Blog Archives

The Mission: To Reveal Jesus Lifted Up

English: Lord Jesus at St Joseph Oratory, Mont...

English: Lord Jesus at St Joseph Oratory, Montreal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mission: To Reveal Jesus Lifted Up

John 12:20-33

 

In Jesus Name

 

May you realize the gifts of God that are yours, the mercy, the peace, the love of the Father, which is yours because Jesus was glorified on the Cross.

Why didn’t they recognize the Father’s voice?

       That’s His mission and ours…

When I sit down to study a Bible passage to preach on it, I usually read the passage a few times – and wait for questions to develop before I start looking at the original languages, or at what people have said in the nearly 2000 years since the Bible was completed.

The questions are usually simple observations, the odd things I notice that make me wonder about our relationships.  First our relationship with each other, then our relationship with God.

Some of those questions stick with me a while, and so it was this week.  The question this week that bugged me.. that creates the basis for this sermon is this,

“Why didn’t the crowd recognize the Voice speaking through the clouds?” Why didn’t they recognize the voice of our Heavenly Father?

After all, how many times have voices spoken from the heavens?  Who else could it be?

On this day, as we dedicate our preschool staff, as we start a series looking at God’s mission in this world, the answer to that question is critical. For His mission becomes our mission.

“Why didn’t the crowd recognize the Voice speaking through the clouds”  Why didn’t they recognize God’s voice?”

When we realize the answer – we will realize what we are asking our staff to do.  Really what we are asking all that are part of this community of faith to do….
Simply put – God’s mission, our mission is to reveal Christ lifted up, entering His glory… that He can draw all to Him.

The Greeks and the Jews… same problem?

       Which Jesus would they see?

 

Today’s gospel reading starts out with the Greeks, the non-Jewish people looking for Jesus.  They had come up for the Passover feast, and whether they were simply curious about Judaism or they were in the process of conversion, we do not know.  It would be an uncomfortable place to be, for many Jews resented their presence.  Which is why they looked for one of the apostles, to ask permission to see Jesus.

Compare that to the Jewish leaders and people themselves who saw Jesus, but did not really see Him.  They could grasp that He was, and is the Son of God. It seems ironic – those who desired to see Jesus could not but those that could didn’t really see Him either.

I think we have the same problem today, when we “look” for Jesus, and especially when we want to see Jesus in all of His glory.

Some of us look for the cute Jesus, like in a movie where the star prays to the “sweet 6 pound 8oz baby Lord Jesus”.  A Jesus who is not threatening, one we can’t see judging our actions as sinful and self-destructive, but is precious, cute, and cuddly.  Like the Greek pilgrims, this is a romanticized version of Jesus to look at, to wonder about, to ooh and ahh about, to expect blessings from when we adore Him.

Others look for the risen and reigning Jesus, the One who will return in all glory, and then everything will be put into its place!  Everything will be perfect!  Like the Pharisees, we expect God to fulfil that promise – now and here, and according to our plan.  When we do not see that happening, we look other places. When we expect God to do things our way and He doesn’t – we give up. When we expect Him to applaud our pride, our self-righteousness, our sin.  Instead, He calls us on it and as we ignore Him we cannot recognize His voice, His authority, or His glory.

Like those in the days when Jesus walked and taught in Galilee – too often in our time people want to Jesus on their terms, or they are incapable of seeing Him at all.

What we need to do is see Jesus in all of His glory, when He was glorified.

Then the virgin birth and the 2nd coming can be seen properly… but when was He seen in all His glory?
When was He glorified? 

That is the key.  It is the reality behind Jesus statement about loving life means losing it – and caring nothing for it in this life…means everything for eternity.  He demonstrated that truth on the cross.
You see, when Jesus spoke of it being time for Him to enter into His glory, it is the same as  when he talked about being lifted up from the earth… for He is glorified, He is to be praised and honored and exalted, for what happened on the cross.

For like the serpent on Moses’ pole it is when we look to Jesus on the cross, that we know we will be okay.  God is here! God is aware of what we are going through! We realize that He will deal with all that burdens us, and all that challenges us, all that sin that would poison our lives and quench the life He gives us.

You see, the greatest thing, the most praiseworthy thing Christ does, was on that cross. When we look there, it is not about the sin that we have committed, it is not about whether we were a Pharisee or a prostitute, a pastor or a tax collector.

