Looking for Jesus

James Tissot (1836-1902)
The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law (La guérison de la belle-mère de Pierre)
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, 1886-1894
Brooklyn Museum

Simon and those who were with him pursued [Jesus] and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Mark 1:36-37

Let me look for Jesus in the eyes and hearts of those I encounter, in the pain I’m suffering, in the suffering of others, in distant or close companionship, in the quiet of prayer, in the holy scriptures.

Lord, let me trust I will find you.

In the name of Jesus

Poussin
A print from the Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations in the possession of Revd. Philip De Vere at St. George’s Court, Kidderminster, England

[The people said, “Jesus] commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” Mark 1:27b

Unclean spirits attack unexpectedly and repeatedly and make themselves at home in my body and mind. It takes all my energy to remember to summon the help of the Lord to expel them.

In the name of Jesus, I command you demons of low self-esteem, despair, negativity, prejudice, denial, blame, resentment, self-righteousness, and fear to be quiet and be gone.

Lord, fill me with your love and peace.

Moving closer

Jesus calls Peter and Andrew

Then [Simon and his brother Andrew] abandoned their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:18

Today’s readings are full of movement: Jonah begins a three-day journey; the people of Nineveh put on sackcloth as a sign of repentance; in Psalm 25 we exhort God to guide us in God’s truth; Paul reminds us the world as we know it is passing away; Jesus invites Simon and Andew, James and John to come after him and the fishermen follow him.

What do my daily actions show? Am I moving closer to the goodness and love in my heart? Am I following Jesus’ way of compassion and peace? Am I inviting others to walk with me as I discover how to love and forgive?

Today I will begin a journey of kindness and respect towards all people.

Honor and respect

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you? 1 Corinthians 6:19

May I remember that, whatever our differences may be, we each house God’s Spirit of goodness and love.

May I honor the temple of the Holy Spirit mine or others’with respect, kindness, peace, forbearance, patience, forgiveness, and compassion.

Generous in forgiveness

Grigory Gaagarin (1810-1893)
Baptism of Christ

Turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:7b-8

The week has been full of stress. Today I feel in great need of God’s gentle comfort, mercy, and compassion.

May I also remember to imitate God’s kindness and forgiveness and to follow the Way of care for all of God’s creation, especially the people I find difficult to love.

God’s glorious light

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
The Star of Bethlehem
watercolor and gouache, 1890

Though darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds, the peoples,
Upon you the LORD will dawn,
and over you his glory will be seen. Isaiah 60:2

Today I will not let the darkness of the pandemic, political posturing, and social tumult cover me. I will shine the glory of God’s love and compassion and comfort in my home, workplace, and community to help dissipate the clouds of fear, unrest, and discord that trouble our world.

Family

The Holy Family in the Carpenter Shop
Honolulu Museum of Art

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13a

By God’s gracious gift of life to all people, we are family, united in God’s unconditional love for each of us. Let us honor and respect each other by remembering our relationship to God and one another.

God is with us

Fourth Sunday of Advent

[But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:] I have been with you wherever you went.'” 2 Samuel 7:9a

[The angel Gabriel] said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28b

God is with me always. God is with you always. May we always remember we have nothing to fear: God is with us.

Anointed with love

Third Sunday of Advent

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me. Isaiah 61:1a

The Lord has anointed me with love, peace, and joy, May I receive the grace of God’s holy blessing, be filled with God’s Spirit, and become a source of love, peace, and joy for all people.

Comfort

Second Sunday of Advent

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.
Isaiah 40:1

Today I will lend you my strength in whatever way I am able. You are welcome to my experience of suffering, humor, joy, depression, peace, anxiety, and the hope I have found by walking through the valleys, climbing the mountains, and leaning on the Lord. This is the comfort I offer you.