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April 6 Devotion

Welcome to Holy Week!

This is always a full week.  I admit that I feel a little stressed with the work ahead, but I need to remember that Easter is coming and that is the point to everything!  What a glorious God we worship.

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 10:13-24
 

10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! 

16 “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” 

17Then the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!”  18So he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  19Look, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full force of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you.  20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.” 

21On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. 22All things have been given to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him.”

23Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!  24For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Verse 13 is a strong warning.  It is tempting in this passage to long for a miraculous sign of God’s deliverance from this virus for our country and the world.  Perhaps, for some it is a good excuse to push away faith in God (if he us God he could just end the virus).  I think the reality is that we have been living a miracle of blessings upon blessings for a very long time now.  Do we look for a miraculous sign?  We have been seeing them every day for years.  We might not recognize another miracle if God gave one. We, like the people Jesus was addressing, have grown numb to the blessings and miracles God has been giving to us every day.  If the people of the Cameroon were to experience our level of prosperity and well-being, they would fall on their knees in praise of Jesus.

Let’s give thanks for what the Lord has done for us and the opportunities still before us to reach out in new ways.

Action for today.  Spend time in thanksgiving. 

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

April 3 Devotion

Waiting, that’s what is on the plate for today.  Waiting for our daughter to come out of isolation, waiting for feedback from builders and waiting to be able to see people who are suffering, waiting for this virus to end asnd life to resume some sense of normal.

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 9:37-50
 

9:37 Now on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.  38Then a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son – he is my only child! 39A spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions and causes him to foam at the mouth. It hardly ever leaves him alone, torturing him severely.  40I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 41Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here.”  42As the boy was approaching, the demon threw him to the ground and shook him with convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.  43Then they were all astonished at the mighty power of God.

But while the entire crowd was amazed at everything Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples,  44“Take these words to heart, for the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”  45But they did not understand this statement; its meaning had been concealed from them, so that they could not grasp it. Yet they were afraid to ask him about this statement. 

46Now an argument started among the disciples as to which of them might be the greatest. 47But when Jesus discerned their innermost thoughts, he took a child, had him stand by his side,  48and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, for the one who is least among you all is the one who is great.” 

49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not a disciple along with us.”  50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” 

Verse 48 is an encouragement for me.  “Whoever welcomes this child welcomes me”. Many people are being creative in the ways they support each other these days.  It is a delight to see.  I am not on facebook, but Lila is and she showed me several things people are doing to encourage each other.  One was to make a mock-up of a famous classical painting. I thought that perhaps we could take pictures of ourselves dressed up as our favorite bible characters (the waiting is going to drive us to such things). One of my greatest needs will be social contact.  Yes, we need to practice physical distancing, but we could learn from a younger generation how to connect socially through other means.  Learning new technology is not easy for me, but for the sake of others and even myself. I should try.  

Action for today.  Learn a new social media platform.  Reach out to someone on it. 

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

April 2 Devotion

Today is my prayer day and after a full hour I am finally able to start.  I start with my devotions like I normally do.  If any of you read this today and have specific prayer requests, you can send them in to me by email to pastormac21@gmail.com.  I will be checking email off and on as I go through my day.

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 9:21-36
 
9:21 But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone,  22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 

23Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.  24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.  25For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself?  26For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  27But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.” 

28Now about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray.  29As he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white.  30Then two men, Moses and Elijah, began talking with him.  31They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure that he was about to carry out at Jerusalem.  32Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, but as they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.  33Then as the men were starting to leave, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” – not knowing what he was saying.  34As he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.  35Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him!”  36After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. So they kept silent and told no one at that time anything of what they had seen.

Verse 35 brings us God’s voice and with it he declares Jesus to be his Son, and his Chosen or Anointed one.  Immediately before this passage we had Jesus ask the disciples about who people thought he was and then who the disciples themselves thought he was.  It is important that we get a clear understanding of who Jesus is.  

