…the son can do nothing on his own. John 5:19-24  I remember the first time my oldest son said his first curse word. He was being tickled by his father and I suspect they were having fun. However, at some point my son was ready for the play to be over and still laughing out came the words stop “dammit!” It was a turnabout of our own voice. He was about 18 months. I have to admit it was funny then and as I think of it it’s still funny. We were created to be in relationship and as our children hear and see us, they also say and do. As young parents it was our first experience of how truly delicate that relationship really is and the significance of our choice of words. We learned to respect that relationship with all our heart, mind and soul. Thank you God for the relationship you have with us. Thank you for the relationship we have with your son. May we always remember and truly live out daily that relationship with our own children and among one another.

Abounding Grace

…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…  Romans 5:12-21  The laws of God were given for the people of God in order that we know how to be in relationship with one another. On the whole humankind isn’t very good at this, but we try. We also try to separate ourselves from sin and we are not very good at that either. We are all born into the do’s and don’ts of the world. We are also born into God’s grace over the world. Thus sin and grace are not opposed to one another they are part of the duality of life. Where sin blinds us, grace is always at the ready to enable us to see. We have only to ask, “Lord let our eyes be opened”  (Matthew 20:29-34).

Letting God

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. John 17:1-11  Let Go and Let God. We say that a lot don’t we? We say it both to our selves and to one another to keep us from being bound up. Yet sometimes no matter how much we try to convince ourselves to let something go, occasionally – something reminds us that we haven’t totally left a painful or discouraging situation behind. Interestingly, it is also difficult to let go of good situations as well, for example when someone with which we come to have a special relationship, moves or passes away. This is what the disciples are faced with during this discourse with Jesus before he is taken away by the authorities. Letting go is difficult! Anything that has an effect on our lives, good or bad – we have a hard time letting it go. No one understands this more than God. In terms of the body, all physical relationships are temporary. So too Jesus relationship with his disciples was temporary, but not without purpose. We still live that relationship today because of the evangelical Spirit of the Gospel which the disciples received – now falling on us. The process of letting go is allowing the human relationship to be replaced with the divine. Letting Go isn’t so much about releasing something as it is about replacing it with the consciousness of the Spirit of God and who God has called us to be and do, in order that we may move forward in times of loss, pain or opportunities for growth.

…the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11

Pinch of Salt

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt.  Colossians 3:23-4:6  I am ever intrigued by language, the method of human communication – spoken or written. Some years ago when I visited Guatemala I was immersed in a country where few speak English, something I did not anticipate. Having a small Spanish vocabulary myself I was at a disadvantage early on in the trip. However by the time I left I had several conversations in Spanish with our hosts. My visit to Guatemala helped to put into perspective how important language is to our society. We sometimes take for granted that people will understand what we say. Sometimes we have to work a little harder at communicating, otherwise we might as well be talking to ourselves. A pinch of salt enhances flavor to any dish. In the same way, a pinch of the Word within us has the same ability to influence everything that we say. When communicating with one another, let us take every opportunity to salt our words with the Gospel in which we live.