Troubled Times – Good News for September 12

12 09 2010

Luke 15:1-10

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable.

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.‘ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Daily Path: I am deeply troubled by recent events in the world. The recent natural “acts of God” that have caused much suffering are not the cause of what weighs heavy on my mind, although all of those impacted need our prayers. Rather it is the words of men lashing out at one another in the name of religion and those scribes who chose to fan the flames of hatred.

I offer these three passages:

“I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” Timothy 1:12-17

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” Qur’an 7:199

Travel Log – Good News for January 23

23 01 2009

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach  and to have authority to drive out demons. 

He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter; 
James, son of Zebedee, 
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; 
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

The Daily Path: The Apostles had a difficult road ahead of them when they answered Jesus’ call to follow. Persecution. Horrible deaths for some. The Gospel provides glimpses of the anxiety they experienced, even during the time they spent with Jesus, as the Twelve sometimes struggled to grasp what Christ was teaching them.

I can only assume they found comfort in fellowship with the other Apostles. My own journey has shown that comfort and joy can be found when sharing the experience with others. Relationships, parenting, career, education, personal interests and our faith all bring challenging moments. Especially faith. They also bring opportunities to find other travelers.  

I’ve been fortunate. God continues to bring people into my life, seemingly with each step I take, who bring encouragement, wisdom, fellowship, joy and love. 

Who has God brought into your travels? Take a good look. You might be surprised to find fellowship in the most unexpected places.

Room to Chat: I think looking for God’s presence all around us is a form of prayer. Seems to me that it helps keep God in mind throughout the day. Can you hear church bells above the noise as you walk down the street? Do you recognize a church steeple, cathedral, mosque, synagogue or other place of worship as you drive along the urban highway? Even watching a Japanese sci-fi film, like Mothra, can bring an opportunity for this form of prayer. Yes, I said Mothra!