Who is Jesus to me?  Silly question really.  Jesus is who he is regardless of my perception.  Perhaps it is better to ask if I am in touch with the reality of Jesus’ reality.  Jesus is the Son of the living God. Jesus has been set apart by God for the redemption of the world.  That is the truth, like it or not.  But understanding and trusting that reality does change the way I live.  I could live in denial of it and do as I please, live according to my own pleasures and will, but that won’t change the facts.  If I realize and acknowledge the fact that Jesus is God’s Son and therefore God, If I acknowledge that Jesus was set apart for the redeeming of the world, then that ought to change the way I live.  God commanded that I listen to Jesus.  Then I need to listen too him.  

So what is he saying today?  That he has come to die and I am invited to join him in that walk to my own death.  I know the rest of the story, so I also know that in walking to my own death, I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to be afraid because there is a promised life after death, if I believe in Jesus and put my faith in him.  That is why it is important to know who Jesus is and believe it.

Action for today.  I don’t need to be afraid because the one I love, trust and obey is the Son of God and has accomplished my salvation.  Weather I live or die, I am safe in his love.  There is nothing to be afraid of today. 

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

April 1 Devotion

A busy start to the day as I sanitized the office for Shelly on her first day.  I am continuing to adjust my expectations with our house plans.  That is a healthy exorcize, even if it is disappointing.  I’m looking forward to being able to Hug my daughter at the end of the week when she can come out of isolation.  

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 9:10-20
 
9:10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida.  11But when the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing.  12Now the day began to draw to a close, so the twelve came and said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in an isolated place.”  13But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish – unless we go and buy food for all these people.”  14(Now about five thousand men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”  15So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down. 

16Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them. He gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.  17They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up – twelve baskets of broken pieces. 

18Once when Jesus was praying by himself, and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”  19They answered, “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.”  20Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” NET

Verse 13 gives Jesus’ reply to the disciple’s concerns for feeding the people.  Jesus’ answer is to have the disciple’s feed the people with what they have.  

We are in a time of un-precedented response to a global pandemic.  One of the real outcomes of this response is the loss of livelihood for many people.  Already people are suddenly unemployed and business owners are losing their companies to bankruptcy.  There is already a real need for food and shelter for those around us.  Makes me realize the insignificance of my troubles with the house build.  Two things come to mind. One is that clergy can easily fall into the trap of putting the pressure on others to come up with meeting the needs of those around them without stepping up themselves.  I also have to be a part of meeting the needs of those around me “You give them something to eat”.  The other is that to stop my building of this house will only make it worse for people who need an income.  The build could really help some of those people.

Action for today.  Keep diligent working with builders.   See about beginning a food bank of sorts for church members. 

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 31 Devotion

I was thrilled last night that people turned out for communion.  It was a simple service but a delight to see each other’s faces.  I have some mixed emotions with Amy leaving and Shelly starting.  Unfortunately, Amy couldn’t come in for her last day, but perhaps you can text her a note of appreciation and encouragement on their family’s new adventure.  I also encourage you to give Shelly a call at the office tomorrow after about 10:00 (give her a bit of time as we will pray and discuss her new role) and welcome her back. 

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 9:1-9
 
9:1 After Jesus called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,  2and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and do not take an extra tunic.  4Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area.  5Wherever they do not receive you, as you leave that town, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  6Then they departed and went throughout the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. 

7Now Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed, because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead,  8while others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen.  9Herod said, “I had John beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus.

In verse seven we discover that the witness of the Gospel is catching the attention of those in leadership.  As the twelve were sent out with the gospel, the world noticed.  Jesus gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and the Good News. They took what was given to them and shared it freely with the world as they went out into it.  What will it take for people to recognize the presence and power of Jesus?  Do we need that power again? Or do we need faith to simply believe the Good News as it has been given to us?  Perhaps we need both.  

Action for today.  Keep my prayer day, step out in faith when opportunity arises around me. Be as present in the community as I can be.

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 30 Devotion

My apologies for missing the last couple of days, 

Today I will be immersed in worship planning.  It will take some creativity to render something that will be friendly to worship on line.  I have no fear of ever becoming a television evangelist!  As it often is in busy times at the church, I wonder if I have it in me to accomplish everything that my calendar says needs to be done.  The answer of course is no, I don’t.  God does, though, and as God calls he provides what we need.  So buckle up and let God take the wheel. Here we go!

