Jesus is God translated to us as we would translate a book. He makes God visible. His many examples of God’s kingdom teach us the way. The parables so clearly show the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught so that we would understand. There are many references to Jesus’ teachings on this. Here are just a few.
[ The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
[ The Parable of the Growing Seed ] He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
[ The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it?
[ The Parable of the Yeast ] And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God?
[ Some Women Accompany Jesus ] Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news ofthekingdomofGod. The twelve were with him,
When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
In order to get the most from our faith we have to dive in. Like Alice we need to jump down the rabbit hole. Immersed in scripture and fellowship with other Christians we can plumb the depths of God’s plan for us.
Down the rabbit hole can be a scary place and jumping down can feel like letting go of everything that feels safe but it is the way to draw closer to God. Take that leap.
I really think this section of Romans says it all. We don’t need to add to it …just follow it.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 1
If God seems far from you who has moved? unknown
God never moves. No matter how you feel…whether lost or alone…God never moves. Sometimes our emotions and feelings get in the way and we feel deserted. Down in the depths of darkness when we can’t see, can’t pray, immobilized, God is still there with us. We have to remember that.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
As a nurse healing is so important to me. There are some people that we can’t heal no matter how much we want to. However, there is one who can heal everything. That one is God. For my 20 years as a Parish Nurse at the Lutheran church I became enamored of this hymn. I hope it touches you as much as it does me.
Prayer is as natural as breathing. Sometimes we may pray without even knowing like smoke lifting toward the sky. But we do have to pray. We have to keep at it. There is no formula for prayer although we can use a formal prayer. Sometimes it is easier to recite something we have memorized but don’t be afraid to reach out to God in anyplace at any time.
You can pray out loud if you want. Sometimes my prayers are sung as in a meditative song or chant. God is listening no matter what. Be persistent in prayer. Keep on…keep on…keep on even if you feel that there is no one there. Feelings can get in the way. PRAY NO MATTER WHAT!!
The person who looks up to God rarely looks down on anyone. from God is in the Small Stuff by Bruce and Stan
We are all equal in God’s eyes. Equally loved. That doesn’t mean that because we believe in God or go to church that we are more equal than others. Equal means equal. Thinking that we are better than someone else is not how God sees it. Looking down on someone because they have less money or better clothes or a better education is not how God expects us to be.
Remember, in God’s eyes there are no “better thans.”
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for Ihave redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When my granddaughter was baptized the church made a full size banner that had her name on it and that quote. I have never forgotten it. Whenever I wonder if God knows that I am here or that any member of my family is here I remember that.
But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16 NRSV
I try to remember every night in my prayers to thank God for that day and everything good in my life. I know that God is present in my life even when things are bad….especially when things are bad. It is so easy to remember to call on him when things don’t go right and so easy to forget to give him thanks and praise. Maybe I will try to get up each morning and sing a joyful and thankful song.
God’s gift of love to us in Jesus does not separate us from those who are different. It unites us, in one loving embrace. We forget that when we believe we are God’s favorite, to the detriment of all others.
-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
How many Christian denominations want to believe that they are the chosen. That if we do not believe as they do we are not OK. We are the outcasts. Jesus spent lots of times with those who were outcasts. He did not discriminate. His love embraced everyone. Remember that.