Stumbling Toward the Light

 

This last week as we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, I’ve been thinking about how confusing and mind-blowing this event was for Jesus’ first learning group. It took them weeks to get their heads around this death defeating action.

Some of them went back to work; they got together for meals to try to understand each successive appearance Jesus made to some of their group. They may have thought, “Does this mean that we are soon going to be in power around here?”

The light gradually dawned on them that they were called to a subversive movement that worked under the radar and beneath the system. Power was expressed in service, love and relationship. We struggle today to see and know this resurrected Jesus in the darkness of life. The prayer today is one of Mother Teresa’s. She saw the true light in the darkest of places – including her own soul.

A Prayer for Today

Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and, whilst nursing them, minister unto you. Though you hide yourself behind the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize you, and say: ‘Jesus my patient, how sweet it is to serve you.’ Lord give me this seeing faith, then my work will never be monotonous. I will ever find joy in humoring the fancies and gratifying the wishes of all poor sufferers.  (Mother Teresa: 1910-1998)

Scripture

When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom?”  “The Father sets those dates,” he replied, “and they are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere” (Acts1:6-8 NLT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchanges of Words (2)

“It’s just gossip”, I thought as I listened to the talking heads on a Canadian news show. They all were in high dudgeon about comments a senator had made. They were angry, judgmental, self-assured and ready to have her shredded on a venetian blind for her sins.

I agreed with their opinions but their attitude and smugness made me realize it was simply gossip. The opinions went into thin air and had no commitment to do anything constructive. Their disconnection from the person they were discussing enabled discourtesy and judgment.

One of the roots of the word conversation means “be familiar with”. It is one thing to be familiar with our own opinions but quite another to be familiar with the person on whom we are opining. It is a good reminder when we are conversing with one another about someone – our view of them is usually quite different when present to us in flesh and blood.

A Prayer for Today

Loving God, the noise of opinion is almost deafening. I need some quiet to hear your call to kindness and mercy in my work this day. Temper my tendency to judgment, help me see people as whole persons regardless of their failings. Keep me from smugness and open to forgiveness and actually engaging with those who are difficult ..…. For Jesus’ sake

Scripture

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. … Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!
(James 1:19,20, 22 MSG)