“[Jesus] Himself takes our weaknesses and carries our diseases.” (Matthew 8:17, HCSB)
We are fallen people, with a genetic predisposition to sin. Our very bodies carry the deoxyribonucleic acid of sin, of weaknesses, diseases, imperfections, faults, shortcomings, flaws, failings, omissions of good and commissions of evil. We ‘miss the mark,’ the bulls-eye of God’s perfect will. And this remains true as long as we live on this earth in these bodies.
Our hope lies in the resurrection, at which time the mortal is transformed into the immortal, the perishable becomes imperishable. When this happens, we become free from sin. All trace of sin is destroyed finally.
“Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
“Just as we bear the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15:49)
“The spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15:46)
Jesus is so physically tired, He sleeps through a storm. I know this is entirely speculative, but I do wonder if Jesus’ dreams involve heaven. Is it sinful to miss heaven? Or does Jesus carry heaven along with Him?
Perhaps the absolute worst part of His suffering on the cross was the loss of heaven from within Him.
Father God, help me to appreciate the amazing love that allowed Jesus to endure such suffering for my salvation. In Your Son’s Name, amen.
Jesus walks along the Sea of Galilee, sees two brothers named Simon and Andrew. He sees them cast their net into the sea; of course, they do this because they are fishermen. Jesus stops momentarily, commands them to follow Him. He tells them something odd. He says, “I will make you fish for people!”
Fish for people? Hard to imagine that Simon and Andrew do not look at each other in bewilderment and wonder. Perhaps they are both aware of who Jesus is. Perhaps not. Perhaps a note of authority in His voice makes them drop their net immediately to follow Him. Certainly something more than curiosity causes them to leave the net behind.
Jesus, Simon and Andrew walk along the Sea of Galilee. Jesus sees two more brothers mending nets with their father, Zebedee. These brothers are James and John; and are also fishermen. Jesus stops. He calls out to the brothers, “Follow Me.” Immediately, the brothers climb out of the boat to leave their father behind.
Now there are five men walking along the Sea of Galilee. One carpenter; four fishermen. The four fishermen walk with little idea of what Jesus means when He tells them again they are fishing for people. As these five men walk throughout Galilee, Jesus preaches the good news about the kingdom of God in all the synagogues, heals every disease and illness among people, and begins to attract huge crowds.
The four fishermen discover a new Father and a new Net: a Father who loves them completely and a Net whose value has little to do with them, a net who needs no mending and is cast anywhere to catch anyone.
Usually, I don’t comment on Photo Challenges, but I thought I’d tell you something about this photograph. I took this with my iPhone camera early one morning a few weeks ago. I’d been trying to stop in my car at just the right spot so as to roll down the window and capture this image. I got ‘lucky’ finally.
What’s hidden? The electricity?
Go into any WAFFLE HOUSE or MOE’S and receive a warm verbal welcome: “Good morning” at Waffle House – usually morning for me because I like breakfast at the WH – and “Welcome to Moe’s” at that fast food establishment. Either way, either place – you get a welcome!
This morning, I didn’t get the usual greeting and offer of coffee at the local WH. In fact, none of the staff looked in my direction until supposedly I “stuck my nose in my phone.” Then the wait staff reportedly said to the top of my head, “I’ll be right with you.” I didn’t hear her.
My point is not that I shouldn’t be fooling around with WordPress on my iPhone or that the waitress was too soft-spoken. My point is how important eye contact is in everyday communication.
The fact that no one looked me in the eye during that 5 or 6 minutes I was waiting is the only reason I wasn’t sure I had even been noticed when I sat down at the counter facing the cook, the cashier, and yes — my waitress. None of them looked at me, not once.
I imagine Jesus’ eye contact is perfect — you think! Warm, loving windows to His perfect soul; sharp, authoritative windows to His perfect will. He looks at you with just the right amount and quality of eye contact. He communicates directly and completely; never a misstep, never a forgotten thought, never a cruel look, never a pretense of ‘oh I don’t see you there.’
Thank You, Lord that You see me just as I am and love me anyway. In Your Holy Name, I praise You always. Amen.
This morning driving through one of the most violent cities in the United States I see a man in less than pristine clothes pushing a shopping cart up a slight grade of the road we are both traveling.
I know exactly where he is heading. I know because I drive this same road every work weekday, passing the scrap metal company with its hand painted sign “we buy metal”!
This man who appears both homeless and poor is leaning hard into the handle of the shopping cart because he has propped on its backside a huge sheet of metal, red brown with old rust.
That he is determined to get to his destination is obvious.
What he will be paid, I’ve no idea. What he will do with that money is a guess. Some would say alcohol or drugs; I lean toward food.
But no matter. He is inspiring for I don’t know how long he’s been pushing that heavy cart but I do know he has a quarter mile to a mile to go.
My car isn’t equipped for the size of the metal sheet and I am also certain the man would not give up his shopping cart! How would he carry his next load?
Father God thank You for Your many blessings! Help me to always be filled with gratitude! In Jesus’ Name, amen.
My son and I see Emilio Estevez’ new film THE WAY at the local ‘artsy’ theatre. The film is set around a father venturing to complete the Camino de Santiago de Compostela — the Way of St James — pilgrimage for his son, who dies on the first leg of the journey. In the film, as in real life, the father is Emilio’s own father — Martin Sheen.
The film is quite beautiful, and moving for me as a Christian. Not to spoil it for those of you who may want to see it, suffice it to say that the scene in the Cathedral of St. James is — for me, at least — extraordinary.
I’ve had experiences of a similar nature at a local abbey here in the Low Country — Mepkin. A retreat at Mepkin Abbey, whether it’s one day or a week, can be a life-changing experience. The quiet — you take a mini-vow of silence — is both deafening and revealing. Attending the Liturgy of the Hours — the Divine Office — can be staggering or not. Much depends upon the retreatant.
Soon, Mepkin hosts its Festival of the Creche, a huge display of nativities from all over the world. Christmas is in the air, and it’s not even All Saints’ Eve!
If you’d like to visit Mepkin, ask the Guestmaster.