Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25th Reflection by Bill Lynch

John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Imagine a time and a place before there was time and space. You can't! I can't! I don't know who can? But in this passage I have to think deep and think of this time and this space. Something I can't think of.

And then just the Word... Logos... God's voice or command or promise. All in the beginning. Rather "a" beginning. A beginning that brought forth life just from God's Word or Logos. And everything... everything I can imagine comes into being and life. All time and space comes forth from the Word of God and sheds Light into all that I can fathom and even the things I can't fathom.

And this Light... this Word... this Logos... this Jesus... this Savior is born into this world and into the hearts of all those who believe. All there before I can even imagine anything or even there before I can't imagine nothing. All there before I can do anything about it even. All life through Jesus who came into what he created just for you and for me and for all life... Jesus became flesh full of grace and truth.

"What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."

Just think of it... or don't think of it... whichever... just believe!

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth."

Thanks be to God!

The Word Became Flesh

Word... Light... Jesus... you have come to me and to all the world. Let your light shine in the darkness of this world to proclaim life... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Luke 2:1-14
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

Last night my grand-daughter Kaiya was in bed with me watching a movie I had recorded, "The Nativity." Of course, I fell asleep but when I woke up I kicked my knee up into the air and my knee blocked Kaiya's view of the TV. She immediately yelled, "Peepaw! Put you knee down! I want to see Jesus!" I looked at the TV and the scene was just at the moment of Jesus birth and Kaiya didn't want to miss seeing Jesus.

What Kaiya said to me reminded me of what a church friend of mine, Herb Neve, said one time in response to a question that I had asked all of the Saturday Morning Men's Group about what would be the first request they might have when they were in heaven. Herb loudly and boldly stated... "I want to see Jesus!"

So as I reflect on the passage of Scripture above, I come to the same conclusion... "I want to see Jesus!" I imagine that the shepherds may have had the same words upon their lips as well... "I want to see Jesus!" And that they did! Was this Jesus, this Savior, this Messiah all that they expected to see? I don't know. But when the angels come and praise God in your face and in your heart; I'm sure it lends credence that this Jesus came into this world just as God had planned. In a manger and to some of the poorest people around. Yes... Jesus came homeless and poor. Jesus came to those just like you and me and Kaiya and Herb. Jesus came into this world for all the people that "Want to see Jesus."

So clear the way... take a look... it's not only me... it's not only Kaiya... it's not only Herb... there are so many more... that want to see Jesus. For Jesus has come to you and to me and to all the world. Jesus has come so that all may see the Savior... this evening... this night.... and in this time and this place.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come... "I want to see Jesus!"

Video of Kaiya getting to take the Baby Jesus up to the altar to place in the manger on Christmas Eve
Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus

Lord, you have made yourself present to all and for all to see. Come into the lives of all your people and show us your will and your way for us in this time and this place. Yes, Lord, I want to see Jesus!... today... tomorrow... and forever .--- Amen

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23rd Reflection by Bill Lynch

Titus 2:11-14
 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

It's been a rough Advent season for me. I've been ill with Crohn's disease and sick most of the time. The disease draws me down and into myself. It seems all the strength I can muster is to just get up and move about a little from day to day. And then you have the tests. Tests that began right after Thanksgiving. Tests that brought forth more tests. Tests that result in changes to medications that take time for the body to adjust to and accept. Tests that bring on procedures and recovery time. It's been a rough Advent season for me. A time to wait. A time of weakness. A time to depend on those around me. A time to wait on the Lord to work in me and through me and in those God gives wonderful gifts of healing to administer solutions. A time of prayer and following the doctor's orders even when at times it nothing seems to be working.

But that's how grace works. Grace works through the tough times. Grace comes even in the midst of this world's illness, death, suffering and pain. Grace comes to us in the times that we need it the most. Grace comes even in death. Yes, especially in death grace comes. For the grace of God in Christ Jesus came through the gift of a Savior and we wait. Grace comes in the baby and in the cross. Grace comes in the birth and in the death of Jesus. Grace comes to us in the One "...who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds."

It been a rough Advent season for me... but in and through it all... is a "blessed hope and a manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ."

It's been a rough Advent season for me but a blessed and grace filled season too.

" For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all..."

