Advent Day 23 – Good News for December 20

20 12 2010

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The Daily Path: “May it be done according to your word.”

I wish those words were always on the tip of my tongue, etched in my consciousness. Instead, old Gabriel hears this when he visits me: “Behold I am a stubborn, obstinate, egocentric servant of the Lord. Not sure why he even bothers with me.” Then the angel departed to report back on this woeful child of God. “Master, why DO you bother with this one?”






An Advent Request – Good News for December 14

14 12 2010

Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?”

They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

The Daily Path: On this day in Advent I’d like to ask each of you to pray for a member of our spiritual fellowship. He and his family are in a great deal of pain following the tragic death of his sister. Tracy has left this world. Her pain on earth has ended. Let us ask God to wrap her in his promise of infinite love and forgiveness. And we ask for His grace to flow through our brother Geoff in these trying days so that he may be a pillar of strength for the family.

If there is someone in your own life who is in pain… go to them. Be the light.





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.





Advent Day 3 – Good News for November 30

30 11 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 10:9-13

Brothers and sisters,

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

The Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame. There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

The Daily Path: Remember your best friend from childhood? Have you lost touch over the years with that someone who was once joined to your hip? Has a silly squabble kept you apart? Imagine the joy that could be rekindled through a simple outreach. No strings attached. The gift of friendship is more valuable than anything in the Neiman Marcus catalog. Forgive and forget this season of Advent.





The Money-Changers – Good News for November 9

9 11 2010

John 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

The Daily Path: John provides an insight to the angry Jesus. I don’t sell oxen, goats or doves, but at times I do forget my place before God in the pursuit of material things. I wonder if Jesus loses his patience with me in those money-changer moments. If he does, I’m certain of one thing… the doors to His temple will remain open to me and forgiveness always follows. Will you be a money-changer today or a temple builder?





Sinwatch – Good News for November 8

8 11 2010

Luke 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

The Daily Path: Have I caused someone to sin or sinned against another?

When reading this passage I tend to think about BIG SIN instead of little sin. However, it strikes me that causing or bringing about “little sin” may be more prevalent than I’m even aware of. And in the scheme of things is a sin a sin or is there truly magnitude of sin? Murder/molestation vs lie/cheat? Perhaps this is another reason that Jesus reminds us to be on guard. Not just projecting onto others, but starting with ourselves.





Citizenship – Good News for November 5

5 11 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 3:17 – 4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

The Daily Path: My friends, I must ask your forgiveness as I ask the same of the Father from whom all good things come. In recent days my mind has been filled with earthly things. As a result I have been neglecting not only my own spiritual priorities, but also my commitment to keep the Good News of Christ readily available to you.