It is about realizing that it was because God loves us that he was there, that is was the away God deals with our rebellion, our pride, our sin, with love that only we can only see when we look to Christ.  That is why we worship Him, which is why we praise Him, which is why, according to Paul; our Father in heaven glorified His name above every other name.  We do not have to do anything to deserve His love – He poured it all out on the cross, when He was lifted up.

That is what our church and our preschool are about – that is what we are all called to do.  Simply to reveal the love of Jesus, that love that drove Him to the cross.  One of my favorite verses is found in the book of Hebrews – which talks about the joy that was set before Him, the reason He went and did that for which we praise Him.

For the joy that was before Him, Christ endures the cross.

The joy of knowing that we would be drawn to Him, that we would be able to hear the see Jesus, that we would be able to hear the Father.  We do not need to lift him up on the cross again, but our praises need to remind us of the love He showed, of the work He has done, of the very claim He has on our life, because of that cross.

For it is there the difference is made, He was lifted up, and we are drawn to Him and praise His name for what He has done in love for us.  This is why we will be in heaven.  This is why we can forgive others and live free of resentment and guilt, why we don’t have to hate,

Then we know why he was born, and why He will come back again….

For we see Him in all of His glory…in all of His love.
And knowing we are loved, we live in the Father’s peace, a peace that passes all understanding, and guards our hearts and minds which are secure in Jesus. AMEN!

God is Watching over His People!

God is Watching over His People!

Luke 7:11-17

In Jesus Name

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

 

May we realize God watches over us with a compassion deeper than words can express, desiring to heal us and give us life abundant in Christ as we share His love with the world!

The First Traffic Jam That Made the News

Unlike traveling our local freeways, no one that morning expected a traffic jam outside the city of Nain.  There were no sig alerts, no gps updates or radio warnings about the two massive crowds heading that would collide that morning.

But that collision of crowds did occur, and traffic did stop, and both groups of people had to take the time to observe something quite remarkable, so life changing, so life giving, that it made the evening news in every household, not just in Nain, but across the entire country.

As our churches this morning merge so seamlessly together, may we as well realize the blessings that have been poured out on us, the blessings one small family experienced that day….

Two Types of People

The Looky-loo’s & Those distracted

There are two types of people that seem to cause the smallest occurrence on the freeways to become even more of a traffic jam, and it was no different that particular day.

The first we call lookey-loos, those who curiosity so overrules their common sense that they will do anything to see what is holding up traffic.  They want to know everything that is going on.  They don’t want accidents to happen, but if they do, they want to have more information that the accident investigation team do.  Without realizing it, they slow down – they even change lanes to get into place to have a perfect view of the situation.  Whether it is a motorcycle officer helping someone with a flat tire, or a accident requiring people me taken to the hospital by ambulance or helicopter.  They want to see, they want to be able to say, I was there.

As Luke describes Jesus, he makes a distinction in the people arriving in Nain with Him.  There are the disciples, those who have been called into the relationship with Jesus, and journey through life with Him for they realize the truth of Peter’s words,

 68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69  And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.” John 6:68-69 (TEV)

But then there is the crowd, those who came along with Jesus, the kind of crowd that he had compassion on when He fed 5000.  People who would abandon Jesus later, when he started talking about His death, and about His Body and Blood being given and shed for us. (deleted some here) But the crowd that followed like looky-loo’s on the freeway, people that wanted to see miracles, people that wanted to hear something different.. people unsure of what they were following Christ but where.
There are people who come to church and many more who call themselves Christians today, who do so like the looky loos.  They come to see stuff, but they never get involved.  They like the music, they enjoy the sermons, but they never get to know the God to Whom we sing.  They pray, but because that’s what Christians do, not that they believe God is listening.  They like what they see, but they don’t understand that it is a relationship with God that sustains them.

If the crowd following Jesus and his actual disciples were looky-loos;  the other crowd was the kind of people that when traffic is slow and snarled, go on automatic pilot and focus completely on something else.  They pay only enough attention to keep moving with the crowd.  In this case, they weren’t focusing on the kids in the back seat, or the latest text message or phone call – but on the death of a young man, and how the death reminded them of how short life is.  The word for large in the “large crowd” is the word “intense.”  And so was their walking intensely focused on the emotions of grief, of the pain of their loss, of the uncertainty of their future, or the lonely widows.