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Carrie Underwood

Lord of all life... you have come... you are here... you fill me with hope and grace to live the life you have given me in your life and death and resurrection. Come, Lord Jesus, come... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Sunday, December 07, 2014

December 7th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   “Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

Sending a messenger ahead... It's hard for me to imagine that 25 years ago today almost to this same time, my brother, Jim, and I sat with Dad and watched him die. It's more like everything just slowed down and stopped. But, in another sense, I had the feeling that even though the body stopped there was something great and new and a continuation happening all at the same time. Something that Dad tried when still active days earlier, I think to describe through hand signals and blinking eyes and motions but still something that I don't think any of us would be able to imagine or place into word.

Dad had always been the messenger sent ahead for my life. He was an example of how to live, how to work, how to change, how to give of yourself to those in need. He was a messenger sent ahead for me any way I look at it.

So, 25 years have passed? Sometimes that seems like a long time and sometimes it seems like yesterday. Years pass but his presence has always remained in my mind and in my heart. I have thought so many times about lessons and skills he graciously gave me to use as I live my life in this here and now.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness. And people came to the wilderness to hear what John had to say. John lived the life of one from the wilderness as well. John didn't try to be anything that God didn't want John to be. John was John to the core. And John knew that he was a messenger. A messenger with a purpose and truth to tell.

Through the power of God, John brought people to realize repentance and forgiveness and the washing of the water of baptism in their lives. John brought people to prepare to hear the message... even more to live the message... even to follow the message and see God's coming.

John was the messenger to something that we can't fully understand, we can't full believe, we can't fully put into words. John was the messenger that did the best he could with God acting through and in him to point to what I don't think any of us would be able to imagine or place into word.

Sounds kind of like what my dad was trying to blink, motion, tell to me and my brother and all the world 25 years ago.

God IS coming. God IS coming to you. God will knock your socks off with what is in store next!

"He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’"


Lord, use me to proclaim what I can't explain or put into words, that all may come to you and see your grace and your glory. I point to you as your messenger... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Thursday, December 04, 2014

December 4th Reflection by Bill Lynch

2 Peter 3:8-15a
 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him,

We want to hurry up for something to happen and take place and then we wish it hadn't gone by so quickly. We are tied into this sense of time so much that we get confused. As a child it seems as if it will take forever for Christmas Day to arrive. As an adult the years seem to pass by quickly. We see our children grow. At various stages of their growth time seems to fly and at other stages we think perhaps they will not grow up at all. Time is always on our minds. How much time do I need to get ready for work? What is the travel time from here to there? How long is this meeting going to last? Why am I always either too early or too late? What happened to all the time as we mourn the loss of a family member or friend?  What a waste of time!

Yet, when I read this passage; it seems that time is not any priority in the eyes of God. Time stands still or doesn't even exist it seems as I reflect. And with time goes all of the elements of our surrounding as well. What is this world or this place or this way of being that God draws us into without the sense of time in it?

It's no wonder that the passage speaks of God's coming like a thief in the night... you don't have any sense of time.

So, what about waiting? How do you wait on God without a sense of time in your life? How do you wait for something to happen or take place without a sense of time? Can we speed God's return by waiting? Can we do anything about this waiting?

The passage suggests to me that we wait and not worry about the time. We wait and work and follow God through leading lives of holiness and faithfulness and godliness. We wait in the trust and hope that God's return is sure. We wait in this realm of time we have been given without worry about when, but while focusing on the promise that God will return. We wait in peace and patience assured that God will save us and will have that everlasting relationship with us in the heavenly realm of eternal love.

So, even though I struggle with time in the here and now... I attempt... I hope... I wait... for God to come again... in whatever time God chooses.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


I look... I wait... I check my watch... but most important of all, dear Lord, I wait for your promise is sure... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

December 3rd Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
Lord, you were favourable to your land;
   you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
   you pardoned all their sin.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
   for he will speak peace to his people,
   to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
   righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
   and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
   and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
   and will make a path for his steps.

God looks upon us and our lives and is loving anyway. In grace God has forgiven our sin. As we recognize and smell, yes the stench of our sin, we become aware of our separation from God. We suffer the destruction that our sin causes to us and to those around us. I don't even think we know the depth of the effects of our sin beyond ourselves, let alone what our sin has done to those around us.

