Open My Eyes

Hillsong – Open My Eyes – with subtitles

Today’s Scripture reading:
•    Isaiah 35:1-10  •
•    Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55  •
•    James 5:7-10  •
•    Matthew 11:2-11

Throughout the world people speak of seeking a sense of spirituality. They are often willing to fight, even to die, for this spirituality. Jesus said, love your neighbor. It seems like such a simple set of words. Our journey is often buffeted with the battle of living with the everyday obstacles. We now live in a most precarious time as the nations of the world are lining up with a sense of intensity. With that in mind my writing will take on an experimental venture with the intention of beginning a journal process.

But for today lets look at three questions:
Who is God as revealed in the scriptures?
When we read of Jesus what values of life challenge us?
What significance does this have in our lives?

A Confession:

Lord, there are words that imply a need for you to break into history
with a sense of making change.
Lord there are words of doctrine and liturgy,
they echo and reverberate understandings of your being.
Lord there are moments when we are caused to stand in awe,
who would have believed we would become so broken.
Lord we must ask for your presence, fully knowing you will then ask for ours.
Prepare our hearts, prepare our way,
that we shall be ready as you call us to follow you.
Teach us, nurture us along the way.
The time of waiting is over. The time of doing is now.

I have become a fan of the worship presented by a congregation called Hillsong. They reflect a freedom in worship that seems to speak for so many. At the same time churches seem to be relaxing and polarizing. Some times it is easy to be carried away and forget where we are. At this time the invitation of being doers of the word cannot be forgotten. For years we have heard the conservatives blaspheming those on the left as representing the spirit of anti-Christ. Today I wake up hearing the left now speaking of the right as being of the spirit of anti-christ.

I come from a tradition of people who settled on the words, Where is it written. These people were called pietists. They believed being a follower of Jesus Christ meant to be involved in your community. These people were far from perfect. They would gather, read the Bible and talk together about how this reading could make a difference in their own lives as well as the world around them. Much of that history has faded and that “church” is much different today.

Hillsong shares Yours is the Kingdom

A Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and glory for ever and ever amen.

The three questions: Back to the text, “Where is it written?”

Isaiah 35:1-10
God is a God of vision, the land will be productive, the land will reflect an alluring beauty, the blind shall see, fear with be emasculated, speeches will change to sounds of joy, the burning ground will become springs of water, the highway will lead to a higher way and those who have been sold into oppression shall find liberty. It would appear by reading each of the morning texts God bubbles forth with springs of life at it’s best!

What values of life then come from Jesus?
It appears as if the words from the Gospel join in this bubbling forth. While these are the words of Mary they are a part of a chorus of words by others. The words are “bubbly” words pointing to the Jesus birth. One is then led to believe Jesus’ birth will bring a fulfillment of God’s desires.

What significance does all this have in our lives?

James writes about patience. Matthew tells the story relating Jesus’ words about John the Baptist. We are confronted by an awesome understanding. John was a doer of much that was holy, much that was austere, much that was very intentional. “If Jesus suggests those who are the least of his followers will be greater then John” I am convinced I need to re-ask what I am about. Perhaps that is the starting point for all this. Just who are we,  who am I?

A Benediction

Some will walk, some will be carried, some will navigate with tools prepared to give mobility, all will move in a specific direction. May God bless you, may God’s desires bubble forth from your soul. May you be greeted by Jesus and may the works of the kingdom bring God’s salvation into our world.

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