People are like that today as well. They wander aimlessly, following the crowd yet unaware of their surroundings, trapped in what causes great anxiety, great pain, or what they find comfort in, an escape in…everything from drugs and alcohol, to television, to seemingly innocent addictions like facebook and candy crush saga and other addictive things…we are quick to find our escapes…

One pastor once confronted such people with this question,

Why stoop to drink from the puddles of worldly consolations (comforts) if you can satisfy your thirst with waters that spring up into life everlasting? 
The Highway of Life Patrol…Watching

Compassion not just on the dead, but on the bereaved

Explaining the occurrences in the gospel with the idea of a traffic jam as the crowd following Jesus and the crowd heading for the burial of the dead young man leads us to Jesus’s intervention.  We get to finally see how Jesus will work in this passage, and indeed, why the news of this incident would spread as fast through the Judean countryside as it did. (even though they didn’t have twitter!)

The only time you like to see the sirens and flashers of a Highway Patrol Car coming up behind you – is when you are crawling along the freeway at 10 mph, stuck in traffic.  You are happy to see them, because you know that they can, if anyone can, solve the problem of the traffic. They watch the highways, sure to catch speeders and crazy drivers, (even that they do to keep traffic flowing) but they watch the freeway primarily to keep everyone safe and moving and alive.

As Jesus enters this town, He sees the patterns of things.  He realizes the pain of the widow, the different types of people around him – those trying to deal with the pain of their own lives, and those just looking for something cool to happen.

His reaction is compassion – the Greek is great – it basically means that He felt her pain so much that it was gut-wrenching, the reaction it caused affected Him physically.  He could not tolerate the pain she was going through,…

It was such compassion, Paul tells us in Philippian’s, that it caused Jesus to leave heaven, and to become our servant, to minister to us…. Isaiah tells us it was the Father’s compassion to place every sin – those we commit knowingly and those we don’t even know – the sins of omission, our Father in Heaven placed them on Jesus.- and as the Father compassionately cared for us so much, it pleased Him to have Jesus pay for our sins.

Jesus gets it all straightened out – and not only do the young man and his now joyous mom realize what happened – so do all the people fathered there.  The looky-loos, those distracted by everything else and their own pain.  They realize with such awe, like Thomas in the upper room, that Jesus is God, He is our Lord, our Christ, our Savior, our Master…

And the One who passionately loves us….

Resuscitation/Resurrection Time

Most of us, if we are honest – go through life distracted and wanting to be distracted, or as those looking at what’s happening to others.  We don’t always realize that we walk every moment in God’s presence, we don’t often realize His compassion, and His watching over us,

But it is there, as surely as it was for this woman.

His compassion is there not only for us, but for us as we hurt for others, whether we grieve because they have died, or because they are spiritually dead.  When we realize that some of our co-workers, our neighbors, our friends and even our family don’t know of the love of God our Father, of the mercy and compassion of Christ Jesus, of the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit.  When we look around us, and just see the crowds, lifeless- directionless…

His compassion reaches us there as well, for His desire is that they are saved as well, God’s one desire is that none of them should perish, but that all should be transformed by the redeeming power of Christ, by the work of the Holy Spirit through God’s word, and those things God uses to change us….

I would say we see here today, a even greater resurrection that they all witnessed that day.  For not just one man has been brought to life – every one of us who trusts in Christ, Passion and Concordia brothers and sisters, has been raised from the dead. That is the promise of God’s baptism of us, in water and Spirit.

Our resurrection, as well, is not temporary, it is not fading…it will not end, as this man’s did – in another death.

For our resurrection is with Christ, it is a resurrection to eternity, for Jesus said,

25“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; 26  and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26 (TEV)

Well do you?

If you said no, come talk to Pastor Mao, or Pr. Lu, or me or one of the leaders here… we’d love to help you know this…to know Jesus, and to realize His compassion for you.

But if you know this – that if you live in Jesus, if you trust Him, then this is true for you….

You live in God’s peace, that peace which is beyond explanation, which you are guarded, your heart and mind, by Christ himself.

That is news worth sharing with all of Cerritos and all of of LA and Orange County…  Alleluia – He has risen, and we have been raised to life with Him

AMEN??

 

His Grace is ALL We Need!

His Grace is ALL we need!
2 Cor. 12:1-10

 

In Jesus Name

 

May you be convinced of this very thought:  His Grace is ALL you need!

 

Theology according to Dug the Dog

In 2009, a movie was released that was a theological masterpiece, a perfect modern parable, as it pictured our lives in the present day, and how they overlook the very blessings we have been given by God.

