…if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ Matthew 17:14-21 This passage always tends to lead us to think that the size of the mustard seed is important. We now know that even Mother Teresa had doubts about whether she was making a difference, a marked contrast to her public image. Somehow even in those dark days she had just enough faith to continue to minister selflessly and tirelessly to the poor. It was what she understood herself called by God to do. I believe she was apparently convinced that it was in the very least, right for her to do. Either way, out of righteousness or faith she helped move the mountains in our minds, and has called many after her to serve, assuring us that it is not necessarily the size of faith alone but that it is important for us to believe what is right for us to do according to God’s call in our lives. She indeed was one seed that moved mountains.
Give the king your justice, O God and your righteousness to a king’s son. Psalm 72 What we choose to hand down to upcoming generations is for us to consider. In the midst of all his troubles, setbacks and mishaps, King David chose righteousness. This encourages us because it shows us that doing what is right has little to do with perfection. Rather returning to God through faith has its reward. No one knows the number of days God gives. Whether the the days are many or few, people will remember how you made them feel. God has the same memory.
Return, O faithless children,…I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:6-18
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land . . . So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”
“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-10 Many years ago I was asked what was the most important relationship in my life. While others responded that their relationship with a significant other or children as the most important, I responded that it was my relationship with God. I did wonder for a little while if my feelings were skewed or distorted in some way, but then I remembered that God’s love for me is perfect. The relationships I have with my spouse and children can not compete with that perfection. So it made sense to me to put what is perfect before what is imperfect. This perfect love that God has for me is what I strive for in my relationships. I wouldn’t know how to do that if God had not given Christ into the world (John 3:16; 10:7-10). Because we are imperfect as human beings, in every physical aspect of our lives – life, death and resurrection is an ongoing process until we reach spiritual perfection of eternal life. When we hurt, disappoint and frustrate one another is it not God’s love through Christ that calls us back into relationship (Mark 12:28-33)? This I believe is what the Pharisees and leaders like them today miss. While the physical law” (of Moses or any other law) disciplines, it does not love, it does not forgive. God’s law also disciplines, but it always loves, and always forgives. So my prayer for each of us today is that as we continue to grow in understanding of God’s perfect love for us, we grow and live into the manifestation of God’s perfect love for one another with the knowledge that we are imperfect yet always striving towards the goal that is perfect in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:2-15). “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” Luke 15:1-10
Mark 12:28-33 …you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” …“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 10:7-10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Lent: Day 33 – They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Mark 10:32-45
This Lenten season is just about over. Perhaps we are not quite at a point in our lives where it seems darkest before dawn, but in the life of Christ, he is preparing to make his way to Jerusalem. We know that the worst, at least from a physical standpoint is about to happen and those who followed Christ were afraid. Even today, at least for me, it is hard to imagine walking towards your own death especially when you are both innocent and not guilty of any crime. Who among us is both innocent and not guilty? Yet by the grace of God, with every step Christ takes towards Jerusalem we are all lifted up. Although the walk is hard to envision, because of Christ’s walk I can envision his death and burial into the darkness of the earth, as God reaching down to the depths of his creation for all who believe. Before I understood God’s Love I walked in that darkness of sin. So today I arise with Christ ahead of me and I’ll joyfully take this walk again, afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Instead of darkness I envision light. Instead of death I envision resurrection. Instead of continual bondage I envision eternal freedom. We are the forgiven. We are the righteous. We are the anointed. We are the children of God.
Psalm 143:1-12 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul…
2 Corinthians 4:1-12 …it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.