Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Mark 10:35-45

The Request of James and John

 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

The Cup
I hated being The Cup at first. When Jesus spoke of me to other people, I felt so bad about what I was and what I represented. Jesus mind and Spirit were filled with the plan that the Father had sent him to fulfill. I was one of the worst parts of that plan. I was all the overwhelming suffering and pain that Jesus was about to endure before the very people he had created years ago.

I hated being The Cup! Jesus' disciple just couldn't see that I was in front of Jesus and themselves also, before anyone would see the glory. These disciples wanted to sit at Jesus right and left. Didn't they realize that a couple of other guys would sit at Jesus right and left first. Well, not exactly sit, but rather hang. The fulfillment of God's plan of salvation for all people passed through The Cup first. The pain and agony of crucifixion on the cross.

But that was then and this is now. Now, as The Cup, I am honored by the love and passion that Jesus showed in the face of suffering and death and the shedding of his blood for the love of the world and all people. After Jesus resurrection, I changed. Sure, I still was part of the pain, suffering and blood shed. But I was also a reminder of salvation and Jesus act and the container of Jesus blood on that precious loving moment that Jesus died to save all people. Salvation and the relationship of God was now both very personal and uniquely corporate. God saved us each and all.

Now this is all remembered by me, The Cup, the container of that awesome blood of Christ. The container that pours forth the contents to all the believers of the world and is multiplied in many ways. Taken in by another container and spread throughout the believers body. As I give up my contents, the blood of Christ goes out into the world in the believers heart and soul to once again be given up in love for another.

What an honor now it is to suffer with Jesus on his left and his right all for the love of the world that all may know of the salvation of God available to each and to all. Thanks be to God!

Lord, help me to take responsibility for my actions. As I turn to you each day, I think of The Cup and the change that took place. Change me at my very heart and fill me with your blood that I may live my life for you and all you would have me do... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18th Reflection by Bill Lynch

"O Savior, Precious Savior"
by Francis R. Havergal, 1836-1879
Second verse
O Bringer of salvation,
Who wondrously has wrought
Thyself the revelation
Of love beyond our thought,
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee,
Our holy Lord and King.

Hymn by Bill Lynch

You are the only Savior.
Lord hear me and change me
I repent and seek favor.
I find you coming to me,
Running with open arms.
I run and hug and love you,
As you keep me from harm.
I worship and adore you.

Lord, hear me I pray and forgive me my sins. You alone can only save me from sin, death, the devil and myself. I need you to change me into what you would have me be. Open my mind, heart and soul to hear your Word and Way that I may do your will... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Hebrews 5:1-10

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honour, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
‘You are my Son,
   today I have begotten you’;
as he says also in another place,
‘You are a priest for ever,
   according to the order of Melchizedek.’

 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Do you ever notice how dogs are completely comfortable living in their own skin. A dog seems to always be a dog. In this comfort of living fully in the flesh, the dog is free to love in unique and wonderful ways that only that particular dog could live. The dog's I've had have all been unique in their love for me. They live from who they are and where they are. What if the world were full of humans that lived fully in their own flesh? Free to love one another in each one's own unique way.

The High Priest is appointed for the people of the day to bring the offerings to God and deal with the sins of the people. The High Priest is chosen among the people and needs to be able to know the weaknesses and failures of the people, the priest needs to know the sins.

Sounds like Jesus to me now. Jesus goes before God with my sins and represents me in the flesh. The Father sent Jesus as God in flesh to represent me and take on my sin in order to offer prayers, supplications, loud cries and tears to save me from the death and damnation that I justly deserve.

Jesus lived in the flesh. Jesus lived fully in the flesh. Jesus knows me. Jesus knows every inch of me. But, Jesus was perfect. In Jesus' perfection in the flesh and spirit, he enters for me into the holy of holy places before God on my behalf. Jesus is the only one in the flesh who need do this now because of Jesus' perfection. Jesus is now my eternal High Priest.

