God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Love, Do Good, Bless, Pray

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.’ 6And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, ‘Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, “Go”, and he goes, and to another, “Come”, and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this”, and the slave does it.’ 9When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’ 10When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health. Luke 7:1-10
will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

how do we decide who to help
what if the people are those we don't want to help
what if the people are despised
what if the people are our enemies
what if the people are our oppressors

will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

Jesus is approached by a centurion
a soldier
a high ranking member of the occupying force
the enemy
this man uses his power to get Jewish elders to ask for help

will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

what would you do
Jesus just preached
love your enemies
do good to those who hate you
bless those who curse you
pray for those who abuse you

will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

so what can you do
here your words are a real live example
here your words have come to life
here is an enemy in need

will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

Jesus doesn't just speak
Jesus acts
Jesus believes what he preaches
Jesus heals the slave of the centurion
Jesus heals the boy of the enemy
Jesus heals one of the oppressed

will you love
will you do good
will you bless
will you pray

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Jesus Healed Them All

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. Luke 6:17-19
Jesus healed them all
wherever he went crowds gathered
crowds from the closest town or village
crowds from the surrounding countryside
crowds from the big city
crowds from far away

Jesus healed them all
the crowds gathered to hear him
he spoke of how we are to live together
he spoke of who was blessed
he spoke of who needed to change
he spoke about loving enemies
he spoke about forgiving over and over again
he spoke about giving up our judgemental words
he spoke about being merciful

Jesus healed them all
the crowds gathered to be healed of their diseases
the crowds gathered to be cured by those troubled with unclean spirits
the crowds gathered to touch him

Jesus healed them all
the power came out of him
the power healed all of them

Jesus healed them all
how will we heal our crowds?
how we will cure diseases?
how will we treat mental illness?
how will we deal with the evil found in people?
will we leave people to seek a miracle?
will we leave people with only prayer?
will we leave people to cope on their own?
will we leave people without money without healing?

Jesus healed them all

We Cannot Measure How You Heal

Friday, March 24, 2017

He Laid Hands on Each

As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. 41Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah. Luke 4:40-41
he laid his hands on each
the touch of a hand
the wiping of a brow
the comfort of touch
when you are alone
when family is far away
you may go days, weeks without touch
the only touch you may have is passing the peace is church

he laid his hands on each
as Jesus moved throughout Galilee
the people who knew someone who was sick
brought them to Jesus
they brought those with various diseases
Jesus laid his hand on them
he touched them
and they were cured

he laid hands on each
people who had seizures
people who were filled with evil
people who were mentally ill
Jesus was able to heal them
these people always knew who Jesus was
they called him: "the Son of God"

he laid hands on each
if Jesus was concerned
with those with many diseases
with those needing healing touch
with those who are mentally ill
with those full of evil
then we who follow Jesus
need to lay hands on the sick
what does that look like with modern medicine?
how do we as followers support, comfort and provide healing?
do we take offerings for those who provide free and loss cost healthcare?
do we support medical missionaries?
do we speak up for those who can't afford healthcare?

he laid hands on each
he touched them
he wiped the brow of the sick

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jesus' Call, Our Call

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ Luke 4:16-21
what do you do when you hear God's call
what do you say the first time you are invited to speak about your call
how do you tell people that God is working in you
Jesus spent days, forty days
he struggled with God
he questioned what he was to do and say
he wrestled with the temptations inside

then he walked into church
he was given the bible and it fell open
the passage from Isaiah fell open before him
he read those words first to himself
he let them sink in
those words embodied all of the struggling he had done
those words spoke of the resolve he had come to
those words were his call
he read the words
 18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
he then sat down
he let those words sink into to those present in church that day
he took a deep breath
he said this scripture is fulfilled today in your hearing

yet that is the problem
isn't it
we don't want to hear these words
we don't want to hear the words of God's call to Jesus
we don't want to hear his mission and vision
we don't want to hear
for if we hear these words
we too will have to wrestle with God
we too will have to struggle with our own demons
we too will be called away from our comfort
we will be called to bring good news to the poor
    not tax cuts to the wealthy
we will be called to release the captives
    not create more laws and prisons to lock up more black and brown bodies
we will be called to recover the sight of the blind
   not defund medical and scientific research
   not cut healthcare to the elderly who are more likely to suffer from vision problems
   not send people into anxiety about whether they will still have insurance when they wake up
we will be called to let the oppressed go free
    not allow discrimination in terms of race, class, sex, disability
we will be called to say that now, today is the year God wants this
    not in the future, not when revelations becomes real
    now, today, this is the year of the Lord.