…for which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary… the gift or the altar? Matthew 23:13-26 Throughout life we are constantly faced with making decisions from the mundane to the critical. For me without a doubt the most difficult ones surround life and death. In terms of a temple or a church, the sanctuary and the altar are physical places of refuge, redemption and reconciliation. It is a gathering place for believers in the one God, who ideally created the Holy in each of us, from the inside out. To have such a place is indeed a blessing. Yet for various reasons so many don’t have or know such a place or can’t get to it. Admittedly, there have been times when I couldn’t get there myself. There were times when Christ could not be found at the temple, but instead alone in a place where God met the sanctuary and altar of the Holy created within him. He was what God wanted other people to see. We are called to build the body of Christ and the Holy created by God within us must become what God wants other people to see for those who have no place or can’t get to it. For which is greater, the gold or the refuge; the gift or the redemption and reconciliation?
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To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 I remember the day I started this blog, April 3, 2011. A friend of mine had started a blog and I was so empowered by it, I knew it was something I needed to do. Initially, to a great extent it’s purpose was for self preservation as I struggled to find my “place.” I felt alone, bitter, and in desperate need of healing. Much like the woman who reached in faith, breaking through the wilderness of the crowd to touch a piece of Jesus’ cloak (Matthew 9:18-26), this outlet was my reach in faith towards Christ, in order that my own “hemorrhaging” would be healed. I’d like to say that all of my anxiety went away immediately the day I wrote my first post, but as we know healing is a process. What I can say is that the achievement of that first post was the manifestation of the spirit within me that desired to reach and refused to give up. In return, Six hundred fifty posts later, not only has God’s grace preserved my life, he has allowed me the joy of sharing his Word with a community larger than I could have imagined. Truly, faith in God is meant to be shared. I praise, bless and thank God, for you all for sharing it with me.
For your arrows have already pierced me, and your hand presses hard upon me. Psalm 38:2 Particularly, in transgressions, we open our mouths and become our own worst critic. We wonder how we could have done something so foolish, selfish, and mean. We belabor the act for days and try to justify our actions knowing full well there is no justification. We despise the fact that even if for a brief moment, we became something that in the past we judged we now stand in judgment. We project that everyone now looks upon us with disdain. We pull our selves back and everyone including God seems so far away. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t listen to the haters among us or the ones in our own mind, those who mock or scorn, who themselves are just as guilty for we all stand in judgment. Our first step is to open our mouths to confess, knowing that God will hear the sorrow that is true repentance and forgive us. We must open our mouths only to praise and bless God who continually shows us grace and mercy and accept His forgiveness and continue to follow the path you know to be right.