Devotional Thought of the Day:
12 My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. 13 The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. 14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another. John 15:12-17 (TEV)
100 I am not the apostle I should be. I am… too timid. Could it not be that you are fainthearted, because your love is small? It is time to change! (1)
Yesterday my blog post was the 666th post on this blog. It happened to be my Easter Sunday sermon, an odd “coincidence.”
I posed the question on Facebook, about whether I should post a Easter Sermon with post #666, or just post a blank post there. As I noted in the question, I had already decided my response to the oddity, but I thought posing the question would make for a good learning experience. One of my friends, a devout atheist (and I use “devout” purposefully) indicated I shouldn’t, as did one other. Some of the others encouraged, even dared me too, two noting that superstition should have no place in the consideration. A response, which seemed with such certainty, such fervor, that it almost seemed counter-superstitious. I must, some seem to assert, post it to prove that superstition had no hold over me. That almost seems superstitious!
I asked the question, partially from curiosity, and partially because it resonated with my sermon. The sermon was a discussion about faith in God, about trusting in Him, and worshiping Him, and no other gods. To revel, to find great joy and peace that we are encrypted, hidden with Christ in God; even as we walk our journeys in this world with Christ. To keep our eyes on Christ in the heavenly places, to know His work redeeming us is done, yet He continues to work within us, as the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ,
The image of love. Bringing us to the point where we truly begin to love one another, including those whom we struggle with, not just being challenged to love them, but even to like them. To realize that this is possible, as we look to Christ, as we keep our minds on heavenly things, to trust God with everything we are, to turn to Him, not only when the burdens overwhelm us, but even in the simple things. As a simple bread making monk once put it, we need to practice the presence of God. To be so confident of His love, that all other things are dealt with, while residing in His love, while residing in His peace.
That is when we see that everything has a spiritual component, Making bread, talking to our neighbors, working, being a husband, a father. Whatever the place where God has guided us to, whatever role, becomes a place of love, for He is there with us.
It is this kind of growth, this need to depend on God, and the confidence that grows in His presence, that leads us from a form of “religious superstition” to a “religious faith”. That means we know we don’t have to be anxious about 666 or making sure our actions and thoughts conform to some man-made expectation, some man-made ritual, Because we know, intimately know, God’s heart, we know He secures our salvation, that He is our Hope, and our Way. That Easter provides for us a remembrance on the depth of His love, the insight to how we live, as we trust in Him above all things. As we realize He is God, and therefore we don’t have to be. We can count on Him to be our deliverer, our savior, the One who is our master, our protector.
Where we live in awe of His love, not in superstitious fear.
A relationship, where His faithfulness assures us of what we need, to be able to live freely, to love. Rather that being paranoid about every move we make….
Lord, we trust in You, help us to trust You!
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 628-630). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.