So, we turn to God and repent. We turn to God and seek favor. We turn to God and seek the grace of forgiveness. In some very small way it's like going to Mom or Dad and telling them of something we have done that was against their wishes. We swallow pride and knowing the difference between good and bad and right and wrong we go to tell our offense.

And just like a Mom or Dad wishing to see only good for the child, there is forgiveness and love. Sometimes it's not easy love though. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned and it's a tough road. Sometimes we never forget our offense or sin, but in the eyes of the Parent we are forgiven and given another chance. But first and probably always, we need to swallow our pride. We need to realize that sin is something we can't fix by any kind of "do good" actions. Sin can only be forgiven.

And then the release. A release not from the impact of the sin but a release from the eternal punishment that we deserve because of our sin. A release that could only be obtained by pain through Christ... through God... through our Savior taking our sin upon himself and loving us to death to lead us to everlasting life with him and through him.

And that's where it happens! That's the place of steadfast love meeting faithfulness. Steadfast love in the love of God through Jesus. Faithfulness in a God that never leaves the Children.

And our joyous response of steadfast love and faithfulness to a God that would save us from the fires of hell that we deserve and take us to be with God in eternity.

"The Lord will give what is good,
   and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
   and will make a path for his steps."

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


Lord, I turn to you this day with my sin in mind. I bring my sin before you and confess what I have done and what I have left undone. Forgive me and pour our your love upon me. As I forgive those who have wronged me, pour out your love on them and myself and all your people seeking your forgiveness and grace... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

December 2nd Reflection by Bill Lynch

Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
   lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
   ‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
   he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead the mother sheep.

I recall trips to Tennessee and North Carolina from Ohio. The drive would progress through slightly rolling hills that would increase in height to mountains. As you approach the mountains sometimes it seemed as if your vision was blocked directly by the mountain. But, oh, once you reached the peak of the mountain how the scenery changed and became as beautiful as all of God's creation spread before you and beneath you. It was as if you could now see clearly.

Likewise on the return trip from the mountainous areas, the coming down from the mountain peaks and into the rolling hills seemed to open up the landscape and provide a beautiful freedom of the valley and the surrounding scenery. Especially the farm lands of Ohio where the bounty of all of God's creation sprung forth with life and food for body and soul. It was as if you could now see clearly.

Once again in this passage of scripture above I am reminded of what remains the same even in the midst of contrast.

"The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever."

We can rejoice daily upon the mountain top and proclaim the Word of the Lord given to us in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. We can tell all of the world with outstretched arms what God has given to us in the life of Jesus. Even in the midst of sin, death and the devil; we are free to proclaim the life God gives to all creation.

And, yes, we can rejoice daily through the wide open and rolling hills, the beauty of how God feeds us in the common bread and body of Christ to all the world. A God that will lead us and guide us through the winding hills of life. 

The one thing that remains the same throughout, from the mountain peak to the valley floor is that Jesus walks right along with us guiding us and giving us the hope of a promise of life and eternal time with God. Time with all those past, present and future when everything will be put in order.

Just as God's Chosen would have been reminded in this passage of wandering in the desert or returning from exile; we too can be reminded of our own journey here on earth. God's Word is with us always... even when we can't see God... even in the midst of our sin... even in the midst of death... even as we mourn... even in the midst of illness and forever in the presence of the joy and hope of Jesus life, ministry, healing, suffering, death, resurrection and return. God's Word will stand for ever.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.


Lord, as I watch for you in everyday life, open my eyes in the valley to see you and open my mouth on the mountain top to proclaim your steadfast promise of everlasting life as you come to each and to all... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 30th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Mark 13:24-37
 ‘But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
   and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
 ‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

So many things change and become different. So many things to watch for and to take caution. So many signs to make each of us aware of something in the present and the future.

Even the mundane things in life such as driving. We look in the mirrors to watch the drivers around, beside and behind. We look to our "blind" spot and are wary of what may be hidden. We watch through the windshield for signs of something that may happen and cause us to take immediate action. So many things change and become different, even as we drive along the road.

Likewise in life, so many things change our plans and our goals. Things change and we need to take different directions. Perhaps a loss of work causes us to switch careers. A loss of a loved one changes our thoughts for a lifetime. Even direction from God through changes in life, perhaps may cause us to get up and go much like Abram got up and left his home to journey to where God had chosen to lead. So many things change and become different, even as we live our lives in the here and now.

