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