Advent Day 14 – Good News for December 11

12 12 2010

Matthew 17:9-13

As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The Daily Path: How is your preparation coming along? Two weeks until we celebrate His birth.

 





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.





Hanging On Every Word – Good News for November 19

19 11 2010

Luke 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.

The Daily Path: Imagine being at “An Evening with Jesus”. I’d be hanging on every word, too!

Room to Chat: Father, comfort the family of Richard and ease his pain.





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.





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





Traps – Good News for September 6

6 09 2010

Luke 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there.

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

The Daily Path: My response to reading this passage is always something like: “How can these scribes and Pharisees not understand that the teachings of Jesus? How obvious can it be?” But upon further reflection I also ask myself why is it so hard to love as Jesus does? Am I not just as guilty as the scribes and Pharisees when it comes to setting traps for those who don’t fit within my own rigid parameters? Do I gossip? Do I perpetuate untruths or unfounded stories that cast a negative light on someone? Why is it so easy to be a trapper, but so difficult to be a healer?

Rather than resting on this Labor Day, perhaps I need to pursue the labors of Jesus’ love.





Fool’s Gold – Good News for August 23

23 08 2010

Matthew 23:13-22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’

Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”