One character in the animated movie “UP” we see in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, as Paul urges them to focus on the ministry of Christ, and their part in it, reconciling the world to God.

His name is Dug, and he is a dog, with a fancy little voicebox that turns his barks and growls into words.  He is energetic, he is driven to do whatever he can to help his new master, and the little scout that would help the master reach his goal… he has the desire to help and do good, and the skills needed, and the absolute determination and focus
Until a squirrel shows up…

Something exciting and fun and perhaps even a bit tasty… it’s sorta like saying “bacon” around certain guys,…

And in many ways, as believers, as those studying God’s word, the people in Corinth were just like Dug the Dog.  They desired to know all there was to know about God’s love, about His mercy, they desired to grasp the depth and breadth and height and width of God’s love…

Squirrel!

Their attention is whisked away – as their minds follow a variety of squirrels that would distract them from the glory which Paul described so vividly; from the ministry we get to all be a part of, seeing people stripped of sin and returned to God. They got distracted by inspirational speakers (even if they know they are wrong), or by discussions about visions and revelations experiences that are astounding, so many things!

We can be like that as well, can’t we?

We aren’t alone…so was Paul…he had a ego that was easily inflated and he talks of the way God helped him deal with it – to keep that which should be the priority for the Christian – at the forefront.  God’s method?  A gift that doesn’t seem a gift at first, but is.  That doesn’t seem like mercy, yet it is, for it keeps Paul focused, and dependent on God.

But before Paul gets there – he has to deal with the squirrels… and so will we!
Law – I want to know it ALL!!!

If you read this passage carefully, you realize that Paul doesn’t want to spend much time validating his ministry based on the experiences and visions and revelation, what he calls boasting.  He’s done it, seen it, experienced it, been there, knows he can’t even come close to describing it, and realizes that even if it does – it will do those he is writing to absolutely no good!

Yet many of the professional theologians I have in my library wax eloquent on that which Paul deems as worthless, that will no benefit those to whom he writes.  Heck just the discussions on what Paul means by being taken “to the third heaven” go on and on and on…. Despite Paul’s words that they mean…nothing to us!  Pages of speculation about what Paul saw, or what this meant or that, on whether there are 3 heavens or seven! One theologian got it right, when he said

 

A mass of Jewish ideas about the seventh heaven is introduced by some interpreters, and they place Paul beyond the third heaven, viz. in the fourth. We consider all this Jewish material worthless for our interpretation. Are these Jews, who were never in heaven, able to shed any light on Paul’s experience? NO!
Study is good, and so is discussion, don’t get me wrong – but if scripture, God’s holy word says something doesn’t have a lot of meaning and value for us, why do we keep trying to develop a theory about it?  Why can’t we just accept that it is beyond us, and get to what really makes a difference?

We can get so caught up in such discussions of visions and revelations, that we lose sight of who was revealed, can we lose sight of Jesus?  We lose sight of the apostolic mission He came to accomplish, the mission which He has entrusted us with, and sent the Holy Spirit to work with us, to work in us, to accomplish?

Squirrel!  Visions! Revelation!  Bacon!  Third Heaven! inside/outside of body, paradise,
No..

Jesus.

Yes

Knowing all that other stuff, or our best guesses, do they really help us to know that which can make a difference in how we live our lives?  Will it help us know God’s peace?  Will knowing all these details help us today, as we struggle with life?  No.  Will knowing grace be sufficient, is it all we really need?

I think our seeking to know all about heaven, and eternity, are away to distract us from our present situation, our present fears, our present anxieties, our guilt and shame?  They are great squirrels, fascinating topics, but the speculation doesn’t bring us comfort or peace….
Gospel – Struggles?  Really?

Paul deals with – tells them simply – been there, saw that, can’t explain it – otherwise I might think I know it all…he says, but listen God helped me get past those squirrels and those questions I could answer, but can’t.  He gave me an incredible gift – something that helped get me straight….

He taught me about the gift of afflciations.

Yeah – the gift of suffering meant more to Paul because it helped his spiritual life far more than all the visions, all the incredible revelations, all the wonderful things this man of God experienced.  It made a difference.

Affliction? Suffering?  Really?  A Thorn in the Flesh?  A pain in the…..  neck?  A Blessing? Really?

