Monthly Archives: August 2019

Heart of fire

Steffen Papenbroock
“Heart of Fire”

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” Luke 12:49-50

Like the Lord, we know we are waiting for things to change. We feel the stress, the sorrow, the depression, the wish to push time so that solutions emerge and are finalized.

Like the Lord, we do our best to make it through the agony of uncertainty. We wait for the graced moment when God sets our hearts on fire with love and joy, when we finally let ourselves be absorbed into God’s heart of compassion.

Fear disarmed

Flock of sheep grazing on stubble at O’Halloran Hill near Adelaide, SA. 1992.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

What were the disciples afraid of, that Jesus offered these words of comfort and reassurance? No doubt the same things I am afraid of: surviving on a small income; meeting responsibilities; aging; illness; the anger permeating our world; the unjust treatment of the poor, the homeless, refugees and immigrants; the reality of human trafficking; indifference towards the vulnerable, the ill, the elderly…

Jesus disarms all these fears with the unconditional, all-inclusive love of God, the “kingdom” that is already around us, among us, within us.

When I choose love over fear, I embody the kingdom. I am empowered to bring respect, reassurance, encouragement, generosity, justice, kindness, and compassion to my home, workplace, and community.

 

All shall be well

The Wasp, September 31, 1882
political cartoon, San Francisco, California,
depicting San Francisco landlords as vampire bats squeezing the rent out of tenants,
enjoying a fine meal, then being taken by death
and thrown into hell.

Then [Jesus] said to the crowd,  “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Luke 12:15

When I consider my modest take-home pay and the food, rent, utilities, medical, and car expenses I have, it’s hard not to make money and things the center of my attention. Idols, in fact.

But God’s Holy Spirit — not money or things — is my source for life. Today I choose to put my trust in and my attention on God. All shall be well, however it looks right now.