Category Archives: faith

Peace be with you

Guercino, 1591-1666
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, 1st half 17th c.
Salzburg, Residenzgalerie

May I have the faith to unlock my heart to receive the gift of the Lord’s peace.

And may I carry the message of the Lord’s peace wherever I go today.

Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” John 19:26b

A little faith

Waldemar Flaig,  Jesus mit den Jüngern im Sturm

Waldemar Flaig, 1892-1932
Jesus mit den Jüngern im Sturm
oil, by 1932
via Wikimedia Commons

But when [Peter] saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31

Faith to walk on water. Faith to face the storm. Faith to battle the wind. Faith to walk toward God.

And when we begin to sink from fear, fatigue, stress, and anxiety, a little faith to cry out to Jesus to save us.

Time to rest

I will give you rest

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus engage les apôtres à se reposer (Jesus Commands the Apostles to Rest)
between 1886 and 1894
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Musuem

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I know some days I am heavy with pain, fatigue, and discouragement. I know others carry heavy responsibilities, grief, and stress. I know the world is heavy with violence, racism, and injustice.

I don’t know how to heal the heaviness. But Jesus does. I will practice turning my attention to Jesus. I will trust him with my burdens, the burdens of others, and the world’s burdens. I will rest from my tendency to do-it-myself and let Jesus help me through the day.

Without labels

Apostles Peter and Paul

El Greco (1541-1614)
Apostles Peter and Paul, ca.1592
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

[Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15

I can’t control God with labels. All I can do is rest in the presence of the Divine and be filled with the gifts chosen for me.

All I can do is model myself—to the best of my ability—on Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Compassion of God, Father of Mercies, God of All Comfort.

All I can do is let God be God and turn my will and my life over to God’s tender care and loving direction.

Fed on love

Bread_shop_in_the_street

Bread Shop in the Street, Old Jerusalem
By Grand Parc – Bordeaux, France, via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said,] “Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.” John 6:57

When I feed on Jesus, the Compassion of God, I intentionally work on transforming my habits of impatience, self-centeredness, resentment, and fear. I intentionally practice following Jesus and his way of peace and non-violence. I intentionally do my best to imitate Jesus and his healing presence.

Entwined with God

256px-005-a-Ruby-kindles-in-the-vine-810x1146

A Ruby kindles in the vine, 1905, 1912
Adelaide Hanscom, 1875-1931
via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” John 14:20

Jesus, the vine that gives us life, is in us and we are in him. We are forever entwined with God, with God’s love and grace and goodness and compassion. We breathe with God, live with God, move with God, love with God.

We are the visible fruit of God’s healing and peace in the world. We are the trusted servants of God, trusted to forgive, show mercy, and practice non-violence. We are trusted to build up those who are broken, fragile, discouraged, poor, homeless, and suffering. We are trusted to bring the hope of the Resurrection and God’s eternal love to all those we encounter.

Followers of Christ

Good Shepherd

Early christian image of Christ as the Good Shepherd
Fourth Century A.D.
Museo Epigrafico, Rome

[The shepherd] walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. John 10:4

We follow Jesus into quiet, secluded places to pray. We follow Jesus to dine with the poor and the outcasts of society. We follow Jesus to touch those with untouchable illnesses. We follow Jesus to wash the feet of others. We follow Jesus to forgive those who betray us. We follow Jesus to love our enemies. We follow Jesus to do the will of God, however counter-cultural it may seem. We follow Jesus to die to ourselves and rise to new life.