I think the passage of scripture above is Jesus speaking to us about change. Huge change and small change and all change perhaps. A preparation that things will change in this world and not only in this world but within each one of us. Jesus is coming. What? I'm sure some would say that Jesus is here! Even the disciples and followers of the day would have probably thought that all the coming business was over. Jesus was with them... Jesus was there!

But I think that even with Jesus here physically... he may well be also coming too. Jesus is coming all in the midst of change. A change in my heart and in your heart. Jesus is coming in a change in my soul and your soul. Jesus is coming into the midst of my life and your life. Jesus is surely coming. We need to look in the mirrors. We need to look through the windshield. We need to look for the signs and be ready. Jesus is coming to the world and to creation and to you and to me. Yes, Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming and will have an eternal impact on all of us. Jesus is coming, has come and will come again. Jesus is coming personally and corporately and for all creation. Yes! Jesus is coming!

The one thing that doesn't change that makes this statement of Jesus, without a doubt, the Truth, is just a few words in the passage above.

"Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."

Here Jesus tells us of the change. Here Jesus tells us what won't change. Jesus words... the Word of God... will not change. Everything else may change. We won't know the time or the hour but we will know the Truth. The Truth in the Word made flesh in Jesus. We can rest assured and plan for Jesus' coming.

Yes, Jesus is coming! Don't fear! Jesus is coming! Coming to you to lead you and guide you and teach you and heal you and save you from your sinful self. Jesus is coming to save you from sin, death and the devil. Jesus is coming to you and to all the people.

I look forward to Jesus' coming to me and for all. I look to the clouds. I look to the mirrors. I look through the windshield of life all around and wait in hopeful and excited anticipation for Jesus to come. Jesus word will not change... but everything else surely will!

But for now... we watch in joy... we listen and hear the call... we use the gifts God has graciously given us... we change into what God would have us be for here and now... and... we wait for Jesus to come!

In joy... in hope... in great anticipation... I look daily, hourly and each minute for Jesus to come!

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Peace be to you and grace from Him
Who freed us from our sin Who loved us all, and shed his blood
That we might saved be.
Sing holy, holy to our Lord
The Lord almighty God Who was and is, and is to come
Sing holy, holy Lord.
Rejoice in heaven,
all ye that dwell therein
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below 
For Christ is coming,
Is coming soon
For Christ is coming soon.
E'en so Lord Jesus quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light, no lamp, nor sun

For Christ will be their All!

Lord, your words will not pass away! Use me to do your will as I wait in hopefulness for your coming... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 29th Reflection by Bill Lynch

1 Corinthians 1:3-9
 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace Given in Christ Jesus
Spiritual gifts
Waiting for the revealing of Jesus
God is faithful

A greeting and two sentences... Is that what I see above in this passage? It seems to be, as I double check. Then I look at the list of words and phrases that jump out to me and think of how much the Holy Spirit inspired such a few words.

Word... rather. Word that comes, no really springs to life, in the lives of the called people of God throughout all places and throughout all time. Word that becomes active in the Church. Word that comes into a dark and sinful world in the form of human flesh. Word that gives all life... even to death... to restore and refresh and renew and create everlasting springs of water that overflow in the love and life of God in Jesus and in Spirit and in Church to all things.

Word that calls us back into a relationship that we walked away from. Word that draws us together even in the midst of our sin. Word that unites.

A greeting and two sentences full...

Full of... Thanks
Full of... Grace Given in Christ Jesus
Full of... Enrichment
Full of... Spiritual gifts
Full of... Waiting for the revealing of Jesus
Full of... Strength
Full of... God is faithful
Full of...Calling

Full of the Word made flesh... Full of Jesus!

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


Lord, you have filled me with thanks, grace, enrichment, gifts, strength, faithfulness and given me a calling. Guide me and all your people as we await the revealing of Jesus... inside... outside... above... and all around and within each and everyone of us... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Isaiah 64:1-9
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
   so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles brushwood
   and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
   so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
   you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
   no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
   who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
   those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
   because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean,
   and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
   and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,
   or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
   and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
   we are the clay, and you are our potter;
   we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
   and do not remember iniquity for ever.
   Now consider, we are all your people.

