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Posts Tagged ‘light’


Wisdom 11:2-5: Special Providence in Exodus

First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2022exodus-gods-and-kings-review-biblical-epic-plagued-with-flaws-jpeg-198729

The Book of Wisdom prepares us for Advent, our time of Exodus from darkness into the light of truth, hope and love. God is always with us, guiding and protecting; yet in a special way God accompanies us closely when we move out of a place of comfort where our unhealthy behaviors are enabled into a place of health, where we work on our rough edges. When we make this kind of transition from being prisoners of a habit to being free to hear the surprising new behavior God has in mind for us, we place ourselves at risk. We take a leap of faith, believing that as we shed our old safety net, God will place an even better one beneath us. When we journey from a state of slavery to a state of freedom, we are accompanied by the pillar of smoke by day, the column of fire by night. God provides for his faithful in a very special way as they make themselves vulnerable for his sake.

And so we pray . . .

They journeyed through the uninhabited desert, and in solitude they pitched their tents . . .

When we feel most alone we are most attended. When we suffer we walk in the company of God’s angels . . . for we are especially loved and kept by God.

They withstood enemies and took vengeance on their foes . . .

The faithful do not need to fight; rather we need only witness to the story of God’s coming among us. The rest we leave in the hands of God who turns all harm to good.

When they thirsted, they called upon you . . .

When we are in misery, anxiety, fear of any kind there is only one place to turn. To God.

And water was given them from sheer rock . . .

Then we are to expect the unexpected, the inverse, the surprising, the paradox.

Assuagement for their thirst from the hard stone . . .

gods providenceWe are precious in God’s eyes, made in God’s image.  We are stones of a living temple to be rejected by those who build upon the sand, but placed upon a strong foundation by the one who endures.

For by the things through which their foes were punished they in their need were benefited. 

We will know how to interact with our foes when we look to their suffering rather than our own. We can expect God’s guidance and protection as we work to become God’s disciples. And so we pray.

Good and watchful God, 

We enter into our exodus journey to you. We know that you will not allow a foot to be dashed upon a stone. We believe that you will not desert us. We trust that you sustain us from your goodness. We believe that you teach us through our many trials. We ask your continued patience with us when we doubt, your continued love for us when we err, your continued hope for us when we falter. We who are made in your image strike out from a foreign land of enslavement to move homeward in freedom. Call us constantly back to you when we stray. Keep us close by you. Always. Amen.


Images from: https://www.perfectbrilliantstillness.org/what-is-page-3/hand-holding-planet-earth-crop-and-darken/ and https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/exodus-understanding-one-of-the-bibles-major-themes

A favorite from December 2, 2008.

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Baruch 2: The Road to Destruction or Redemption – Part I

Wednesday, November 23, 2022road to destruction

The apocryphal book of Baruch tells us how to live in exile; and in particular Chapter 2 gives us an important, two-fold message. It reminds us that God always fulfills promises, and it also gives us an outline of how we might make our way back to the covenant we have chosen to abandon.

In Chapters 16 to 18 of Revelation we come upon something that reminds us of the infinite forgiveness and mercy of God. We see once again that in God all things are possible. We have understood the importance of being faithful in small ways to God.  We have understood that closed, exclusive groups which stultify possibility and potential, darkness which hides and subsumes potential, and silence which conceals and enables deceit . . . will never conquer openness which spawns universal communion, light which calls forth authentic life lead in integrity, and praise of God which magnifies truth and joy.

Light_at_the_End_of_the_RoadIn the end, God’s will of universal openness and light leads to jubilation.  The dark world which opposes this truth germinates in envy and ends in destruction.  And those who work so hard at building up a closed empire of self rather than an open kingdom of all, bring about their own  destruction at their own hands. We see this countless times. What is the allure of the darkness and deceit that is so tempting? It is the same siren call of Satan to Adam and Eve in Eden, You will be like gods . . .

