Unfailing Stream – Good News for June 30

30 06 2010

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the Lord, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the Lord, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me burnt offerings, then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.

The Daily Path:… let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.” I’d like to be the unfailing stream of goodness that Amos speaks of in this passage from the Old Testament. Not easy. Yesterday, I felt more like a puddle of mud and frustration. No one likes to dwell next to that!

Until now, I didn’t know anything of Amos or who he was. According to online resources, Amos was the first of the biblical prophets who lived about 750 years before the birth of Christ. For those of you tracking the prophet roster, Amos predated Isaiah. He preached in Judah – in the area of Northern Israel – during a time when the people of Israel had reached a low-point in their devotion to God. They had become greedy and stopped following the accepted values once adhered to.  The wealthy were becoming rich at the expense of others.

Away with the noisy songs and harps! To become a flowing stream of goodness and surging water of justice, I’ll have to dam up “ME” and swim in the “WE”.

The Faithkeeper – Good News for June 29

29 06 2010

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Daily Path: Who do I say that Jesus is?

Although I had the benefit of knowing the tradition of faith, handed down for over 2,000 years, I didn’t fully embrace Jesus as the Son of the living God until late in life. And even then it took some true acts of God to awaken the fire within me. Having this experience in my own life makes Simon Peter’s understanding even more remarkable. He knew our Lord and Savior before witnessing any of the events we now hold true as followers of Christ.

Room to Chat: Jesus, if it is your will, show me how I can be more like Peter, your faithkeeper, in my daily life.

Sanctuary – Good News for June 28

28 06 2010

Matthew 8:18-21

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore.

A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

The Daily Path: As a little munchkin, when I was tired I would sometimes climb up onto my parents lap and rest my head on their shoulder. My little ones do the same thing with me today when they have had enough. Now, as I feel so weary from the demands of this life, there is one place I can find that same kind of comfort.

Last night was one of those times when I just wanted to rest safely in the arms of Jesus. I sought peace with him as I struggled to find sleep. It came to me as I climbed into his lap and put my head on his shoulder.

Following Christ – Good News for June 27

27 06 2010

Luke 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

And to another he said, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”

To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Days of Faith and Healing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2010

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: “Only say the word…”

“If it is your will…”

The past two days we have read about the incredible faith in God held by two men. Let’s remember the leper and the centurion as we travel the path before us.

Room to Chat: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Your Wish – Good News for June 25

25 06 2010

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”

He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it.  Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.

Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The Daily Path: A great lesson in humility can be learned from the leper in this morning’s passage. As I pray to God, it often sounds like “Lord, heal me.” It never struck me until now how egotistical that must sound. “Come on God. I’m asking for help, so help.”

The leper understood his position. He asked only that Jesus consider healing him. If it’s Jesus’ wish to do so the man will be healed. If not, so be it. He accepted that proposition.

“Lord, if it is your wish…”