In this eternal salvation from Jesus, I learn from Jesus and follow him believing and obedient to God's will and way. This frees me to live my life "fully" in the flesh. I am free to be human to the max! As I live in this flesh of mine, I can live through anything and everything, because I know that Jesus life, ministry, healing, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension was for me to live in eternal salvation. Eternal salvation starting here and now. Eternal salvation while I'm even in the flesh.

As I live my life fully in the flesh, might it be possible that God would work in and through me to reach out to other's in the flesh that they may come to Jesus and know what a fabulous action Jesus took as he lived in the flesh? Might other's begin to believe and see the eternal salvation that we can obtain only through our great High Priest, Jesus. All as we live life fully in the flesh! Thanks be to God!

Lord, as I live my life, may I be a testimony of your love and salvation, as I live fully in the flesh. May those you give to me see that you alone are my Great High Priest that they too can come to you and experience that eternal salvation... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 90:12-17

So teach us to count our days
   that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
   Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
   and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
   and prosper for us the work of our hands—
   O prosper the work of our hands!

Psalm by Bill Lynch

Lord, I need to change.
  Teach me your wisdom that I may follow you.
Lord, I need to change.
   Hear my confession as I repent of my sin.
Lord, I need to change.
   Have pity on me and save me as only you can.

Lord, I need to change.
   Bring me to the joy that is only in you.
Lord, I need to change.
   Give me the knowledge of the works you desire.
Lord, I need to change.
   Work in and through me day after day.

Lord, I need to change...

Lord, change me into what you would have me be. As I turn to you and rely on your salvation, lead me in your will and your way that I may glorify you in all I do and say... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15

Seek the Lord and live,
   or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
   and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
   and bring righteousness to the ground!

They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
   and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
Therefore, because you trample on the poor
   and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
   but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
   but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions,
   and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
   and push aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
   for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil,
   that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
   just as you have said.
Hate evil and love good,
   and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
   will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

"I knew it!" An awful realization had come to pass. An act that could easily be predicted. A person not willing to take responsibility for their own hurtful actions. A person that willingly takes advantage of other's.

When you speak truth and draw out the actions of someone taking advantage of another person, you may become the accused. People refuse to take responsibility for the wrong deeds taken against another person that is helpless to defend themselves. It's a social wrong that is committed when advantage is taken over another due to age or inability to care for oneself. When an able bodied person takes advantage of a weaker person an act of injustice is done.

Responsibility for one's actions are a must. But what if a person refuses to take that responsibility and continues to take advantage of another's finances or age? This is sin. A return to God needs to take place. But the transgressor may choose to let the call to repentance go unheeded. A judgment will take place. A judgment will occur to the one that refuses to repent and take responsibility for the sin they have committed.

For the one's hurt by the sin, there is hope. The result of sin never seems to take place against one person only. There will be a blessing for the assaulted people. Finally in the face of blatant refusal, the person or person's hurt by the offender can rest assured that God will judge the offender.

People do things that hurt others. People do things and don't take responsibility for their actions. But thanks be to God for those that recognize their actions, take responsibility and turn to God and those hurt with humble hearts and willing action to seek forgiveness.

In the meantime... we live with one another... we do what we need to do... we stand for truth and act out in love that God has shown us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lord, as I live my life, help me as I take responsibility for my actions and turn to you and to my neighbor in repentance. Lead me to stand for truth and take action to defend those that can't defend themselves against those that may take advantage of another and not accept responsibility for their actions. Make me bold to stand with you when needed. For you I seek the love of Christ in all that I do. Even when it's difficult. --- Amen

Thursday, October 04, 2012

October 4th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Beautiful Savior
Text: Gesangbuch, Munster, 1677; tr. Joseph A. Seiss, 1823-1904

Verse 1
Beautiful Savior, King of creation,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I'd love thee, truly I's serve thee,
light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Hymn by Bill Lynch

God you are awesome, now and forever.
Your grace is eternal through Christ.
Yes, I do believe. Yes, I love and trust.
You are my Savior and my Lord.

