Tag Archives: Christ

With joy

Jacques Callot (1592-1635)
S. Jean Baptiste, June 24th, from Les Images De Tous Les Saints et Saintes de L’Année, 1636
Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

Today I will prepare the way of the Lord by letting my heart be filled with God’s love, peace, kindness, and joy. I will release that love, peace, kindness, and joy to bless everyone I encounter.

A wider, deeper heart

Tree of Jesse Icon, 17th c.

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all. 1 Thessalonians 3:12

My capacity to give and receive love dips and rises and mostly seems to plateau at a level that feels most comfortable for me. What would it feel like to continually increase in love, to greet the world and everyone in it with an abundance of joy, compassion, kindness, respect, encouragement, and delight?

Today I will ask God to widen and deepen my heart to increase my capacity for love.

Testify to love and goodness

Fënster iwwer dem Portal
vun der Bech-Maacher Kierch
25 August 2018

“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” John 18:37

Jesus came into the world to remind us of the truth: God made us in God’s own image of love and goodness.

Every day we have the opportunity to testify to God’s love and goodness by treating each other with the dignity and respect due to God’s beloved children.

Today I will listen to the voice of the Lord and tell the truth of who I am. I will testify to God’s love and goodness with my words, actions, behaviors, and attitudes.

God is in charge

Amine Charnoubi
Fig tree branches grow
Khenifra, Morocco
2 March 2020

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:31-32

The words of Jesus — love of God, neighbor, and self — will not pass away.

Today if I am frightened, worried, or distressed by events in the world, I will remember that God is in charge. I will nurture love and kindness in my heart so that my words, actions, attitudes, and behaviors may reassure others of God’s holy, lasting, and love-filled presence.

All I have

The Widow’s Mite
JESUS MAFA. The Widow’s Mite, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48392 [retrieved November 7, 2021].

“She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had.”
Mark 12:44

Some days I have no surplus energy. I have to reach way down into my heart to find a little love, a little compassion, a little kindness to offer someone in need.

Today I will be gentle with myself and others. It may be all I have to give.

One with the Lord

Friedrich Böhringer
Chrome steel letters on a rusty steel plate 3 May 2009

“The Lord is one.” Mark 12:29

Each precious human person is the Lord’s, one with the Lord, one with the Lord’s goodness, compassion, and love.

Today I will be one with the Lord by treating myself and each of my neighbors with respect and kindness.

Called to love

Workshop of Fernando Gallego (1440-1507)
The Healing of the Blind Bartimaeus, detail
oil on panel, 1480-1488
University of Arizona Museum of Art

So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” Mark 10:49

Jesus calls us to see the good in each other, to encourage each other to live from our innate goodness, to learn from each other’s wisdom and pain, to support each other as we heal into wholeness.

Today I will hear and heed Jesus’ call to love.

We know how

[Jesus said to them,] “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Mark 10:45

Service can be as simple as lending a hand. Listening without interrupting. Smiling a welcome. Allowing someone to help. Being present to someone who is grieving. Encouraging someone in a new endeavor. Bringing an item to the food pantry. Picking up litter. Sending a note to a friend. Visiting someone who is lonely. Thanking someone for being there.

We know how to serve. The goodness and compassion in our hearts show us the way.

A kingdom of vulnerability

The wheel of wisdom, 19th C
Wellcome Library, London.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:23

When I suddenly went from having $13 in my savings account to having a lot more, I noticed I no longer felt ashamed at the bank, but stood straighter, looked the tellers in the eye, and felt more self-confident and self-reliant. This change made me wonder: Had I made money my god?

The kingdom of God is a place of vulnerability, not self-reliance. It is a place where I put my trust in the goodness of God, where I surrender my life and will to God’s gentle, compassionate care, and where I draw courage and confidence from God’s all-wise strength. The kingdom of God is where I find God’s kindness and love in the people I meet, where I offer help to those in need when I am able, and where I am not ashamed to ask for help when I am in need.

Precious innocence

Afghan children wait to receive basic medical care and clothing on Camp Clark, Khowst province, Afghanistan, Dec. 22. (Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith)

[Jesus said,] ““Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

Children are infinitely precious, innocent, and fragile. To mentor and care for children so that they maintain healthy self-esteem and develop compassion and a sense of personal responsibility is the most difficult—and rewarding—work an adult could have.

Today I will remember that children are a gift to cherish and protect. I will let the children in my life teach me to be aware of the joy of unconditional love. I will find opportunities to help children in need.