It's true. God comes to each and every one of us in mighty ways. Ways that we even refuse to acknowledge or recognize. God has come to us in creation and science and life and death. God has come to us in the midst of our filth, sin, illness, murder, lies and even in the midst of our running away from God.

Look to the skies in the evening and to the hills during sunrise. Think about in wonder how all that is around you, above you, beneath you and inside of you came into being. Think of life and feel the power of a God that brings to life all things. Recall those times you have witnessed the power and authority of so many things in life. The volcano, the earthquake, the snowfall and the rain and sunshine. Ponder the growth of food and trees and all vegetation. Stare at in amazement at the various forms of animal life. Go to an aquarium or dive to see what life is hidden in the sea. Explore what God has granted life to above the sea. Is there life in this universe? Of course!

But then, God comes to us. God comes to a Chosen People to reveal life and power and grace to all the peoples. God comes to all of us and chooses to grant life through the life of Jesus from the midst of a manger to a poor couple and a people that are not of the Chosen People and to the people that are the Chosen People. Yes, it's true, God tears open the heavens and always comes down. Comes down in Jesus to save me and you and all creation.

All just at the right moment in time as we sin and turn from God, God tears heaven open out of love to save us. We couldn't... we can't do anything about this action of God's love. It's a love given to us despite our efforts to please God. It's a love that bursts into our inner lives when we need God the most. It's a love that gives all to bring life from death.

As we turn to face this love... look... see... hear... use whatever senses and whatever abilities you have been given and give thanks to God for bursting forth from heaven to enter into your inner most being. Then let that love tear you open wide. Open wide to share that same love God has given to you with your neighbor and all those God gives to you each day. Share God's love not out of a sense of accomplishment but out of a sense of devotion and love to all that God has done for you... done for you... when you needed it the most. How else could you respond to such grace freely given?

Now consider... we are all God's people.

Thanks be to God!


Lord, as I turn to you and you open yourself to me. May I see your glory. May I know your presence. How I need you to come near. How I need your presence. How I need you in my life. How I need you! Forgive my sin and come Lord Jesus come. Come into my innermost being and let your love flow through me to all you give to me... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 34:1-10, 22
Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
   and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
   and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
   so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
   and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
   happy are those who take refuge in him.
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
   for those who fear him have no want.
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
   but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
   none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

How often we think of God coming to us. God did come to us and is always with us. God came to you and to me in Jesus and for this we can all be thankful and give God all glory, honor and praise.

But I think of the reverse times as well. How many times have I sought God. I desire to be with God and in God's presence. All of the time for that matter. I want to be with God especially in my times of need and want. When I am sick or ill or poor or any other need... I want God! I want God like a child wants a parent to protect and rescue me.

And then there are those times that I'm happy. How I want God to see me and be with me and look at my happiness. How I want God to give me a high five and celebrate the blessing or joy that I feel at that moment. I seek God to be with God and laugh and run for joy in God's presence.

But there are also those dark times when I'm in the midst of sin when I don't seek God. When I hide from God. Those times have always lead me to a realization that God is always with me... even in the midst of my sin. I may as well confess my sin and return to God for teaching, understanding, correction and forgiveness. I need the presence of God always. Once again I always want to be with God in all circumstances.

You come to realize that the presence of God is needed in life. The presence of God is the source of life. The presence of God is life. The presence of God is salvation and true love.

As David in the passage above rejoices in his relationship with God and God's presence in his life; so too can we all rejoice and give thanks and praise to God for God's presence in our lives.

I always seek God and I have found that God has always sought me.

Thanks be to God!


Lord, be with me this day and give me the joy and the hope of your presence always with me. As I run to be in your presence, lead me through the tough times and be with me in the joyful times that we may always be together... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Revelation 7:9-17
 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,
‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
   and worship him day and night within his temple,
   and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
   the sun will not strike them,
   nor any scorching heat;
for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd,
   and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

They came through! They came through and believed in Jesus! They came through and now know that salvation belongs to God in Jesus in the blood that God in Jesus shed upon that cross so many years ago from today. They have faith and believe in what God has done. They wash the robes in the blood of Christ in full trust for what Jesus has done upon the cross. They have seen and lay all of their hope, yes all of their lives upon the resurrection of Jesus. Yes... the they... are you and I and all who believe in the saving grace of Jesus.

