Love Brotherhood – Good News for January 29

29 01 2011

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 13:1-8

Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth—and those of the angels, too—but do not have love, I am just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophesy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, and it is not snobbish; it is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries.  Love doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth.  There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never ends.

The Daily Path: Much of the world’s unrest is being fostered by political ambitions hiding behind religion. Clearly the devil has found his unwitting disciples at home and abroad. As I read St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I couldn’t help but wonder what might occur if we saw a global uprising sparked by the Love Brotherhood?

A simple question to all: Does the road to heaven require a gun and a bomb or love, compassion and understanding?

Pleasing – Good News for January 9

9 01 2011

Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Daily Path: Now that I am back working in the corporate world again, I am reminded how we strive so hard to meet our work goals and keep our boss happy. We put in lots of hours to do a good job. (Some put in twice as many hours in two jobs just to make ends meet or keep their families safe.) Like children who seek their parents approval, we workers also like to get positive feedback for a job well done.

What about with God?

The first half of life is all about achievement. Gathering. Securing our place. In that work we are so often busiest with eyes focused squarely on the prize of acquiring that all important stature on earth. In our charge up the hill of success, where is God? Are we as driven when it comes to our Father in heaven? Do we strive above all else to hear His voice? “This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Plotters – Good News for October 14

14 10 2010

Luke 11:47-54

The Lord said, “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”

When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

The Daily Path: Today is Step Back Day. It’s not a Hallmark holiday. You won’t find greeting cards to send to those you love and care about. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Today you step back and think about someone who you really don’t care for. That special someone who you perceive to have harmed you or who you feel has taken a position against you. Step back and think about this individual who you’ve put so much negative energy into. Step back and slip on your new glasses to see their position in the matter. Why have they acted against you? Or have they? Is it them? Or is it you?

Can you step back for just one day and replace the hostility with greater understanding? Can you open a window to allow some of what you feel out… to be replaced with the fresh air of greater peace? Step back today and see.

Earthly Trials – Good News for July 29

29 07 2010

John 11:19-27

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother Lazarus, who had died. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”

Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

The Daily Path: Lord. this morning my heart is filled with anger and I long for justice. Unlock the grace of the Holy Spirit within me. Remove the rage. Remove the desire for vengeance against one who has acted against me and my family. Show me the strength to find forgiveness. Grant me the wisdom to firmly believe in you so that I may rise above this. Please Father, lead me to your peace.

Our Work Orders – Good News for July 8

8 07 2010

Matthew 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles, “As you go, make this proclamation:

‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.

The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

The Daily Path: There are legions of us to do His work. Will we answer the call?

A Capitol Sunday – Good News for July 4

4 07 2010

Luke 10:1-9

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.

Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'”

The Daily Path: Peace be to your household this day. It’s Sunday, July 4th. Find time to open your heart to God. Maybe you’ll feel some fireworks of faith!

Here is an interesting tidbit for you on this Independence Day. It’s the story of a painting that resides in the rotunda of our nation’s Capitol.

The painting shown above depicts the ceremony in which Pocahontas, daughter of the influential Algonkian chief Powhatan, was baptized and given the name Rebecca in an Anglican church. It took place in 1613 or 1614 in the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement on the North American continent. Pocahontas is thought to be the earliest native convert to Christianity in the English colonies; this ceremony and her subsequent marriage to John Rolfe helped to establish peaceful relations between the colonists and the Tidewater tribes.

The figures of Pocahontas and the officiating minister are given prominence by their placement, their bright white clothing, and the light that shines upon them. Pocahontas kneels on the top level of a stepped dais, her head bowed and her hands clasped before her. Reverend Alexander Whiteaker raises his eyes and his left hand, while his right hand rests on the baptismal font. John Rolfe, Pocahontas’s future husband, stands behind her.

Other colonists and members of Pocahontas’s family look on, displaying a range of emotions. At the left of the painting, Sir Thomas Dale, deputy governor of the colony, has risen from his chair near the font to observe the event. Pocahontas’s regally dressed brother, Nantequaus, turns away from the ceremony as her uncle Opachisco leans in from the right. The seated, brooding figure of another uncle, Opechankanough, turns completely away from the ceremony while Pocahontas’s sister, with an infant, watches from the floor.

John Gadsby Chapman received the commission for the Rotunda painting in 1837 and selected Pocahontas as its subject. He may have chosen to paint her baptism because he had already (in 1836) completed a scene that showed her more widely depicted rescue of John Smith. Seeking to depict the scene of this ceremony accurately, Chapman traveled in England and America to examine objects and buildings from the early seventeenth century. Because theJamestown church had since been torn down, he based his setting on a church that he believed to be of similar age and incorporated features appropriate to the colony, such as the pine columns; many details were based on a written description by a Jamestown resident. Chapman created this painting in Washington, D.C., in the loft of a barn on G Street, N.W. His life during the time in which he worked on it was marked by great sadness and misfortune: his son died in February 1838, and two weeks later his daughter was born prematurely and survived only ten hours. He was also under mounting pressure from debts and worked quickly on the canvas to collect his payment; after completing it he noted in his day book that the money he received from the government for the painting was “barely equivalent to its cost” to him. The painting was delivered to the Capitol and installed in November 1840.

This painting has undergone various cleaning, repair, and restoration treatments. In 1925, it was relined because of the damage it suffered from currents of heated air rising from the floor registers. Finding a manufacturer in theUnited States to provide such a large canvas proved difficult, and the canvas was eventually ordered from a company in Brussels. In 1980 the painting was attached to an aluminum panel to help it resist the effects of changes in temperature and humidity. All of the Rotunda paintings were most recently surface cleaned in 2008.

An engraving of Chapman’s painting appeared on the reverse of the First Charter $20 National Bank Notes issued in 1863 and 1875.

John Gadsby Chapman was born on August 11, 1808, in Alexandria, Virginia. He received encouragement and instruction from history painter George Cooke and portraitist Charles Bird King, and he studied further inPhiladelphia. In 1828 he traveled to Italy to study the Old Masters, and in 1831 he returned to America to create landscapes and portraits, which he exhibited in Washington, D.C.; Richmond; and Philadelphia. He moved in 1834 to New York City, where he became a member of the National Academy of Design and illustrated books and magazines. He also began a series of history paintings depicting events in colonial-era America, and their success led to the commission for Baptism of Pocahontas, his best-known work. In 1850 he and his family settled in Rome, where he prospered by selling his works to American tourists. In the 1860s, however, the Civil War curtailed tourist travel; in the 1870s his wife died and he relied on fellow Americans for charity. His health failing, he returned to the United States in 1884 and lived with his son in Brooklyn. He died on November 28, 1889.