Monthly Archives: August 2015

Power to change

Ernst Barlach, 1870-1938 Lehrender Christus, mit vorgestreckten Händen, 1922

Ernst Barlach, 1870-1938
Lehrender Christus, mit vorgestreckten Händen, 1922

Jesus knows we’re human. At times we’re going to be judgmental, indifferent, greedy, resentful, and self-seeking. We’re also going to be compassionate, loving, forgiving, and generous.

What happens when I think negative, hurtful thoughts? What happens when I speak scornfully, sarcastically, or otherwise unkindly to myself and others?

What happens when I deliberately choose to think positive, grateful thoughts? What happens when I speak respectfully and kindly to myself and others?

Jesus urges us to be aware of our thoughts and how we act on them. We have the power to change the world with our attitudes and actions.

[Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,] “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” Mark 7:20-23

Words of eternal life

John 6:67-68

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6: 67-68

I’ve heard “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “forgive seventy times seven times” and “Peace be with you”—words of eternal life spoken by Jesus.

How can I turn away without betraying my birthright as a child of God made in the image and likeness of God’s love?

 

 

 

God’s gift

eAs I unwrap God’s gift of life today, may I remember to thank the One who gave it to me.

[Jesus said to the crowds:] “I have life because of the Father.” John 6:57b

Taught by God

James Tissot (1836-1902) La multiplicité des pains, between 1886 and 1894 opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La multiplicité des pains, between 1886 and 1894
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Museum

The Word of God teaches me to be bread for those who are hungry for kindness,  encouragement, compassion, and love.

The Word of God teaches me to eat the bread of forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, and nonviolence.

The Word of God teaches me that the Lord is the bread that gives me the nourishment to love my neighbor as myself, welcome strangers, feed the hungry, and visit the sick.

[Jesus said:] “It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God.” John 6:45a

God cares

James Tissot (1836-1902) Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Our need for signs from the Lord speaks of our very human desire to be reassured that God is near and paying attention to us—that God cares. It speaks of our need to be fed with the bread of hope, of compassion, of unconditional love. It speaks of our thirst for conscious contact with the Lord.

Does God care? A wise friend told me: “Of course. That’s why Jesus came here.”

So [the crowd] said to Jesus, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” John 6:30-31