And how do we react? We focus on Jesus. We look to the one seated on the throne of God and sing praise and shout glory and honor to Jesus our Savior and our God. We can do this now in the presence of all the host of heaven. We can do this now with those who have gone before us and those who have yet to come who will believe and trust in the salvation of God through Jesus. We can do this right now... here and now!

And Jesus will guide us to springs of the water of life. Yes, we too, can offer to one another this water from the well that never stops flowing. We too can have compassion on the poor, the homeless. the prisoners, the addicted, the ill, the dying, the very people that we live with in this world and offer the hope and joy and honor to give all praise and glory to Jesus; our God of salvation even in the midst of each of our great ordeals.

So, let us believe and have faith and trust in what God has done for us through Jesus. Let us put on those robes washed clean in the blood of the Lamb that have turned bright white and sing praises to God. Let us look to the center of the throne and worship Jesus. What more could we do? How else could we respond? What joy we have... even now!


Lord, many have gone before me and suffered dearly in your name. Take my life and use it to bring glory to your name. In the midst of pain and suffering may I still look to that day when I will sing praise to you. For salvation belongs to you and you alone. I believe and turn to you, for and with, my life. I look for that water that never stops flowing that washes me in your love and salvation. Use me this day to sing your praises and bring glory to you with those you give to me... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19th Reflection by Bill Lynch

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Here is a testimony and an example of Word and action through the power of the Holy Spirit taking place in the church. That's how it should be. As we learn and hear and understand the Word of God and as we come to have faith and believe in what God has done for all creation in the saving acts of Jesus Christ; we put our faith into action out of the love that God has shown us and given to us in the saving acts of Jesus' coming, teaching, healing, ministry, suffering, death and resurrection.

This is a letter to the Thessalonians of thanks from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, exhorting the church to live out the Word in the flesh through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And the Thessalonian church does this even in the midst of persecution. The church living in the joy of salvation and the love of God. The people coming to repentance and changing their ways from worship of idols to worship of the true and living God.

When we as individuals and as churches cling to the Word of God and cling to the joy of the Holy Spirit active and alive within us; we can turn from our sinfulness through the saving power of Jesus and become imitators of Jesus. We can imitate with joy and love, the love the Jesus has shown to us even as Jesus was persecuted.

Likewise we can imitate the joy of the resurrection of Jesus knowing that God has saved us from our sin and raises us to a new life through the calling and the gifts freely given to us through the Holy Spirit.

Yes, God is alive and well within us and brings great joy into our lives when we are going through the tough times and when we are in those moments of celebration and laughter. God is always with us bringing us safely home to live in love with God and with one another.

What more could we ever want?


Lord, as I come to you and meet you and as you come to me each day, teach me how to imitate the love you have shown to me and to all people that I may love you and love those you give to in grateful joy and thanksgiving... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 17th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 96:1-9 [10-13]
O sing to the Lord a new song;
   sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
   tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvellous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
   but the Lord made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him;
   strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
   bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
   tremble before him, all the earth.

[ Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
   The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples with equity.’
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
   let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
   for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,

   and the peoples with his truth.]


We sing a new song to God our Savior.
   For our God has come to us in each of our lives.
Come in a special and unique way to save each of us from sin.

We bless the Lord for all God's power and might.
   The Creator of all things is majestic and awesome in power and strength.
Our God is above all gods and due all honor, blessing, praise and glory.

We tell all those we meet of how God has saved us in our own lives.
   We tell the Gospel story of Jesus saving grace for all creation.
We tell with joy and excitement the blessing of eternal life through Jesus.

Glory to God the Father.
   Glory to God the Son.
Glory to God the Holy Spirit.


Lord, I sing a new song to you and you alone. A song of blessing, a song to tell all creation of the glory and honor and power and love you give to all that you have created... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Exodus 33:12-23
 Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you have said to me, “Bring up this people”; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, “I know you by name, and you have also found favour in my sight.” Now if I have found favour in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.’ He said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And he said to him, ‘If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.’

 The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.’ Moses said, ‘Show me your glory, I pray.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, “The Lord”; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But’, he said, ‘you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.’ And the Lord continued, ‘See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.’

