Walking The Walk

Walking where Jesus walked.pngPerhaps no other symbol is more revealing of the journey of Christians through the season of Lent that a pair of Biblical sandals. Sandals speak of our journey through the promises, perils, and pitfalls of life that can only be authentically experienced through “Walking the Walk” of Jesus. To be sure, Jesus was the supreme, historical walker Biblical scholars have estimated that, during his 33 year lifetime, Jesus walked over 21,000 (400 miles from Egypt to Nazareth; 18,000 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back-at least seventy-five times by age 30, and 3,125 miles during his 3 year public ministry, averaging 20-25 miles per day.) And then, of course, there was Jesus 40-day walk in the desert, where he was subjected to three Satanic temptations. All this walking was more that just physical exercise, it was instilling patience, persistence, and soul-sustaining endurance in the one, who in human and Divinely resurrected form, would be God’s eternal model of “the Truth, the Way, and the Life” for the world that followed him in time.

So, how do we-how can we-follow in the footsteps of Jesus during the forty days of the Lenten season? For one thing, we can symbolically emulate Jesus’s pre-ministry walk through the desert-fasting, praying, examining ourselves, and trying to cleanse ourselves of transgressions and wrongdoings that have been haunting us for the past year. Secondly, we can discipline ourselves, through our “walk” through the Lenten season, to focus our thoughts, prayers, and actions squarely on the two greatest commandments that Jesus professed: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself”  (Matthew 22:37-39) How rewarding it is for those who, on Easter Sunday, can affirm with great Joy and Certainty:

“I walked today where Jesus walked, and felt His presence there!”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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“No Greater Love”

John 15e.pngIt is perhaps fitting that Holy Week follows closely on the heels of Valentine’s Day (which this year begins Valentine’s Day), since the Divine Love of Christ (Agape) surpasses, in significance, the secular and culturally commercialized love of Cupid (Eros). Indeed, Holy Week brings new and profound level of comprehension to the genuine meaning of “love.”

The love of Jesus during Holy Week was expressed in many ways: the humility of love, with Jesus riding on a donkey, along a pathway strewn with palm branches: the compassion of love, washing the feet of the Disciples; the sacrificial generosity of love, sharing the Holy Sacraments with those Disciples; the ultimate commitment of love, as expressed through Jesus prayers to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, the endurance of love, carrying the excruciating burden of the cross along the Via Dolorosa; the courage of love, suffering the blows and hideous torture of Pilate’s soldier’s and henchmen, and then even upon Jesus’ final expiration the blatant, love-borne honesty and irony of the truth, when the centurions who cast lots for Jesus’s robe failed to recognize that they had just witness the greatest Act of Love the world would ever know!

Come along with me over the next forty days in this season of lent, as we take some time for scripture reading, meditation, reflection, as well as prayer, as we journey with Christ the Savior of the world. As I share with you who this Jesus truly is and why would anyone ever die for you on a cross, because of His Great Love for the world. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believers in his shall not perish but have eternal life.                            John 3:16

My command is this: Love each other as I have love you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.                             John 15:13

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father:

Be with us as we journey during this season of lent as we read your scriptures and spend time alone with you to draw close to you, our Lord and Savior.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1.pngPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so we also share in our comfort.                            2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Often, shortly after we have been through a difficult situation in our own life, we have found comfort, we meet someone who has to handle a similar situation. It is God who leads us to these people because the comfort that we offer is sincere and they know that we have wrestled with a similar experience ourselves.

In this letter in Corinthians from the Apostle Paul, Paul praises God for using the church of Corinth to “give the same comfort God has given us” What would it take for you to proclaim God as your helper and Deliverer? What would it take for you to look to God alone for the solution to your problems? When you find yourselves or an acquaintance in a difficult situation, approach God’s throne of grace in prayer. Declare boldly to God that you trust in Him alone to deliver you.

In prayer and with gratitude, consider all the ways in which God has comforted you in times of affliction and tell God that you are willing to let Him use you to bring comfort to others.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the comfort you have given me in the past as well as the comfort you will give to me in the future, help me to comfort others in return.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friend

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1a.jpgThe Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians the following letter to the church in Corinth to tell them how pleased he was that the people were sorry for the way they had acted and that they were now trying to live the way God wanted them to. He also defended himself against the accusations, being made by false teachers. Paul tells us in Chapter 1-3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. It we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

For the last many days we have watch on our TV, laptop, phone about the hurricane victims, as well as some having families in that area. As we watch it all unfold we see how many people are helping, neighbor helping neighbor, a stranger helping another stranger, it doesn’t matter who it is to help them, all are willing to except the help, it doesn’t matter, their race, skin color, religion or anything else just the help. Isn’t this the way God always expect his children to act and not with all the hatred that some many people seem to have. All of us are created by the same God, who is the Father of compassion and the God who comforts all of his children. It would be a beautiful sight to see if that all of his children can act this way all the time, and not just during a crisis.  One of the best thing any of us can do is to pray for others, pray for their strength to endure all of this, also pray for peace, Jesus tells us Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) You maybe thinking to yourself, that is easy to say, and I know how hard that it can be for us at times, this is why we need to have a closer walk with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Because during theses difficult times in our lives we can depend on him as well as our scripture reading and more important our prayer life with God. Going thru my own valleys in life the different scriptures comes to my mind to give me the peace I need at that moment, and I also cried out to God, are you listening to me, and the words to the poem:       Footprint in the Sand,

One night I dreamed…
I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, Other times there was one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed That during the low periods of my life, When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, That if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life There has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen Only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”
—Mary Stevenson

During this time God is carrying His children

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Walking With Jesus

lent-2Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John (which was also Jesus’ cousin) But John tried to deter him, saying. ” I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Jesus replied, ” Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.       (Matthew 3:13-17 NIV)

One can honestly say that in Jesus’ three years of ministry that he did a lot of walking. Even before his ministry Jesus was tested in the wildness and was tempted by the devil. After forty days and forty nights he was hungry. No matter what the devil try to temp Jesus he would not break. At the end of those forty days, Jesus words to Satan! For it is written; Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.  After those forty days Jesus began to preach, as well as calling his first disciples to come and follow him. As Jesus was walking  beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen. Come and follow me Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, and they also drop their nets to follow Jesus. How many of us would do the same as these first disciples, dropping everything that we were doing to follow a man, ( however he was the Son of God) So over time Jesus called twelve men to be his disciples. He then called Philip and Nathanael to follow him as well as, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot the one who later would be known as a traitor. Over those three years these men spent a lot of time learning from Jesus and I am sure wondering who is this man who they all left everything behind in their own life to follow him. All this walking was more than just physical exercise, it was instilling patience, persistence and soul-sustaining endurance in the one, who was more than human, He was and is the Truth, the Way, and the Life for the world that will come to follow him in time. Can you image to be able to walk the very steps Jesus took, they were not easy ones at that. But to be able to hear the voice of the Risen Lord as he travels and teaching all who would listen about the one and only Awesome God, the Creator of the Universe, the one who ,loves you, yes you and me more than we can ever imagine, because we are his children.

Grace and peace to you my friends