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 8:40-56
 

8:40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, because they were all waiting for him.  41Then a man named Jairus, who was a leader of the synagogue, came up. Falling at Jesus’ feet, he pleaded with him to come to his house,  42because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. 

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds pressed around him.  43Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years but could not be healed by anyone. 44She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and at once the bleeding stopped.  45Then Jesus asked, “Who was it who touched me?” When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing against you!”  46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.”  47When the woman saw that she could not escape notice, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed.  48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” 

49While he was still speaking, someone from the synagogue leader’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.”  50But when Jesus heard this, he told him, “Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”  51Now when he came to the house, Jesus did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother.  52Now they were all wailing and mourning for her, but he said, “Stop your weeping; she is not dead but asleep!”  53And they began making fun of him, because they knew that she was dead.  54But Jesus gently took her by the hand and said, “Child, get up.”  55Her spirit returned, and she got up immediately. Then he told them to give her something to eat.  56Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.

The two different healing miracles that Jesus gives in this passage have a woman with a long-term incurable illness, and a young woman with an acute illness that actually leads to death.  It is easy for me to respond to those in immediate crisis, I am comfortable enough to want to be there for those going through a sudden tragedy or other such life event.  I have more trouble with people who have long term issues to deal with.  Not because I do not care, but simply because I can forget in the midst of the daily grind, that there are many around me that have the additional strain of an illness, sorrow, condition or some other such malady to deal with.  Not a great character trait in a pastor.  This Thursday is my prayer day and I know that these days are good for me.  They help me remember the bits and pieces people have shared with me as I spend concentrated time in prayer for them by name.  

Action for today.  Keep my prayer day.  

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 27 Devotion

I am recovering from my disappointment yesterday and looking forward to what we can do.  As Lila and I continue to explore this strange new way of being, I think we will become more and more creative with it.

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 8:9-18

8:9 Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant.  10He said, “You have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that although they see they may not see, and although they hear they may not understand. 

11 “Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God.  12Those along the path are the ones who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.  13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in a time of testing fall away.  14As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.  15But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance. 

16 “No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light.  17For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.  18So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” 

I noticed in verse 14 that the thorns are not all bad things.  To be choked is to have what is needed to be restricted in some way.  What good things in my life keep me from the most needed things?  Or is it the worries that keep me from what I truly need?  Perhaps they all work together.  God wants me to bear good, mature fruit.  I believe that is making other disciples.  I miss my young fellows that I have been discipling.  How can I re-engage when contact is not possible?

Action for today.  Be on the lookout for worries and the good things that are keeping me from bearing the fruit that is good and mature. Look for inspiration as to how to re-engage.  

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 26 Devotion

Today I am quite sad.  I, along with a number of others in the congregation, had planned a service that would have given a moment of community celebration for Easter.  Those plans have been ended by levels of government that are stuck in fear.  To be fair, they are not just trying to protect themselves politically, but their actions are based on a fear of further and more rapid spread of this virus.  Still, I am very disappointed and sad. 

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 8:1-8
 

8:1 Some time afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,  2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and disabilities: Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out,  3and Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod’s household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources. 

4While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable:  5“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. 6Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it.  8But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said this, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”

Verse five stands out for me.  The sower goes out to sow, that is what sowers do, they cast the seed in hopes that a crop will sprout.  This particular sower is not very discriminating as to where the seed is cast.  Some of it falls on ground that will not let the seed take root, or not let it take root substantially enough.  Jesus is talking about sharing the good news.  The one with the message is the sower and that person shares freely, the message lands where it lands.  We are not wise enough to know where the message will take root and where it will not.  So, we sow.  

The gospel helps us be free from our fear, free enough to use our heads more clearly.  We want to take the threat of this virus seriously, but we can do so with calm hearts and minds.  We will not incite others to panic by our freedom from fear, we will simply live along-side them and give a gentle witness of our peace.  

Action for today.  Be diligent in using the means of remaining community that are still available to me, (Phone, computer). Pray that the peace we have becomes even more infectious than this virus!

