Category Archives: John

In Christ

Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Psalm 66:1

Jesus said, “I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” John 14:20

In Christ we are intimately entwined with God. There is no separation.

Today I will take joy in the gift of the Spirit of truth that helps me remember we are in Christ and Christ is in us. I will intentionally treat all people with deep reverence.

The Way of Love

Steffen Papenbroock
“Heart of Fire”

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6

Jesus is the way of love, kindness, compassion, justice, patience, nonviolence, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing. To have life means I am in this truth.

Today I will intentionally follow the way of Jesus in all my interactions.

The grace of God’s will

Caravaggio (1571-1610)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
oil on canvas, from 1601 until 1602
Sanssouci Picture Gallery

Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

It can be hard to believe that the peace of God is ours, a gift freely bestowed on us. All we have to do is receive it – the peace of kindness, the peace of compassion, the peace of generosity, the peace of deep listening, the peace of forgiveness, the peace of reconciliation, the peace of hope.

Today I surrender to the grace of God’s will that I receive the Lord’s peace in my heart and life. I open my heart and hands to let that peace bless everyone and every situation.

Free to Love

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Raising of Lazarus
oil on oak wood, ca.1630-1632
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thus says the Lord God: I will put my spirit in you that you may live. Ezekiel 37:14

We live with the spirit of God’s open-handed, unconditional love in us to guide us with every decision, every word, every impulse to kindness, generosity, and compassion.

Lord, untie me from the bonds of self-centeredness and self-pity. Let your spirit speak and act through me today that I may be free to be fully alive.

The beauty of the human heart

A.N. Mironov (b.1975) Christ and the Pauper.
Healing of the blind man. Oil on canvas, 2009.

But the Lord said to Samuel,”Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

God sees each of us with the eyes of unconditional love. God sees the beauty of our human hearts with their wounds and bruises, their compassion and kindness. God sees each of us as we were made: in the image of God’s own goodness and love.

Lord, spiritual blindness prevents me from seeing myself and others with the eyes of God. Heal my fear, arrogance, and self-centeredness that I may see the hearts of all people and not judge by appearance.

Thirsting for love

Jacek Malczewski (1854–1929)
Jésus et la Samaritaine, 1912
Lviv National Art Gallery

[Jesus said,] “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.” John 4:14

The water Jesus gives us is unconditional love. A spirit of love. A heart of love. A mind of love. When we receive love, give love, ensure love circulates in our little piece of the world, we will never thirst.

Lord, the thirst for love in our world is so great. Open my heart to receive the water of your love and help me to release that love wherever I am.

Transformed by God’s grace and peace

Zelenka, Dave. Baptism of Christ, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56385 [retrieved January 14, 2023]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baptism-of-Christ.jpg.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:3

Each day is an opportunity to consciously place ourselves in the presence of God and ask to be touched by God’s grace and filled with God’s peace.

And as we receive these gifts, we are called to be servants of God’s will and give them away so that the light of reconciliation and love may reach to the ends of the earth.

God is my strength. Today I will let God’s grace and peace transform my thoughts, words, and the ways in which I interact with the people I encounter.

Heart-energy

João Cautela
Lighting from the Heart, 2011
“With all the lights in the world turning off, I’m hoping the ones in our hearts keep lighting forever…”

Thus says the wisdom of God: “I found delight in the human race.” Proverbs 8:31

Let us dare to step into the heart-energy of the unity of the Holy Trinity.

Then will we know God’s love heals everything, especially the dis-ease that continues to divide our world.

Then will we understand the importance of our practice of respect, courtesy, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and peace.

Then will we find delight in our family, friends, and neighbors.

Lord, you have poured your love into our hearts. May I delight in your gift of love and recognize it in all people everywhere.

Spirit of Love

Steffen Papenbroock
“Heart of Fire”

Jesus said, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” John 14:26

With each breath, we are one with God’s Holy Spirit.

With each breath, we hear the Holy Spirit teach us everything about kindness, respect, compassion, gentleness, justice, and generosity.

With each breath, we listen to the Holy Spirit’s reminder that Jesus has told us to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves, and to forgive those who have hurt us.

Lord, love comes in many forms of service. May I be guided today by your Holy Spirit as I use my gifts and talents to bless our fragile world with love and goodness.

We are one

Jesus prayed, “… that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one.” John 17:22-23

The power of “we” is the power of unity.

When we make the decision to unify our minds and hearts in peace, in respect for each other, in kindness and generosity towards each other… when we let go of selfishness and greed, fear and blame, the desire for power and recognition… our behaviors, attitudes, and actions will begin to reflect deep love and compassion for all of God’s people.

Lord, may the love with which you love each of your human children be in me today. Show me how to make known your healing presence in this time of sorrow and brokenness.