Category Archives: Matthew

Save me

Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
Jesus Walks on the Sea
between 1866 and 1870

When the winds of pain, stress, and anxiety blow strong, I tend to lose sight of love and goodness and sink into despair.

Today I will take time alone to pray. I will entrust my troubles to the Lord, and accept the healing of the Lord’s eternal patience, compassion, and presence.

[Jesus] went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Matthew 14:23

God’s beloved

The Transfiguration
JESUS MAFA. Transfiguration, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved August 6, 2017].

I wonder, if I listened very hard, if I would hear a holy voice say I am God’s beloved child.

I wonder how it would change me to live with the knowledge that I am God’s beloved child, that we are all God’s beloved children, that God is pleased and delighted by our presence.

From the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:5b-8

In the net

William H. Rau (1855-1920)
Fishermen by the Sea of Galilee, Palestine
stereograph, gelatin silver, ca.29 December 1903

Today’s net holds a variety of interesting “fish.” I find joy in the beautiful morning. Pain deep in my bones. Ease for the pain in the sun’s warmth. Anxiety about returning to work tomorrow. Comfort in the cat’s purr. Annoyance in the in-and-out demands of another cat. An opportunity to be in touch with my elderly aunt. A message from a friend.

To be in the kingdom of heaven is to choose the fish that feed me and others. It is to make a deliberate effort to discard the fish that weaken my ability to love.

Today I choose to let go of anxiety and annoyance. I choose to be gentle with the pain. I choose to give thanks for the beauty of the world and the people I encounter.

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.” Matthew 13:47-48

By the sea

Sea of Galilee
Photochrom print (color photo lithograph), between 1890 and 1905

Sound travels further over water. When the crowd gathers around him, Jesus gets in the boat to make it easier for everyone to hear his teaching.

How blessed are we that our Lord is eager to speak to us and make sure we hear his voice. Today I will take time to listen.

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. Matthew 13:1-2

Rest

Charles Cousen (1819-1889)
Engraving after R. Beavis

The heaviest part of today’s burden is not the migraine. It is the negative self-judgment. I am disappointed in my physical frailty and inability to do all that needs to be done.

But I can handle my most pressing need: to take time to partner with the One who is eager to give me rest. It is enough, it is more than enough, it is my calling to let the Lord teach me God’s care and compassion.

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

One step at a time

The cross is here every day. Sometimes it feels like pain, fatigue, swollen feet. Sometimes it acts like crankiness, indifference, fear. Sometimes it attacks like shame, resentment, despair.

To carry the cross is one thing. To practice trust, love, compassion, peace, forgiveness, and nonviolence despite its weight is another. But this is the way of Jesus that I am called to follow.

[Jesus said to his apostles,] “…and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38

Fear no one

Bilal Mirza
House Sparrows in Pakistan, 2008

God notices each of us, right down to the last hair on our heads.

But I am not always quick to notice others and their needs. I am not always ready to reassure others they are precious in the eyes of God. I am often controlled by fear and unable to share God’s love with those I encounter.

Today I will let God’s loving care transform me into a loving presence for others.

[Jesus said,] “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31