Oh how we want to see God! We want to be assured of God's presence with us as we live our lives. We want God to be with us to lead us and guide us. The future seems so unsure. We can't predict what will happen in the next moment let alone know what will happen in the next week, month or year. Yet, we yearn to control each and every circumstance in our lives. We love to plan it out and get upset when the plans don't work out exactly as we had planned.

But that's life I think. There are always twists and turns. There is always something to battle for or against in life. Nothing goes exactly as we had planned.

There is a beauty in this failure to know each detail in our life now and in the future. We realize that we need God in our lives. We need God to lead and guide us down the unknown paths of life. We look for God and are joyful even if we only see the back of God. In fact... if I see the back of God... I rest assured that I am going in the direction that God would have me go.

This passage seems to assure Moses that God will go wherever Moses is lead by God to go. It assures Moses that God is with him as Moses follows God's direction.

Our God is a God of presence. God came to this earth in Jesus to be present with us and God's creation. God saved us graciously through Jesus. God remains on this earth and with each of us as we believe in God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes... God is present in what God has created, in flesh and in spirit. God is present in ways seen and unseen. God is always with us.

God knows what God has created and knows each of us by name. God knows all of the details that we could never fathom. Therefore... we look to God for favor and mercy and love and direction.


Lord, show me your glory... show me your way... lead me and guide me... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Isaiah 45:1-7
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
   whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
   and strip kings of their robes,
to open doors before him—
   and the gates shall not be closed:
I will go before you
   and level the mountains,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
   and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
   and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
   the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
   and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
   I surname you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
   besides me there is no god.
   I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
   I make weal and create woe;
   I the Lord do all these things.

The Israelites are now coming out of Babylonian rule and God has decided to empower Cyrus to set the Chosen People free. They will be free to once again call upon the name of God from their home in Jerusalem.

This is an example of the power of God. God calling and using a ruler and an earthly kingdom to save God's people, even though that ruler and that kingdom don't even know God. Will the ruler and some in the kingdom come to know God by God's action in their lives? Perhaps... I don't know.

It is assuring to know that God cares for those he has chosen and even those who have yet come to believe to call them and to gather them into his loving care. This is the love of God. The God that created all that exists and gives all things life. A God of grace and love and action. A God for all the people.

Yes... it's true of our God...

"I am the Lord, and there is no other;
   besides me there is no god.
   I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other."


One and only God; you come into my life and call me and direct my way. You are the only God of all things. I worship and adore you and sing praise to you... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Matthew 22:1-14
Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 ‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

What? All of these people invited don't even have the time to come because of something else? What? They even disrespected and killed the messengers! What? So the king sends in the army and destroys the city! What!

So the king finds the guests to attend the wedding banquet. And then... and then... just because one of them doesn't have a wedding robe on, he is tossed out into the darkness. What?

How many people have been invited to and exposed to the grace of God through the coming of God to this world in Jesus? How many people have seen the action and results of the joy of the Holy Spirit on this earth? How many messages have been sent out by God and through so many of God's disciples about the grace of God in the coming, the life, the ministry, the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus? How many people have been invited to this day? How many people know of the invitation to believe. Even faith is given and hope is supplied by God. All we have is from God and God even comes to us to save us and provide for us eternal life if only we believe in God and give all of our trust in what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, to God. Sounds like an invitation to a wedding banquet to me!

What we don't know and don't see in this parable is that it was customary for the wedding party host to provide the wedding robe for the guests. Well, just as God has done everything for us... even save us... this guest without a robe could have put on the robe provided! The guest should have been overwhelmed with joy to even be at this feast! At one time this guest wasn't even invited to the feast until so many had turned down the king. So why not wear the robe?

Sounds like a warning to me. God's grace is so amazing, just the knowledge that I and you have been given an invitation to the feast is wonderful enough. This invitation and our attendance to the feast of grace in itself is more than enough to cause anyone to dance and celebrate with eternal joy in the presence of the King... God... the Savior... the Holy Spirit in awesome joy!

So, consider the invitation before you. Will you come to the feast of God our King through the grace and love God has for all people? Will you wear the robe of grace that God freely provides and dance? Why NOT!!!

If not... consider the alternative... Come to the feast and dance in joy wearing the wedding robe of grace!