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 25 Devotion

It is a beautiful morning, a bit cool but the snow cover makes everything look so nice and clean.  I am building in excitement as we seem to be working through our plans for Easter.  Still not sure we can do it yet, but I am encouraged with the responses to our plans. 

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 7:36-50

7:36 Now one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table.  37Then when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus was dining at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfumed oil.  38As she stood behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil.  39Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”  40So Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He replied, “Say it, Teacher.”  41“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other fifty.  42When they could not pay, he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”  43Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”  44Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  45You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet.  46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil.  47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.”  48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  49But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”  50He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Verse 47 stands out for me. “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.” 

I caught a headline on the news today.  I admit I did not read the article, but it sounded like the Government was willing to track cell phones to monitor those suspected of breaking self-isolation rules.  I remember seeing a picture of a good-sized group posing on the top of a mountain in B.C. Clearly no social distancing happening.

Why do we think we rise above rules and can ignore them? Why do we push boundaries?  How is it that we think we are smarter than the rest of the population and can easily avoid these things?  Why am I so sloppy with my own hand washing?

Perhaps it is because it has not yet hit home.  I know no one personally who has the virus.  If a family member tested positive, I’m quite certain my passion for preventative measures would dramatically increase.  I have little skin in the game.  

The Pharisee in the lesson this morning felt he had little to do with Jesus and probably didn’t need him.  He was interested enough to have him over as a guest, but not one to make a fuss over.  The Pharisee was an important man, Jesus was a novelty.  When he saw an act of compassion on Jesus part by letting the woman touch him and lavish her attention on him, the pharisee was disgusted. 

Am I like the pharisee?  Shunning the attempts of others who are passionate (rightly so) about trying to contain or slow the spread of the virus?  The Pharisee had the virus we all have. Sin. He had a mild case, he probably didn’t even realize he was ill.  He was a carrier though.  His lack of love or compassion for another human being showed how ill he really was.  He was disdaining the healing measures the woman was pouring out over the physician’s feet.  

People are really dying with this virus.  I have to realise that if I do not take it seriously (I don’t have to live in fear of it, just take it seriously), I am part of the problem.  

Action for today.  Wash my hands more often, more thoroughly.  Make sure that plans made are also taking this virus seriously.

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac

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Devotions

March 24 Devotion

Another morning with news of tighter restrictions and pressure for even more restrictions.  To be honest, my major concern is not with the virus itself, as much as the tole on our human spirit.  As people spend less time interacting with each other, the possibility of mental, social and spiritual health issues also increase.  You have called me to be your shepherd and as such this one of the areas I think about.  I am thankful that I have Lila with me in this.  Together we are far more creative and we will continue to need that as we live in a time very few of us have seen the like of.  Still, I am truly hopeful that this can be a time where we as the church show the strength of our faith and become a light in a dark place.

A time in prayer.

Today I am reading Luke 7:18-35
 

7:18 John’s disciples informed him about all these things. So John called two of his disciples  19and sent them to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”  20When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”  21At that very time Jesus cured many people of diseases, sicknesses, and evil spirits, and granted sight to many who were blind.  22So he answered them, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news proclaimed to them.  23Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” 

24When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Look, those who wear soft clothing and live in luxury are in the royal palaces! 26What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  27This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 28I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.”  29(Now all the people who heard this, even the tax collectors, acknowledged God’s justice, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism.  30However, the Pharisees and the experts in religious law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John. ) 

31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another, 

‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance; 

we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’ 

33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Verse 28 stands out.  Particularly the last part “Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.”  I am curious if the one who is least in the kingdom is Jesus.  He is the one who gives himself up completely to serve us.  He is the one who bears all our sins and sorrows.  Isn’t that a mark of the wisdom of God?  That the most powerful should be the hardest working servant?  Logically, that makes sense, I think.  It is the way God works in our world and it is the character he longs for us to achieve.  Selfishness and fear bring about so much grief in our world. If we were bent on serving others without fear, what would that look like?  Pretty nice I think.

In what way am I living this wisdom of God?  In what way am I vindicating this wisdom as a child of God?  By serving others.  

Action for today.  I am encouraged to keep doing my best in looking after those in my care.  To serve them as Jesus did.

Time in Prayer

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Mac