Category Archives: Luke

Thank you

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Guérison de dix lépreux
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 11:16a

Sometimes I just have to fall on my knees and say thank you to the Lord—for getting me through another day, for friends who encourage me, for family that rallies round in hard times, for unexpected kindness from strangers, for a beautiful day.

It is God’s grace that blesses me with such abundance, and God’s grace that prompts my gratitude. May I listen to the Spirit’s call to give thanks in all ways and at all times.

 

Vision of love and unity

Sheila Sund
Mustard Seeds

For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. Habakkuk 2:3

Despite the grief of living in a world where injustice, indifference, and greed seem to hold sway, our efforts to treat others with respect, share our resources, and speak out against prejudice and cruelty help to build God’s vision of love and unity among all people everywhere.

With just the tiniest bit of faith that the God of Love and Compassion is present and accessible in every moment — guiding us, encouraging us — we continue to play an active role as a part of the vision.

Noticed

Lawrence W. Ladd (fl.1865-1895)
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
watercolor and pencil on paper, ca.1880
Smithsonian American Art Museum

[Jesus said to the Pharisees:] “And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.” Luke 16:20-21

Today I will intentionally look at the people around me. I will take time to notice that we are all children of God in need of love and attention. I will bring a compassionate heart and helping hands to those in need of comfort and care.

 

 

Walk humbly

Kazimierz Nowak (1897-1937)?
Nomad Prayer

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

God: mysterious, unfathomable Love without end or condition who leads, guides,  comforts, and graces us yesterday, today, tomorrow, and for all eternity that we too may become Love incarnate.

Mammon: material wealth and possessions acting as an idol that debases our impulses towards generosity and compassion.

How will I choose? God or mammon?

Vulnerable

Sébastien Dusart
L’Enfant prodigue, de Félix Desruelles, Valenciennes (1899)

There is so much unsaid in the story of the father and his two sons. Why was the younger son so eager to get away from home, but expecting his father’s wealth to support him? Why did the father let him go without any lessons in money management? Was the younger son repentant or an opportunist? Would the warm and forgiving welcome of his father change him for the better?

Why did the older son let resentment about how his father treated him build ? Was it loyalty and custom that made him stay working for someone he resented? What was the real core of the anger he felt towards his brother?

Why hadn’t the father told the older son that everything of his belonged to him? Was the father generous or withholding?

Human relationships thrive on respectful, compassionate communication. We can never know the motives or thoughts of others unless we ask. We can never know our own motives until we take the time to examine our thoughts, behaviors, and actions in humility.

Today I will pray for enlightenment about how I relate with others. I will risk being vulnerable by communicating my thoughts and feelings with someone trustworthy.

Through the gate

Evelyn Simak
A narrow gate on the Weavers Way to Halvergate
9 September 2009

[Jesus] answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13:24

In every moment I am in the presence of God.

Sometimes I enter through the gate of humility, respect, gratitude, courtesy, generosity, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

Sometimes I gatecrash with indifference, selfishness, crankiness, resentment, and arrogance.

Today I will enter the presence of God with reverence, and let God’s holy Spirit think, speak, live, and love through me.

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.