Advent Day 9 – Good News for December 6

6 12 2010

Luke 5:17-26

One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– he said to the one who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”

The Daily Path: What hurdles would I leap to bring healing to another or for that matter, myself? I believe that each of us has the power to heal. Not the same way that Jesus did in curing lepers or making the blind see and the lame walk, but by providing strength to believe in what is possible. To offer courage in times of great need. To demonstrate faith that may offer hope to another. But we have to want to do it. I know that there are many times when I don’t feel up to offering the support I know is needed. Sometimes you just have to dig deep – like a runner approaching the finish line – and extend your arms to bring some light.





Awestruck – Good News for July 1

1 07 2010

Matthew 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”

At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”

Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”— he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home.

When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

The Daily Path: When we rise up from our stretchers, do we remember to glorify God the source of our healing? Or do we simply remain awestruck by the course of events?





Checklist for a Healthy Heart – Good News for February 10

10 02 2010

Mark 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”

The Daily Path: Just look at that checklist! Too bad we can’t see the same “healthy heart” label that’s plastered on so many food products, also applied to other facets of living.

“Stan, you’re not going to buy another can of envy! Remember what your doctor said? And put those arrogance buns back on the shelf!”





Hungry Man – Good News for February 11

11 02 2009

Mark 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”

The Daily Chat: I find myself growing increasingly hungry for a deeper understanding of the spiritual journey. The more I talk with God the hungrier I get. What once seemed so simple is gradually becoming more complex to me. Perhaps this is the weakness in me trying to once again take control of the situation. Maybe it’s normal for someone who has experienced a deep conversion. I don’t know.

One thing I clearly understand: how Jesus’ disciples felt. “Give us a break. We’re trying to understand as best we can.”

Room to Chat: Another hunger exists within me. The desire for more time to reflect. We move at hyper-speed in this country. I feel like a traveler on a Japanese bullet train trying to enjoy a glimpse of beauty just beyond my window. However, the train is traveling so fast it’s difficult to catch any detail of the surroundings. As long periods for contemplation are near impossible to find, the need for the mini-retreat becomes increasingly important to me. Moments of sanctuary to focus on God.