Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Wait on Love

Reading: John 20: 1-18

Verses 10-11: “Then the disciples went back to their homes; but Mary stood outside the tomb crying”.

Very early in the morning Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb. She is alone. She is filled with grief. She is still drawn to Jesus and his love. She returns to the scene of the end of a horrific day.

Seeing the stone has been rolled away, Mary runs to tell Peter and John. The two disciples run to the tomb – only to discover it as Mary had said. Only the grave cloths remain inside the tomb. Peter and John spend but a moment. “Then the disciples went back to their homes; but Mary stood outside the tomb crying”.

Peter and John return home. Clearly something is going on here. They go home. I too am like this sometimes. The Holy Spirit nudges me. Perhaps something is there – an opportunity to bless another, a chance to share the table with the other… I see the chance, but I go home.

Mary Magdalene lingers. She stands outside the tomb and criee, even though it is empty. Jesus is not here. She stands and cries, expressing the next wave of grief, responding to this next twist in the story. Looking into the tomb again, Mary sees two angels. They ask, “Woman, why are you crying”? Jesus is missing! Turning around, sensing someone behind her, she is asked the same question again, followed by, “Who is it you are looking for”? Through sobs and tears Mary inquires of Jesus’ whereabouts.

Mary has not lost her focus. Even though grief and heartache are almost overwhelming her, Jesus’ love is greater. Even though hope seems lost to the grave, Jesus’ love still draws her. “Mary”. He says her name. Love races past grief. Joy bounds by heartache. Hope soars over despair. “Mary”. He calls her name.

Mary lingered. She waited on love. Mary runs to disciples with great news: “I have seen the Lord”! This day, especially this day, may we linger, may we wait on love.

Prayer: God of all, your loves draws us in. Your love calls us to stay, to linger. In those sacred moments of waiting on the holy, draw us deeper into your love. Pour out upon us the blessings of the joy of resurrection! Amen.

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Fully and Wholly

Reading: Amos 8: 1-6

God proclaims to Amos that “the time is ripe for my people”.  God is fed up with their preoccupation with money.  Worship is no longer worship.  They want to rush through their one hour of worship so that they can get back to turning a profit.  To make matters worse, during their one hour ‘given’ to God their mind is filled with thoughts of how to get richer.  The fact that they do not hear God’s message and call upon their hearts is revealed in the ways they exploit the poor and needy.

God’s desire is the same for us.  When we sit down to spend time with God, He expects all of our being to be present.  Our call is not to read the devotional or accompanying scripture as quickly as possible so that we can continue on with our day.  God desires for us to linger a while, to allow His Word and message for us that day to soak in and to percolate deep within us.  Our time with God should draw us in and transform and renew us.

The same is true on a Sunday morning or whenever we gather for worship.  We are called to enter His house with thanksgiving in our hearts and praise on our lips.  We are to be fully in His presence and to welcome the Spirit to move in us and around us.  God hopes to touch our souls with the music, the words, the prayers.  If our focus is elsewhere, we are not being authentic in our worship and we are not being honest in our relationship with God.

Each time we enter into His presence, whether in private or with our community of faith, may we be fully focused and wholly in His presence.