pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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See, Hear, Feel

Reading: Luke 16:19-31

Verse 26: “Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed.”

While this parable is partly about eternity, it is really more concerned with how we live this life. The rich man enjoyed the things of this world and had no time for the things of God. Lazarus had little in this world, suffering much. Yet he knew God. He was content with God’s presence. In eternity there is a “great chasm” that cannot be crossed.

The life of the rich man was filled – with success, with wealth, with fine clothes and food. There was no need or place for God. He had no time for God. Therefore he did not have eyes to see Lazarus or ears to hear the dogs coming around or a heart to feel compassion for this poor beggar. The transformation that God offers was nowhere to be found in the rich man. Therefore he never crossed the gulf between himself and Lazarus.

We, like the rich man, can become consumed with the things of this world. We can strive for all the had plus power, popularity, beauty, status, and more. We can find ourselves feeling as if we had no time or need for God. The voices of this world and the voices inside our heads can lead us away from God and the transformation God offers.

May we instead heed the warnings today from Jesus. May we not just enjoy and consume our blessings. May we share them generously and abundantly. May we not simply focus on self and our narrow place in life. May we see and hear and feel those that God has given us to love, bridging the chasm between us, creating one humanity. Doing so all will live and love abundantly here and now. May it be so.

Prayer: Lord God, open my heart to your love for all of creation. With a heart filled with love may I see and hear and feel as you do, with empathy and compassion for all, as I seek to build the kingdom here on earth. Amen.


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Tell the Story

Reading: Luke 7: 11-17

It must have been a powerful scene for all involved.  Imagine the onlookers as Jesus approaches the funeral procession.  Those carrying the young man’s body stop as Jesus draws near.  Jesus reaches up and touches the coffin and says something.  The anticipation that has steadily build explodes as the young man sits up and begin to speak.  Jesus returns the son to his mother and continues on His way.  The story concludes with powerful words being spoken about Jesus and the story spreads throughout the area.

We can relate to this story from three angles.  Some of the time we are like the widow.  We are at a place in life when we feel a deep weight upon us.   Something in our family or at work has occurred and we we are filled with a sadness over our loss.  In these places Jesus enters our lives and speaks words of healing and wholeness and peace.  From these experiences we have powerful personal stories to tell.

Sometimes we are like the son – dead to God because of our sins.  A serious temptation or sin has us ‘stuck’ and we feel so far removed from God that is seems like He does not even exist.  Shame and guilt have created what seems an impossible chasm to cross.  In these seasons, Jesus Christ desire to walk up to us, to touch us, and to call us back to our journey of faith.  The story of redemption and His love is a powerful story to share as well.

And sometimes we are the crowd – observers of some amazing act of Christ.  We are privy to seeing a lost soul saved or a person who finds miraculous healing from a disease or illness.  We feel the buzz and want to share the story with all we meet.

Our faith impacts us in so many ways.  Each encounter with the living Christ is another story to share with those we know and meet.  May we ever tell the story of His love.