Well, Paul didn’t say he got that it was a gift, right away.   He tells us that he begged God to take it away – not once, but three times!  Not asked- the word is begged, pleaded, got down on his knees type begging.  Wonder about God, for if He was so loving and merciful, wouldn’t He simply take it away….
The early Lutherans knew this, in our confessions, they wrote about how many sacraments there were, and how they were used – and wrote:

17 Alms (Giving to the poor ) could be listed here (among the sacraments), as well as afflictions, which in themselves are signs to which God has added promises. But let us pass over all this. No intelligent person will quibble about the number of sacraments or the terminology, so long as those things are kept which have God’s command and promises.  (AAC, Art. XII)


But why?  Why in the world does Paul and our forefathers call things that afflict us a blessing – why do they use the very same word – grace – in regards to the things (and people) that can be a thorn in the flesh….

It’s not the suffering… it’s the dependence on God that it causes..

           And he is there… the Comforter, The Healer, the Daddy..

 

It’s not about the afflictions – its about what they cause… for they cause us, hopefully sooner than later – to run to the one who can bring us comfort, and relief and healing.  That is why they are blessings, because they cause us to depend on God more, to trust in Him more, to wait quietly and patiently in His presence…
They cause us to see Him at work. To realize that we can, and we must depend on Him, if we really desire to live in His peace.  To have the grace that we need…

His grace that works miraculously, simply. It calls us away from sin, from distractions, from squirrels.  Grace that can make things that we don’t comprehend beautiful, in His time.  We see Him at work in our lives, in the lives of this church, and the Taiwanese ministry and Passion, as we interact with each other, as we see a little girl baptized, as we pray and minister to those around us, as we learn together that God is here…pouring out the grace, the gifts we need.

The grace gift of His love
The grace-gift that is His mercy..

The grace gift of His presence and to know He desires to commune with us.

As He brings healing to our past, and gives us hope for the future.

As His grace-gift is the peace  we have now… o the blessed peace that is found in Him, in Living each and every day knowing He is here, knowing His promises., knowing Him.

If that afflication means getting past the BACON, and the squirrels in life, so be it… they are not as good, right and beneficial as knowing our Father in Heave, or realizing our life in Christ, as rejoicing in the Spirit…

Even as we share in a feast that is beyond compare… the feast of His welcoming us into His affliction, that we would know His death, that we share in His resurrection to life, a life lived in Him…now.

AMEN?

What will you do now… having encountered the Lord?

 

What will you do now…

having encountered the Lord?

Isaiah 6:1-8

In Jesus Name

 

The grace of God, the abundant love, the incredible mercy, the peace that comes from being in the presence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is yours!

928,000 hits for hell, 597 million for heaven

If you look up two words on the internet, one word will return some 597 million references – web pages that deal with the subject in part or are on that topic – just for that one word.  The other word is even more astounding, some 920 million web pages reference it. A combined total of 1.5 billion webpages referencing these two words.

The first word is heaven…
The second…hell.
It amazes me that there is more attention paid to that second word, half again as many webpages referencing something that by definition cannot be compared to heaven, except to say that everything heaven is not, Hell is.

I wonder if humanity is more comfortable with the second word than heaven, and therefore uses it more, because it doesn’t take any imagination to picture what it is like.  We witness hints of it everywhere, as we see suffering lived out, as we witness the broken lives, as we hear the lyrics of music, country, rock, hip-hop – it doesn’t matter the style,

But heaven?  How do you imagine it, much less describe it? Even St. Paul, who indicates that he was taken up to heaven in a vision, when he writes to the church in Corinth struggles, and describes it this way..

What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualise; all that God has prepared for those who love him; (NJB)

Perhaps, because we cannot visualize it, our mind cannot comprehend being in the presence of God, in all of His glory… we struggle to tell people, to describe to them this relationship that we have with God, and what we expect of eternity, walking with Him.

Our knowledge of what heaven is like comes from the brief glimpses of it in scripture, the brief times where God reveals a little of our what heaven looks and sounds like.  I think we deal enough with the other place way to much – so today – let’s spend our time in heaven, and see what happens when we encounter God in all his glory.

It’s a bit… overwhelming

As Isaiah describes where God resides, the incredible, majestic, throne room of God, there is one word that I think describes his emotions better than any other.

Overwhelmed!

Isaiah cannot even describe the Lord God Almighty who we have praised in song – about the closest he comes is describing the hem of his robe – he quickly describes the angelic beings surrounding the throne, singing the praises of God, praises that ring so loud they shake heaven and earth! Which leads him to focus to God, for the focus point of their body, their voices, everything they are focused on Yahweh – the sight is so awe-inspiring that the translators have always replaced God’s name – YHWH, with His title, for it seems so wrong to address One who is the purest form of holiness by His name.

