Spirit One-a-Day Thursday 3/12/20

A life worthy

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:2) .

At the risk of being repetitive, redundant, and saying the same thing I’ve said before, allow me to point something out.

Those people out there, the ones without Christ, the ones who can make life so very difficult–they are not your enemy.

They are, in fact, being held captive by your Enemy.

They do not need your wrath.

They need rescue.

So, go out there today and be a rescue hero, ya?

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

The Way it Used to Be One-a-Day Wednesday 3/11/20

A life worthy

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air… (Ephesians 2:2)

You used to live for yourself.

You used to do what you wanted, be who you wanted.

You used to sit on the throne of your own life.

I mean, that’s what you thought.

Paul reminds us that we were never really in charge. That “freedom” that we thought we had was a lie. We served the king of the air, just as surely as if we had been chained. Like inmates in an asylum, we strutted around as if we wore crowns instead of straight jackets.

Toward the end of her life, my grandmother lived in a nursing home. Her dementia caused her to think that she was living on a cruise ship, travelling to exotic places and feasting at the finest tables. We ran with that because…why not? There was no convincing her otherwise, and her fantasy beat her reality by a large margin. Still, it was sad to see someone we loved lost in a lie.

Beloved, you are going to meet people today who are trapped in the lie. They serve the king of the air, though they don’t realize it.

Do not mock.

Do not despise.

Have mercy, even as our Lord has mercy, and remember that you once wore those same chains.

And, but for grace, you would wear them still.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Dead One-a-Day Tuesday 3/10/20

A life worthy

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins… (Ephesians 2:1)

The key word here is were.

You were dead, crushed lifeless by the weight of the sin you chose and the sin that was yours by birthright. You were dead, without life or light or hope or breath.

Your past is death.

Your present? Your future?

Life 

So much life

You have been taken from death and, at great cost, restored to life.

So live this day, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday

Full One-a-Day Monday 3/9/20

A life worthy

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:23).

The world is hungry

empty  

hollow

barren

vain

pointless

purposeless

desolate

But it doesn’t have to be.

You know the One who filled the void

in the cosmos

and in your heart

with light.

And you are his hands and his feet in the world today.

You are full, Beloved.

Spill a little.

Happy Monday

His Body One-a-Day Friday 3/6/20

A life worthy

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body… (Ephesians 1:23)

We are his body.

So, that’s weird.

We are his physical presence here on Planet Earth. He acts and moves through his church, which is, you know, you and me.

Us

No pressure…

Teresa of Avila–you know, the prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun and Counter Reformation author–

Which Teresa of Avila did you think I was talking about?

Anyway, Teresa wrote a poem that is compelling and frightening and hopeful all at once. Here ‘tis:

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

What will you do with that today, Beloved?

Happy Friday

Keep On

A life worthy

Oh, Yeah, life goes on

Long after the thrill of living is gone…

A singularly depressing and unwholesome song, yet possessing a kernel of truth.

I’ve rambled on before about how theater is kind of a metaphor for life.  I think of this again as I prepare for the last weekend of Seussical. It happens at some point in every show.  Call time may be 1:00 p.m., but it will be 1:10…1:20…1:25 before all of us have dragged our sorry bones into the seats.  There is often a pervasive sense of…blah. I’m sorry—blah is a technical term. It means ennui, or lassitude. In any case, it will take some doing for us to rise to the occasion.

They tell me this is common in the theater.  You go through the work of rehearsal, building a show piece by piece.  The tension and excitement increase as you get closer and closer to opening.  Finally, there is the pure adrenalin rush of opening night. This rush takes you through the Saturday evening show and the Sunday matinee.

Then you go home.

For five days.

When the next week rolls around, and the next, and the next, you can find that, in part, the idea of performing has moved from the category of “get to” into “have to.”

It’s not new anymore.

But the audience deserves a show—the very best you have in you.  They paid for it, after all, and you promised it.

So you pray, you dig deep, and you go through the motions of setting props, getting into costumes, checking mics.  And somewhere in the process, you rediscover the joy that brought you here in the first place.

See the multitudinous connections?

Hmm…marriage.  Most marriages—even Christian marriages—end in divorce.  Why? Because the fun wears off, the adrenalin rush passes, and we get…blah.    But your spouse deserves the best you have in you. They paid for it, after all, and you promised it.  So you pray, you dig deep, and keep loving, and serving, and being together. And somewhere in the process, you rediscover the love that brought you here in the first place.

Let’s see…what about jobs?  Friendships? Goals? Plans? Desires? Dreams?  The pattern fits.

What about your walk with Christ?

Sometimes the joy is there, vibrant, thrumming through me like a power chord.

Sometimes not.

Sometimes, by the time my metaphorical Friday rolls around, I’m tired, drained, and flat out not in the mood.   Jesus has told me to abide in him. To remain in him. But—to be truthful—sometimes I’m just not into it. I get bored.  What kind of idiot gets bored with the God of the Universe?

My kind.

Sometimes I feel like it’s all a show, and I’m just not up for it.

But I have an audience, and He deserves the very best that is in me.

He paid for it.

I promised it.

So I pray, I dig deep, and yes, sometimes I go through the motions.  I set the props, I put on the costume, I check my mic. And somewhere in the process, I rediscover the powerful, sustaining love that brought me here in the first place.

Places, everyone.

For Us One-a-Day Thursday 3/5/20

A life worthy

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church…(Ephesians 1:22)

It’s not just that he’s in charge of us.

He’s in charge for us.

God placed his only Son over his most precious creation,

to guard us

and guide us

and bring us home to the Father.

Imagine if the Father had gone a different direction. I mean, he could have put me in charge. I guarantee you, that would have resulted in a lot less grace, and a lot more lightning.

Probably better not to imagine, after all.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

All Things One-a-Day Wednesday 3/4/20

A life worthy

And God placed all things under his feet…(Ephesians 1:22)

All of it

Even the–

Yep, even that.

I tell you, on a day like today, when I have a million things to do and no time to do them and I kinda feel like bleaugh and I have to go to work anyway…

I really need that reminder.

And I’m thinking you probably do, too.

So consider yourself reminded, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday

Mighty Strength One-a-Day Tuesday 3/3/20

A life worthy

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come (Ephesians 1:19-21).

That power

the power that raised Christ

and destroyed death

forever

is the same power

that is at work

in you

today.  

Now…that oughta kickstart your workday.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved