Posts Tagged ‘John 3:16’

Job 8: Taking the Dare – Part V

Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 21, 2023the-love-of-god-tara-ellis

God is in charge. This is what we know. We might rail against this fact, thinking this requisite of life a restriction but still, this is what we know.

God is present in our suffering as well as our joy. This is what we feel. We might doubt God’s existence and question God’s fidelity, thinking these truths to be myth but still, this is what we feel.

God wants us to be happy and peace-filled. This is what we experience. We might wonder why God allows pain and sorrow but still, this is what we experience.

Can we ever live up to God’s expectation? Of course we can. All we need do is to take God’s open hand.

Can we ever admit that God is in the smallest microbe and at the same time in the immensity of the multiverse? Of course we can. All we need do is to accept God’s invitation to transformation.

Can we ever admit that God’s wisdom is enduring and inevitable? Of course we can. All we need do is to relax into God’s enormous heart.

And so we pray.

Good and loving God, you have entrusted all that you are to humanity’s hands. May we communicate your love in all we say. You have taken the dare to believe in us. May we return your love in all we think. You have gathered us up, taken us in, and made us your own. May we return this infinite love in our own small way in all we do. We ask this in Jesus’ name, together with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Image from: https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/heart-shape-bible.html

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2 Maccabees 12:38-46: Battle – Part VI

Ernest William Tristram: Reconstruction of Medieval Mural Painting, Battle of Judas Maccabeus with Timotheus and the Fall of Maspha – Parliamentary Art Collection, UK

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 11, 2018

It is the endurance of the Maccabees we seek through our intense hope in the promises of God.  It is the fidelity of the Maccabees we seek through our deep faith in the goodness of God.  It is the devotion of the Maccabees we seek through our passionate love for the ways of God. 

We engage in battle with the world; we struggle with circumstances beyond our control. We look for peace where there is only strife. Anxiety builds as we look for serenity; and fear overtakes us too often. When we examine our journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter, we know that we cannot escape our battles. When we remember the story of the Maccabeus family, we also know that it is our battles that transform us. And so we continue to search.

The way of the Seeker has been demonstrated to us by Christ for if God so loved the world that he sent his only son (John 3:16), and if this son dies in expiation for the sins of all, how can we not forgive all and ask to be forgiven in all?  How can we not enter into this sacrifice and petition to God to redeem all those who have fallen away? How can we refuse to move forward trusting in God and exercising compassion for ourselves and others?

In our Lenten journey as we anticipate the promise of Easter when we celebrate the resurrection of the dead, we find ourselves called to the sheepfold by the love of the Great Shepherd.  If we seek to know this shepherd most intimately, we will imitate Christ in all ways possible, and we will offer all that we suffer for the saving of those who struggle to enter the fold. And so we pray.

Good and strong and gentle God, entering into Christ’s sacrifice with our fellow seekers, we offer our pain willingly.  We lift joyful hearts and songs of praise because by the mercy and surrender of Christ, we are released from the fear and pain that enslaves us.  We ask that our hearts of stone be made warm by the Holy Spirit’s love, that our necks stiffened in pride be made humble in God’s mercy, and that our straying from the sheepfold be redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice. Amen.    

Adapted from a Favorite written on April 25, 2009.

Find image at http://www.artuk.org/artworks/reconstruction-of-medieval-mural-painting-battle-of-judas-maccabeus-with-timotheus-and-the-fall-of-maspha-214242

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