Lord, you gave it all to invite all creation and all people to the feast of all time. May I or anyone else not turn down this invitation to the source of your love. As your messengers may we boldly go and invite those on the streets and in the alleys to see and witness the feast of your grace and love... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Thursday, October 09, 2014

October 9th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Philippians 4:1-9
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

It's hard to stand firm in this world sometimes. Especially when you are standing up for what is honorable, just, pure, pleasing and commendable. Sin overtakes the world and ourselves and we fall to the temptation to separate from one another and from Jesus. And when we separate, especially from God we will fall.

We fall into the trap of the world. We fall into hatred for another person or group. We fall into greed and take advantage of one another. We fall into the sin and evil of murder and physical harm to one another. We fall into sin.

In this passage, Paul urges all Christians but especially here directed towards the Philippians, that they not fall but stand strong with one another. In the unity of being in concert with those who love Jesus, we rejoice in what we have in common and celebrate our differences as gifts from God. No, we don't always agree on everything, but on those issues we can talk in a different way to one another. Rather than argue, we listen and try to understand in love and then move forward in action to unify under Jesus Christ.

In this we gain the peace of God. This is the peace that... "surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Let's work towards keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Let's live in the joy of our unity rather than the angst of our differences.


Lord, may I keep you and you alone as the main thing in my life. I look to you and your way and your teaching. Keep my mind and heart and soul with Christ Jesus that I may live in unity under Jesus with all you give to me... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October 8th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
   he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
   for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff—
   they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.

Lord, you lead and guide me all life long.
   You make me take time to rest in you.
You fill my life with the everlasting baptismal waters.
   You take care of me all my days.
Yes, Lord, you lead me in your will and your way.

Even when I sin or am ill or in trouble,
   I can depend on you being right by my side.
You are always there closer than I can imagine.
   Filling my life with comfort and grace.
Yes, Lord, you are always with me.

When I'm persecuted by enemies.
   You invite those enemies to sit, eat and see your grace.
You show everyone the cup of overflowing wine through your blood.
   You are the Savior of all the people both for me and those who hate me.
Yes, Lord, you invite me into your graces each and every day.


Lord, when I  think of your presence I am overwhelmed by your grace. You have not only come to save me from myself but you come to save even those I can't stand. Be with all people, that we may follow in your will and your way and comfort in the gracious act of love only you could give through Jesus Christ... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

October 7th Reflection by Bill Lynch

Exodus 32:1-14
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.’

 But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

When I read this passage the word "repent" comes to mind. The word "repent" comes to mind in a dual fashion of sorts. To repent is to change. And change is what happen in this passage all over the place.

The Israelites can't seem to have enough patience to realize that God is still with them. God is with them and near to them physically and spiritually. God is with them physically in the presence of Moses on the mountain. God is with them spiritually in the love that God has for God's very own people. But the Israelites can't seem to sense this and take it upon themselves to replace God with something that they can touch and feel and see physically but can't relate to in any spiritual manner that is not just some hyped up emotion that only they can control.

Yes, the Israelites need to "repent." They need to change. They need to think about God and realize God's presence in a different way, for God IS closer than they could ever imagine both physically and spiritually in God's love for God's people.

Yet, I also see the word "repent" in God's actions too. For God changed also. God witnessed what the Israelites had done in the making of the idol. The Israelites made an idol out of what God had given them in the first place. God had supplied the gold after all. And the Israelites mistakenly thought that if all the precious gold was gathered together into one place and the calf was formed, then this must be their god. This action infuriated God to the point that God was ready consume the Israelites and start all over again with Moses alone. But Moses speaks to God and pleads for God to change God's mind. Moses seeks for God to "repent." And God does "repent." God changes and gives the people another chance.

Yes, this passage makes me think of the word "repent." How I need to repent each day of my sin. How I need God's repentance and change each day through God's gracious act of forgiveness. Yes, I repent and turn to God and ask God to repent and turn God's face towards me in the love and compassion and understanding that only God can show and has shown to all the world through Jesus our Savior.

A passage about repentance and grace and love and understanding. That's what I see in this passage and I give God all the glory and honor and praise for having "repented" and changed to love me even when I'm at my worst.


Lord, hear my plea and my words of repentance. As I change and face you this day; forgive my sin that I may live in your grace and bring honor and glory to you alone. Send me forth this day through the power of your forgiving grace that I may forgive and love those you give to me... today... tomorrow... and forever. --- Amen