Posts Tagged ‘God is light’

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

confidence1 John 5:14-15

A Prayer for Confidence

Now that we have taken in this first letter to us from the Apostle John, let us raise our prayer together as we ask for confidence in ourselves and in God’s love for us.

As we reflect on Chapter I: For those days when we have forgotten that God is light that overcomes all darkness, we pray: Wonderful God, remind us that there is no dark place or time that you cannot touch. For those nights when we long to connect to others, we pray: Generous God, remind us that we find you in our relationships with others.

As we reflect on Chapter 2: For those times when we believe that your universe is a duality of either or, we pray: Patient God, teach us that you are both real and ideal. For those moments when we take sides in hostile camps, we pray: Persistent God, teach us how we are both human and divine.

As we reflect on Chapter 3: For those places in which we cannot discern the weeds from the wheat, we pray: Wise God, show us how our reliance on you means that we leave life’s winnowing in your hands. For those spaces in which we forget how to act as your true children, we pray: Timeless God, show us that we already have eternal life.

As we reflect on Chapter 4: For those people who bring strife into our lives, we pray: Powerful God, guide us as we test false spirits and stumble toward you. For ourselves as we struggle to foster peace rather than conflict, we pray: Wonderful God, guide us in our efforts to speak always in your language of love and to act always in your spirit.

As we reflect on Chapter 5: For the liars we make of ourselves, we pray: Compassionate God, remind us that we are always truthful when we live in you. For the speakers of truth among us, we pray: Holy God, remind us that all is possible when we live for you.

We remind ourselves of your apostle’s words: “We have this confidence in Christ, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regards to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours”.

And so we pray: Good and Gentle Christ, we ask all of this in your name. Amen.

As we continue to fully take in all that John has related to us we might be amazed to understand that God loves us always. So let us spend time today with this thought . . . We have this confidence in Christ, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regards to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours . . .

Enter the word confidence into the blog search bar and consider how willing we are to trust and confide in God.

Image from: http://www.quotationbest.com/confidence.html 

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John 1:5: The Crack in Everythingrafter-lights

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. (GNT)

Canadian singer, songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen died last week and with his death came a remembrance of the haunting lyric of Anthem, from his 1992 CD entitled The Future. The verses speak to anyone anywhere on the political-social spectrum who worries about the state the planet’s diverse societies, or who has concern for planet Earth herself. Written in the key of Bb Minor, the song gives courage to those who strive for perfect peace, those who seek union in our diversity, those who tire from the struggle for justice. As the refrain repeats, Cohen reminds us that when despair comes upon us – as it always will during our tumultuous lives – we must celebrate what there is to celebrate, we must put aside the notion that our sacrifice earns us the reward we demand, and we must remember that light always pierces all false perfection to reveal the eternal truth that cannot be denied.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. 

My dad was fond of telling us, when we brought injustice to his attention, that the truth always comes out in the end. This was his way of reminding us that ultimately, and always, God is in charge. Even when we cannot make sense of what happens around us. Even when we see nothing but disaster. Even when we feel nothing but fear.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. (MSG)

My dad also liked to remind us, when we brought evil to his attention, that we need to “let God worry about the other guy”. Do what you know you need to do, and don’t think you are God. Even when it looks as though humanity is bent on thwarting God’s economy. Even when society is determined to destroy itself. Even in the face of horrific evil.

And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (DRA)

crackWe know that corruption is present everywhere; and we must always do what we are called to do to stand against it. We know that darkness always seeks to overcome light and we must always nurture the light where we find it. And we know that the ignorance of darkness cannot overcome the knowing of God’s presence.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not defeated it. (ERV)

And so when we worry, when we strain against reality, when we forget that there are cracks in the everything to allow the light in, we might also remember the words of John the Beloved Apostle writing about the Christ.

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

We remember that there is a crack in everything.

When we compare different translations of these verses, we discover that in God’s great design, there is a crack in everything . . . so that God’s  light might get in. 

To learn about Leonard Cohen, visit his official site at: https://www.leonardcohen.com/

Cohen’s Anthem can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCS_MwkWzes or click on the lyric above.

For Jennifer Dukes Lee’s reflection on Cohen’s verses and scripture, visit: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/what-your-broken-places-are-for/

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1 John 1: Eyewitness

Holy Saturday, March 26, 201612351-Jesus_Hands_Resurrected.1200w.tn

Can we fully understand . . .?

From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.

Can we fully comprehend . . .?

We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!

Can we fully believe . . .?

mary magdaleneThis, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.

Can we fully take this in . . .?

We are more than bystanders to the truth and light that rises from death. We are eyewitnesses to the light that rises from pain. We are one in the body of Christ that rises from death itself to bring life eternal that knows nothing but joy.

Using the scripture links and drop-down menus, spend time with this letter from the Beloved Apostle John. Then watch or listen to Matt Maher’s video presentation on the promise and surprise of resurrection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUQm-F5LFu0


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James 1:16-18: Rivers of Light

Friday, October 2, 2015rivers of light

This first chapter of James’ letter contains beautiful imagery. This man who knew Jesus so well reminds us that in our hectic, chattering world we must work to stay on the path of Christ.

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course.

James repeats that every good thing in our lives comes from God.

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven.

James likens God’s gifts to a flowing, sustaining ribbon of goodness that nourishes and sustains.

The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.

James reminds us that in God there is no darkness at all. There is only goodness, and truth and mercy.

There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.

James tells us again that God comes to us in a very tangible way in the person of Jesus.

God brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

And it is Jesus who longs to love our sadness into joy. It is Jesus who wants to heal where there is pain and wounded-ness. It is Jesus who shares eternal life with us in the Father and in the Spirit.

And so my dear friends, James says, do not be thrown off course by the tragedies that stalk you. Remember that Christ is an ever-present, ever-giving, ever-transforming force that cannot be quenched. Remember that in order to maintain a balanced view you must ask loudly, and you must expect patiently that with God all things are possible. With God, all obstacles become gifts and all harm is turned to good. With God . . . there is always a river of light to lead, and guard and guide. We have only to be open to its presence. 

Tomorrow, what makes us wise?

Use the scripture link to reflect on other versions of these verses, and to open the possibilities of Christ’s great river of light.

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