Tag Archives: Spreading Love

Sowing Love

Living in the Spirit
July 29, 2017

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’ –Matthew 13:31-33

Are our churches packages of seeds not sown or yeast not blended? These two parables speak to the gradual transitioning of seed and yeast from inert materials to life giving produce in plants and bread. Jesus seems to be suggesting that his way of being spreads throughout the world best in a similar process requiring us to sow and grow God’s love with and among all of God’s children throughout the world.

I have some pesky ground cover that could easily take over my backyard if I let it. I do not know what kind of plant it is, but it is sturdy almost indestructible. It must have great DNA. The weather shifts of Oklahoma do not seem to phase these plants as they reproduce at an amazing rate. Weed killer does not phase them. Similarly, we are called to develop our interior strength and love in and through our communities of faith which enables us to go into the world and spread the love of God in very much the same way as seeds turn into plants and yeasts makes inert ingredients active. We waste seeds and yeast of love stored in packages on shelves.

Living as Christ modeled for us suggests a contagious spreading of love in our everyday interactions with others as well as the loving we do by design feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, tutoring children, working for justice, assuring that needed services are available in our communities and on and on. The greatest thing is the minute we sow or add our love God’s love strengthens us and strengthens those whom we love exponentially.

Prayer: God who is Love, enable us to love like Jesus. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Knowing God More Nearly

encountering GodEpiphany
February 1, 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 34:29-35

Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. Afterwards all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. –Exodus 34:29-32

The giving of the Law to the Israelites was a holy occasion. Moses’ whole countenance was evidently changes as he descended from the mountain with the covenant that God had made. The change was so great that all the people knew something special had happened. Have you ever encounter such a transformation in your own life?

It reminds me of Paul on the road to Damascus full of himself and his righteous stance against these followers of the man named Jesus. He too was changed forever. Saw the world differently, understood God differently when he encountered the Holy.

Opening our hearts and minds to knowing God more nearly is what we are called to do in our everyday journey. More than that, our knowing God more nearly will help us more assuredly to love and care for one another until we find we are capable and willing to love all of God’s children from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth. Loving all of God’s children is our best form of helping us love God more dearly.*

Prayer: Lord, help us to know you more nearly so we can serve you more clearly. Amen.

*Loosely based on the prayer of Richard, Bishop of Chichester See at http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/139.html

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Servants of All

tumblr_nrm1ybLves1ri7q4ro1_500Advent
November 28, 2015

Scripture Reading: Luke 21:25-36

‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’ –Luke 21:25-28

I suffered for some time a disconnect in thinking since my earliest childhood. I met, felt accepted by, and accepted my friend Jesus very early in life. He taught me that he loved everyone equally and that I was to love everyone equally. He taught that every child of God was unique and was of great worth to God—precious in God’s sight. Also very early in life I heard often about the eventual return of the Messiah when the elect would be taken up to him. I understood that to mean that some were somehow better than others. Did that mean that God loved some less than others or that somehow God would stop loving some, possibly even me, because of what we did or did not do?

I have since come to realize fully that my preschool Jesus was spot on correct, and because of that realization my life has become far more simple. Indeed, my life is richer and fuller as I study and grow in wisdom and in truth, striving to live Jesus’ way of love, and returning again and again to God with confessions of failures, requests for forgiveness, and prayers for guidance in working toward a world ruled by God’s love.

Our scripture today tells us to stop trembling in our shoes in hysteria about the mess we may find on any given day around our world and to stand strong with our faces toward God or as Isaiah 60:1 put it: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Prayer: Lord, we recognize and accept that you have called us not to feel better than others, but to be servants to all sharing your love one relationship at a time until the whole world loves like Jesus loves. Make it so, O God. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.