Lord, as I stop to listen and absorb your Word, hear my praise and thanks for all you have created... yesterday... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

October 3rd Reflection by Bill Lynch

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

God Has Spoken by His Son

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Exaltation through Abasement

 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,
‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
   you have crowned them with glory and honour,
   subjecting all things under their feet.’
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’

As the rising sun reveals itself slowly over the mountains of Tennessee, in the picture above, so too God reveals himself to us in various forms. Creation is just one of those forms in which God reveals himself. God has revealed himself in Christ Jesus most importantly of all. This passage takes us above and beyond and through creation and time to that awesome moment of God in Jesus revealed.

God reveals himself in flesh. God reveals himself in Jesus Christ. Jesus is heir to the universe. Jesus created the universe. Jesus sustains the universe. Jesus is the fulfillment of creation in his perfect glory. In Jesus we see the end from the beginning. God brings himself to all mankind in the beginning to grant eternal life in the end. Our salvation was worked out through Jesus Christ from the beginning, even when we are at the end.

We have Jesus, who began as a man and was made lower than the angels for a while on this earth. But now Jesus is a man exalted above all things on heaven and earth. Jesus suffered and died and rose again and became the fleshly result of our salvation. Jesus is the head of all salvation for what he did on this earth for us.  Therefore in the midst of the congregation and all people Jesus reveals himself as God to all people.

God reveals himself to us in the suffering and death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Thanks be to God!

Lord, open my eyes to see the dimensions of the salvation you graciously gave all people that you may be revealed in my life to those throughout time and space. --- Amen

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

October 2nd Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the          heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm by Bill Lynch

Lord, you are the great I AM, the One and Only!
God, you created myself and those around me.
You, created the universe and all that exists.
You are more than what I can see but also all I can't see or perceive.
I see in the eyes of a baby the life you have given.
I ponder in the eyes of one near death the greatness of your glory.
As I meditate on sky, earth and sea, I'm amazed at the endless life displayed.
Then as I sense the presence of the heavenly chorus, I stop in wonder.
Why dear Lord, do you care and love me?
Why do you show all mankind your grace?
Lord, you are the great I AM, the One and Only!

Lord, as I stop to consider all the love you have given through Jesus; I'm astounded and humbled that you would consider me. But you did! I give thanks for all you have done. I rejoice to work with you in your kingdom to do your will in your way... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Monday, October 01, 2012

October 1st Reflection by Bill Lynch

Genesis 2:18-24 (New Revised Standard)

18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner." 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken." 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

"Grandma is behind the tombstone "Mallot." It was easy to find the upright stone from the roadway in the cemetery. Behind the large tombstone lay a flat stone with the names of Sue's grandmother and grandfather. We jumped from the car and went to the grave site. Memories flooded from Sue as I listened and recalled the brief memories I had of her grandma's life.

The woman... made for the man... his queen. Both man and woman made in the image of God. Made in the glory of God. All creatures were of the ground, but woman was from man. How precious woman becomes in creation.

God caused man to go into a deep sleep. A sleep as a covering or a veil for what God was about to do. Something wonderful and glorious was about to occur from the hand of God.

What a wonderful creation God has given to all of us. As I read this passage I picture God with a gleam and joy creating a love for all life. I see a God that has great joy in life. Then I also see a God that knows of the possibility of human failure and continues to create life out of man's failure to bring death from life. God knows and has an answer... Jesus Christ... God in human form. The Holy Spirit... God to human as a wonderful gift of guidance. God the Father, source of the plan of life. Yes God loves us and cares for us. God gives life and love and truth and grace.

As the woman is precious to the man... humankind is precious to God. Thanks be to God!

Lord, as I stop and take pause to hear your word of creation and life, may I also love and care for the life you surround me with this day and love the lives you have brought into my life as you have loved me. You are life, truth and grace... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen