Box It Up – Good News for December 27

27 12 2009

Letter to the Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters,

Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,  as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Daily Path: For some this weekend is about tearing down the Christmas tree and climbing back up the ladder to hastily remove all the lights that had illuminated the night over the past few weeks. Our old friend Stan Doubtsall can’t wait to get his life back “in order”. He wants to quickly put the reminders away and resume his normal existence in the new socks he received on Christmas morning.

Kin’s Letter to the Doubtsalls 1:1-13

Oh, Stan!

Why are you ins such a rush to put Christmas away? Christmas is anything but over. December 25 is only the beginning!

Imagine living Christmas in your life 365 days a year. Instead of packing away the little star that sat on top of your aluminum Christmas tree, why not keep it inside your pocket? Every day you could reach into that pocket periodically, touch the star, and hear the angel of the Lord call you to celebrate the birth of the Christ. Or perhaps that ubiquitous bell ringer you hate so much could be tucked away in a corner of your heart, reminding you that someone is out there shivering in the night and that you have the power to bring them light.

You put a lot of energy into rushing the closure of Christmas in your life. What if you put that same energy into extending Christmas and delivering some joy for as long as you can? Why limit your generosity and compassion to only a few days each year?

Stan, don’t box it up. Let the celebration of Christ dwell in your heart every day. Let the light radiate from you like that old color wheel you trot out once a year! The joy you’ll experience is guaranteed to last far longer than the new socks Aunt Phyllis gave you.

Take Up Your Mat – Good News for March 24

24 03 2009

Do you want to be well?

John 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. 

After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.

The Daily Path: “One man had been ill for thirty-eight years.”

Sounds like me. I’d been laying on my mat for many years. I wasn’t even aware that I was sick. Then one day someone said to me “Do you want to be well?” It wasn’t a voice that I could hear with my ears. Instead, Jesus spoke to me in words that could only be heard in my heart. His words were “inspiration” that compelled me to get moving and begin my journey. It was only recently that I was able to understand that the Spirit had stirred the waters for my healing long before the catastrophic events that fully enabled my reconversion. 

I can only imagine what someone who comes across my blog must think. “This guy is nuts. He hears voices that don’t use words. Jesus this. Jesus that.” If only I had the ability to allow them to put their hand on my heart and come to know what Christ has brought to me.

Even if you don’t think you are sick… listen for Him. Don’t spend another day laying on that mat. Do you want to be well? 

Room to Chat: Here’s a new one. Get out your shotgun. (“See? I told you. He crackers. Don’t listen to this serial cuckoo.” Stan Doubtsall) Okay, Stan, I don’t mean a real shotgun. I’m suggesting a scatter shot approach. Today, as you go about your business, ask God to fill the heart of anyone who comes within your sight. I do mean anyone and everyone. Even that opinionated neighbor, the boss you can’t stand, or the person who looks you in the mirror each morning. Quietly ask Jesus to touch everyone you see.