Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Dear Christa—

Today is Good Friday, and I have just read the story in Luke 7 about the woman who, because her sin was great, sat at the feet of Jesus, anointing and kissing his feet. What was is about Jesus that compelled her to go there? She was not sick. She had nothing to be healed of as so many who clamored to Him.
But Jesus had been about doing things other than healing the sick and raising the dead. He’d told the lame man that his sins were forgiven. This as much as anything else had drawn the attention of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. It apparently had drawn this woman as well.
So, Jesus inquires of Simon the Pharisee the logical question of who loves more—the one who is forgiven little or the one who is forgiven much? Then, he relates the comparison to Simon and the sinful woman. He ends by telling the woman her sins are forgiven and that her faith has saved her. Simon, apparently, had no such faith.
To forgive sins was no simple task. It demanded God’s greatest sacrifice, His death on the cross.
Today we commemorate that act, when God Himself completed the deed He’d come to do.
And, we as the woman can do little other than to love the One Who has forgiven much.
We should all see ourselves in this woman.
On Sunday we will celebrate the glorious resurrection by the power of the most high God, the power that we beseech to fight the strongholds of Satan. But today, I ponder the question: Who do I identify with most, the Pharisee or the woman?
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Watching and Waiting

Dear Christa—
Thoughts on Luke 2:41-52
Some people think Jesus didn’t know who he was at a young age. It seems to me that he did know—or otherwise, he would seem too much like the crazy people who’ve convinced themselves they’re God or Jesus. But, I guess it doesn’t matter since the Bible doesn’t make that clear.
All the rest of the world—the little part of the world who knew Jesus—assumed he was the natural born child of Joseph and Mary. It seems that even his parents became caught up in day-to-day life, forgetting for the most part that God was living with them.
Isn’t it easy to move from one day to the next consumed by our routine of work and family, to not consciously consider that God is with us? Isn’t it when things go awry that we remember God is there and active, even when we don’t understand His plan?
So it was with Mary when she sees him at the temple conversing with the teachers, when he remarks about being in his father’s house. Then, Mary recalled the things concerning this child that few knew: the angel, the pregnancy, the birth, the shepherds, the wise men, the flight to Egypt
What was this Messiah who conversed with the teachers in Jerusalem? Who rebuked her, yet submitted to her? Who grew in favor with God and man?
Often we know that God is at work, but we don’t always know what that means. We see His hand, but we must wait to see what it all means because just as with Mary the whole story wasn’t known to her at the time
So for us, too, little messages come at times to remind us that things are not always as they appear. There is a bigger and greater plan going on. We’re a part of it somehow, but we don’t always know how. In the end we watch and wait; we wait to see what will be revealed through all the little intimations of a spiritual work that lies beyond us. 
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything