentally I mocked this man for years. How could he doubt, he walked with Jesus. How could he doubt, he saw things most of us would give almost anything to see. But the events of Holy Week… and the cross, caused doubt to enter his mind.
Honestly as I get older, I can see how this would happen. In fact, the other disciples didn’t doubt, but not what you think… until Jesus showed up in their midst they had many a doubt. Thomas just wasn’t there when Jesus put in his first appearance to them. They could have believed the testimony of the woman at the tomb… but no… they doubted too.
Thomas in my book should be label as Lucky Thomas, or Fortunate Thomas, rather than Doubting Thomas. Because in the midst of his doubts, Jesus came to him bodily… pretty wonderful. I am convinced that Jesus still comes to us amongst our doubts and questions. He comes physically thought his presence in the sacrament and amongst those who are sent into our lives to love and care for us.
As blessed as assurance is, so to is the doubt that causes Jesus to enter our lives and bless us in faith, love and grace.
I received this “mustache pop” as a gift. I love to get presents to receive gifts, unexpected gifts out of the blue. When they are a surprise it says something special to me. Its like they thought of you when then wouldn’t of had to and then acted on that thought!
In faith we know that God has acted and is acting on our behalf in Christ. In him we have received a gift beyond cost, beyond our ability to repay and frankly beyond our capability to give a proper thank you!
How do you receive gifts? Is it hard, for some it is, why do you think that may be?
I don’t always receive compliments well… mostly because I don’t know quite how to respond. My wife has taught me that “Thank You” is appropriate. How do you best say thanks to God for all He has done?
Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another. Proverbs 27:19
Who do you reflect?
This is a picture of the reflection of the sunset on the waters around Washington Island, WI. It is one of my vary most favorite places on earth. I was lucky enough to serve there for six years. Since leaving much of what I did, learned and experienced in this place is reflected in my life now.
Who do you seek to reflect and what is it about that person that you want to reflect back?
Water is central to much of the Christian identity. From the waters of of the Old Testament stories to the water used in baptism. How does this water reflect in your life today?