Gerard de Jode (ca.1511-1591) The Parable of the workers in the vineyard, 1585 Royal Library of Belgium
Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
God is as near as my choice to love my neighbor as myself, to treat others with respect, to show compassion to those who are suffering, to forgive those who have hurt me, to be generous to those in need.
Today I will seek the path of love, compassion, and peace. I will call on the Lord to give me the courage and trust to follow this path.
James Tissot (1836-1902) The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum
Jesus said to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15
Peter has spent long hours and many months with Jesus. He has come to know the compassion of God manifested in every word and touch of Jesus.
This is the key to the Kingdom of God: knowing God’s love in my heart and letting it overflow to all people with words and actions that reveal kindness, gentleness, respect, encouragement, justice, and healing.
JESUS MAFA. Jesus appears to Thomas, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” John 20:24
I wonder how convincing the other disciples were about their encounter with Jesus. Thomas may have had good reason to doubt them.
And I wonder how convincing I am as a witness for Jesus. Do I embody the compassion and unconditional love and non-judgment of Jesus? Do I embody the mercy and forgiveness and non-violence of Jesus? Do I embody the service and healing and humility of Jesus?
Honest doubt nudges me to deepen my commitment to practice the God-qualities that comfort and encourage others, and that bring peace to my corner of the world.
Rembrandt (1606-1669) The Raising of Lazarus, circa 1630-1632 oil on oak panel Los Angeles County Museum of Art
[Jesus] cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Sometimes I feel emotionally and spiritually dead, but Jesus calls me to come out of the tomb of depression and sends people to untie the bands of sadness, self-hatred, and self-preoccupation so that I may again relish the gifts of life, love, and companionship.