Isaiah, overwhelmed by it all, all of a sudden remembers that he is part of this picture, In this midst of all this purity, in the middle of the hosts of heaven adoring God in all His intimate majesty!  There stands Isaiah, whose “woe” is a phrase that escapes his mouth, before he can control it – one which leads him to identify himself as a man of “unclean lips.”  Unclean being a reference to a flow of mud or sewer waste that has infiltrated your home, something that no matter how hard you try to clean it, infests and infects every part.  Because that is what sin is – no matter how hard you try to clean it – to fix it – you cannot!

Any of you out there dread public speaking and standing before 1000, 10,000 people?  Or have you ever had one of those nightmares where you find yourself at center court of a basketball game, or in the middle of a mall on the day after thanksgiving clad only in an old torn pair of underwear?  Yeah… that’s pretty much how Isaiah feels, as he realizes the only sin in heaven at that point… is him.

No wonder, as he gasps,  that Isaiah confesses that he is a man of filthy lips – not because of anything that he ate – but because of what has come from him!  Such a statement calls to mind Jesus words regarding that it is not what goes into a man that pollutes him, but what comes out reveals how rotten we can be inside.

Like with most of us, having one’s sin revealed is never easy, it is as overwhelming as being found in the presence of God….yet it is then… as Isaiah is standing there, that something incredible happens…

It’s incredibly healing

         

For being found in God’s presence in not just incredibly overwhelming, it is incredibly healing.

Even as the Heavenly choir is singing the Sanctus’ holy, holy, holy, even as Isaiah realizes how exposed he and his sin is, an angel who knows God’s heart, who grasp His desire takes action.  From the altar something is taken, it touches the lips of the man of unclean lips, and those lips are purified, as is the heart and life of the man.  Those lips are cleansed and can praise the God who created them, and cleansed them.  That heart no longer fears being found in the presence of a holy and righteous God, but stands in awe… and basks and rejoices in the love of the Lord God who reveals Himself to us, in order to bring us back to Him, to restore the relationship!

The sewerage, the uncleanness that once polluted us, is diverted, it cannot reach Isaiah, it cannot reach us.

Our is atoned for – an incredibly deep word picture there – as it is removed and the wounds it caused are covered as they are healed!  You see, the roots of the word attone is tar or pitch – the kind used on trees when you remove a diseased or broken limb – and cover that which remains, so the weak bare would cannot be infested!

That is what God’s love, revealed to us in the shedding of Jesus’ blood does to us – is cleanses, and heals and covers and protects.  It’s that simple – takes that ugly spots out of life and makes us whole…just as the fiery coal in Isaiah’s vision did, so does Christ do, as He enters our lives.

But what is best about what God does in our lives – is that He makes us comfortable in His life – in His presence.  The “woe” disappears and the question of Isaiah falls aside, no longer even needing to be considered!

That is what our faith, our religion, what walking and trusting and believing in Christ is all about my friends.  We need to grasp that because what God has promised us in His word was clearly revealed in Christ – that we now know His love – and that name of His – is ours to use, to call upon, to praise – to ask Him to deal with all that burdens us –that we may know He is God – our loving father!

Wait…there are people

          Note – they too will be overwhelmed…

         

As we realize this incredible promise is not just Isaiah’s but ours – we hear the same words as Isaiah does – the Lord’s voice crying out – who can I send?  Who is going to let the people of La Palma, and Cerritos, and Artesia, and Norwalk and Torrance, those who work with the students at Cal State and USC, and in hospitals and at the senior center and even in St Louis – who will God send?  Who else needs to go to the people of unclean lips and unclean lives and tell them that there is cleansing, there is healing, there is life?

As you respond – for you know what God has done for you – and you realize their need for it – realize that their reactions will be as yours were – overwhelmed by the presence of God, in fear that their sins, their struggles in life stand out. Going out with the message isn’t easy, and people’s reaction will be one of struggle – yet, because of Christ, the lamb that was slain, the message that comes from the heart of God’s altar – the message that cleanses – it will cleanse and heal, and cause them to do as we do…

To find ourselves in the presence of God, cleansed, healed – and able to in the midst of a broken world know a peace and rest that is unexplainable – yet calls us to look to an eternity of peace, as we adore the God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has made us His own…..

AMEN!


%d bloggers like this: