16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
18 All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TEV)
Nearly fifteen years ago, I lay on a table in a hospital, as an angiogram was being done by my cardiologist. Above the table were a number of television monitors, all black and white, and the showed the progress of the camera as it was inserted into my thigh, and was run my leg into my heart. A bit disconcerting — and yet fascinating.
What was even mroe fascinating was the focus of Dr. Silver. His focus as he guided the devise was not on me, but on the cameras, his attention completed devoted and dedicated to task at hand, but yet, not on the work of his hands. It was on the monitors- as they showed him where he was going – and what he needed to see. It was a bit disconcerting – there he was – moving his hands, working on me.., but almost unaware that I was there.
As I contemplate the end of a very difficult year of ministry, (difficult because of a high level of trauma for the people in my congregation and those around me) and as I am praying this morning, and coming across these verses, I think our “success” as a congregation, and our focus has been much like my cardiologist Stephen’s. For indeed, this small church has grown very strong in its faith.. and people have persevered through things.. that are beyond challenging. For while we are working on things below, while we are struggling with the situations down here, the work requires our focus somewhere else – our focus is to be on Jesus Christ, on the love of God the Father, listening as they reveal the height and width, the depth and breadth of their love for us shown through Christ.
As we interact, as we dance in that love, as God leads us through life, the essential work we do requires that focus, even though our… mind tells us to look at what we are doing, to look at where our hands are moving. There is our challenge, to be in communication with God – to have our focal point on Him.
It is like the words of a priest…written in a book called, “The Forge”
“To think of Christ’s Death means to be invited to face up to our everyday tasks with complete sincerity, and to take the faith that we profess seriously. It has to be an opportunity to go deeper into the depths of God’s Love, so as to be able to show that Love to men with our words and deeds.” (1)
So look deep – deeply focus on the love of God – revealed to you – for you in Christ Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him as you endure each day… for it is then, that you do you best work, even though it seems you are not…focused on what you are doing.
May your next year be filled with His love, His mercy and many blessings. AMEN †
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2141-2144). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.