There is something about the road to perdition that answers our human need to control.  There is something about this broad highway leading to the wide gate that brings comfort to those who travel it in their closed special groups. The aching longing to be the bride who is rescued and loved by the steadfast, powerful groom is universal. Yet we insist on filling this yearning with superficial, finite relationships which ironically do not satisfy, and which ultimately destroy. We must respond to the summons of the road and choose redemption rather than perdition.

Tomorrow, Part II.


Adapted from a favorite from November 8, 2008.

Images from: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/mysterious-places-part-5 and https://fineartamerica.com/featured/country-road-sunlight-streaming-through-trees-elaine-plesser.html

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James 1:19-21: God’s Garden of Love

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends . . . 

What news does James have for us today and how do we proclaim that news to others? How do we see God’s wisdom?

Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.

Wisdom is found in listening more than we speak, in loving more than we despise.

God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger.

God’s wisdom is not found in antagonism.

So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.

God’s truth cannot flow from false virtue or from thoughts that want to hide the light.

In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

God does not live in pride but in the humble belief that we are all flowers in God’s garden of love.

When we compare these verses with other scripture versions we have the opportunity to imagine what sort of flower we might be. Do we prefer shade or sun? Do we grow best in damp soil or dry?  What color bedecks our blossoms? And what good nectar do we produce for the good of the kingdom?

Tomorrow, the importance of doing the word.


Image from: https://www.thespruce.com/flower-garden-paths-4046012

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st-mary-magdalene

Pietro Perugino: Mary Magdalene

John 20:1-18: Glory XII – Healing

Friday, July 29, 2022

Adapted from a reflection written on August 9, 2007 and posted today as a message about God’s glory, an experience offered to each of us.

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

The love between Jesus and his disciples is palpable, and when Jesus speaks to the Magdalene in verse 20:16, it is clear that this man had a very human relationship with the friends who surround himself.  And it is this same relationship that is offered to us, a relationship of healing love, truth and light. This is why it is so important for us to surround ourselves with people who will nurture the growth of Jesus’ truth and light and life, people who speak with their ears and live with their hearts, people who touch one another in the manner that Christ touched his followers, people who heal.

Today’s lesson on Glory: As we explore the varying versions of the importance of Mary Magdalene in the life of Jesus and the early church, we find that this young woman calls to each of us today by her example of steadfast love and witness. 

We are all called to be healers to one another; and as adopted sisters and brothers of Christ we have the power to heal one another not only in a medical way but emotionally and spiritually as well.  When we listen for God’s Word to speak, when we exercise patience and persistence, when we live out our faith in God, our hope in Christ and our love in the Spirit, we meet Christ. We heal and we are healed.

And so we pray, as Mary Magdalene may have prayed . . .

Precious God, keep me mindful of this your promise, to set us prisoners free from all that binds us, to raise us to the great hope you have placed in us, to send your Spirit into our temples to abide with us forever.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


For more about Mary Magdalene, and for insight into her Gospel, click on the image or visit: https://parabola.org/2015/01/29/the-gospel-of-mary-magdalene/

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James 3:17-18: A Holy Life
burning-bush1

Monday, May 16, 2022

“Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor”. THE MESSAGE

Jesus has told us about the nature of true discipleship. God has created us in the image of goodness and light and truth. The Spirit lives within, waking us each day to new possibilities of hope and peace and mercy. In celebration of the continuing gift of Easter life, let us spend time today in God’s intimate company, and let us thank God for the gift of a holy life by striving to live on true discipleship.

Using the scripture link above, compare other versions of these versions from James’ letter


Image from: http://providenceswfl.com/blog/brought-near-a-holy-god/

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Matthew 6:19-24: Treasure, Hearts, and Godfollow-gods-heart-545x408

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth no decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be . . . 

If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light . . . 

No one can serve two masters . . .

We have reflected frequently on the concept of storing treasure in our Noontimes journey and today, as we move through Jesus’ teachings as recorded in Matthew we have another opportunity to pause again to consider . . . what it is we value and store . . . where we place our hopes . . . and how we expend our energies.

