Seeing Great Things – Good News for September 29

29 09 2009

John 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The Daily Path: I’ve been watching the new Ken Burns series on America’s National Parks (The National Parks: America’s Best Idea). While nothing can fully compare to experiencing these places in person, much of their majesty is conveyed by the images captured in this film. Many of the individuals Burns interviews in the series speak of the transcendent moments that commonly occur when visitors first “experience” Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, or some of the other parks. I know this to be true as I have experienced the phenomenon myself… again and again.

John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and countless others have commented on being transformed after seeing these places as “temples of the Creator”. They are correct. The National Parks, and many other places in the world, are truly wonders of God. It’s easy to see the hand of the Creator in them.

I have sat at the foot of the great granite monoliths of Yosemite and been humbled by my own insignificance. I have watched the sun rise and set while huddled atop peaks in the Range of Light (Muir’s name for the Sierra Nevada mountains). Recently, I attended Richard Rohr’s talk on Eco-Spirtuality (finding God in nature). Throughout my life, I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience God first hand in some of the most spectacular natural showcases on this earth. Each time I make this eco-spiritual connection, I have been filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. Words cannot begin to describe these experiences.

Jesus promises that we as believers will see great things and the opening of Heaven. If you look for His hand in nature, you can see great things all around. Perhaps even a small understanding of what the magnificence of Heaven will be.


Same Team – Good News for September 27

27 09 2009

Mark 9:38-41

At that time, John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ,  amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.


Which Direction? – Good News for September 25

25 09 2009

Psalms 43:3

Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on. And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place.

The Daily Path: Who doesn’t like to dwell in a place of peace? Yet so often we follow the path that takes us in the opposite direction.

What road will you take today?

Room to Chat: Lord, today is Anne’s birthday. Shine your light on her today. Help us to make it a peaceful one for her.


Just Let It Go – Good News for September 23

23 09 2009

Luke 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”

Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

The Daily Path: You have likely heard the recommendation to “Just let it go.” In other words, don’t let something continue to bother you. Move beyond it. I think this is part of the lesson that Jesus offers in today’s reading.

It’s my experience that we allow many things to get under our skin. We’re so concerned with being “wronged”, or in many cases “being right”, that we have great difficulty getting past it. We let the wound fester, in some cases for many years, allowing the poison to seep into other parts of our life.

Of the personal challenges I face, shaking the dust of perceived slights from my feet and discarding the need to be right, are right up there at the top of the list. But let me tell you something…. When I do manage to let these things go, it’s very liberating. Often times I can actually feel the weight being lifted! Isn’t it better to go down the path with a spring in our step rather than shuffling along carrying the burdens of things that really don’t matter in the scheme of life?

Shake the dust, my friends. Just let it go!


Act On It – Good News for September 22

21 09 2009

Luke 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.”

He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”


Reconnect – Good News for September 21

21 09 2009

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The Daily Path: Ironically, it was a point in my life when I felt the most disconnected from God that I heard His voice calling me. In today’s reading we find people gathered around Jesus who were also feeling disconnected (“sinners”). I’m convinced that they felt an overwhelming emptiness and were drawn to the light of Jesus to reconnect.

This morning I received very sad news about a former colleague who’s husband became so disconnected that he took his own life. My heart weighs heavy as I think about this family and their son who is the same age as my oldest. This is such a tragedy.

While I cannot claim to know the full burden of anxiety that Keith bore, I can understand some of it. What I can comprehend makes me even more thankful for how God has reached out to hold me close during the most difficult time of my life. I’m reminded of what amazing gifts I have been given and how precious they are. I’m reminded that behind it all is a loving and merciful Father… one who loved me enough to get my attention and say “Come follow me, again.”

I hope that in that final instant of Keith’s life that God once again held out his hand to draw him near. To reconnect.

Room to Chat: Father, bring your love, strength and peace to Keith’s wife and son in the day’s ahead. Help them hear your voice in the midst this storm. Be merciful to your child who found this life to be too great a challenge. Hold him close again. This we ask in the name of Jesus, who you sent to forgive all our sins.