Advent Day 8 – Good News for December 5

5 12 2010

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Daily Path: John the Baptist is an Advent Man. He’s preparing the populace for the coming of Jesus. This is exactly what we should be doing in these days before we celebrate the birth of Christ. Do yourself a favor. Trade in a frantic holiday moment for some peaceful reflection with God.





Advent Day 2 – Good News for November 29

29 11 2010

Matthew 8:5-11

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.”

The Daily Path: In today’s Advent Calendar window, I’m sending you a reminder of the wonderful gift of companionship. What could we offer to the residents of a local care facility? Imagine someone’s parent sitting all alone through this season. How can we light a smile on a lonely face?





Come Down – Good News for November 16

16 11 2010

Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.

When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy.

When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

The Daily Path: Insert your name in the following…

(Your name) come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And (your name) came down quickly and received him with joy.





Entry at the Gate – Good News for October 27

27 10 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Luke 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!

And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

The Daily Path: Here’s an excerpt from a conversation overheard at the gate:

But… but… we went to church every Sunday.”

“In between?”

“You mean there was more to it than just showing up?”





Death In The Family – Good News for October 9

9 10 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 3:27-29

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.

Luke 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The Daily Path: Earlier this week I read about Faisal Shahzad, the young man who has confessed to an attempted car bombing in New York’s Time Square. I was deeply troubled by his anger, lack of remorse, and call for new attacks against fellow descendants of Abraham in this and other countries.

“I will gladly kill my sister and brother for my cause,” seems to be the cry that rises up across the globe. MY Cause. ME. And ME is okay with slaughtering MINE. But it’s not MINE, it’s HIS.

All of God’s children have become targets. As St. Paul tells us in today’s passage: Forget the labels! There is only one description to catalog us all… we are one family under God. Some of us live in Pakistan. Others in Palestine, Israel, and Sudan. Many in North Korea. Still more in Iran, the U.S. and China. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we should be sitting down breaking bread, not breaking bodies. The call to prayer should be universal as we are all descendants of Abraham and familia.

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” – Jesus

Keep all of our family in your prayers. Ask that the ears of our brother Faisal – and all who harbor disregard  for any member of the family – be opened to hear the true words of God. May the grace of love, forgiveness and healing fill us ALL.





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.





Christ the Light – Good News for March 24

24 03 2010

John 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!”

So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication. We have one Father, God.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

The Daily Path: I believe that Jesus is a beacon of light. His light guides those who are able to see it towards the home of our Father. I also believe His church has the obligation to shine its light for that very purpose. When I say church, I don’t mean the structure. I mean the community of faith that is the true church. Each of us.

Take another look at Mr. Burstein’s painting below. Imagine for a moment that the light emitted through the opening was instead coming from the hearts of men and women. Instead of a church building, imagine many people standing behind the man we see sitting on the steps. What if this was the light of your own heart warming the darkness for someone you meet along the journey?

Now imagine our own luminance being boosted by the radiance of Christ’s light. What if we allowed that light to touch all those around us like walking lighthouses? Would anyone be left sitting outside in the dark?

Church by Jonathan Burstein