In Easter celebration we remember that, despite the evil that looms too closely, God is light to the world and that we are called to be part of that light.

In Easter thanksgiving we remember that, despite what the world may tell us, God is the only master we need serve.

In Easter beatitude we remember that, despite our disappointments and struggles, God is the only treasure that we need store in our hearts.

Use the scripture link to examine different versions of these verses. Enter the word treasure in the blog search bar and explore. For more devotionals on following God’s heart, click on the image above or visit: http://www.devotionaldiva.com/2013/04/follow-gods-heart/

Tomorrow, dependence on God.

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Monday, February 1, 2021

NunPsalm 119:105-112

Nun

Your word is a lamp for me feet, a light for my path . . . I make a solemn vow to keep your just edicts.

When we live superficially we give lip service to God’s call. When we live authentically we think, say and act in accordance with God’s Law of Love.

God says: My joy is endless when you finally decide to act in my love with the same or even greater intensity as you think and speak about my love. Allow the happiness of knowing your own divinity to serve as a beacon to others. Call out to others as I call out to you and tell the world of your delight in becoming one with me. Then . . .  come to me so that we might celebrate this union of your gift with my eternal goodness.

The simplest way to demonstrate your love for the Law of Love Jesus brings to us is to allow our joy to serve as a lamp to others, our delight in knowing God to serve as a light on the path of life.

Jesus says: You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then out it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand where it gives light to all in the house. Just so your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.  (Matthew 5:14-16)

Tomorrow, Samekh.


To learn more about the letter Nun as a symbol of the Messiah, go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/nun.htm or http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/3_nun.html

 

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Saturday, January 30, 2021

imagesCASJ62CEPsalm 119

Message, Promise and Call

How I love your teaching, Lord! I study it all day long.

Last week we reflected on our portion as children of God.  As we examine stanzas nine through thirteen of Psalm 119, we find God’s gift to us: God’s message, promise and call.

Teth: Inversion, the Concealed Good – God’s plan is one of ideas and lives turned on their heads.  Do we see the good concealed in all harm?

Yodh: The Infinite Good – A small suspended point signifies God’s infinite goodness. Can we see this limitless good in the smallest of people and in the smallest places of creation?

Kaph: The Power to Actualize Potential – We are made in God’s image and so we have the potential to embody God’s Word.  This is our message: we are constantly called to fulfill the potential planted in us at our inception.

Lamedh: Aspiration, Contemplation of the Heart – Scholars suggest that this letter serves as a symbol of a loving student who seeks to gain wisdom from the sage or teacher and so we too, contemplate the goodness of God’s own heart.  This is our message: we are constantly drawn to God’s goodness and insight.

Mem: Fountain of Wisdom – All true wisdom that nourishes and lasts is found in God and so we rely on this wisdom as source and foundation of understanding, counsel and guidance.  This is God’s promise: Christ will always be present to us.

When we study God’s word, we encounter God’s message . . . Christ, God Among Us.

When we study God’s word, we are gifted with God’s promise . . . the Spirit, God’s Wisdom Within Us.

When we study God’s word, we give thanks for God’s goodness . . . The Creator, God’s Call to Each of Us.

Tomorrow, A Prayer to Hear God’s Message, Promise and Call.  


For a Bible reading plan, click on the image above or go to: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/12/27/a-bible-reading-plan-for-readers/

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Ninth Day of Christmas

imagesCATHI3OG1 John 2:21-25

Because We Know the Truth

I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do . . . Let what you have heard from the beginning remain in you . . . then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.   

What we have heard we know to be true. What we have seen we know to be authentic. What we have witnessed we know to be God’s gift of light and hope and peace and joy to the world.

On this ninth day of Christmas, enter the word truth into the blog search bar and consider how the truth John writes about is essential to us as Christmas people.


Image from: http://www.idemandthetruth.com/about-the-movement/

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