Good morning. It is Monday, June 1, 2015. Welcome to June. Summer is coming.
Today’s word of the day, from the OED, is pleonexia. This is a noun, meaning, “Excessive covetousness, avarice, or greed.”
Today is Say Something Nice Day. I like that. And if you can’t say something nice . . . well, you should know the rest, right?
Yesterday was a nice day, but it didn’t quite turn out like I planned. After I finished blogging, I decided that I needed to help Christi with the groceries, especially since her mom and step-dad’s list turned out to be rather complicated. We each took a basket and a list and took off. Christi finished while I still had a couple of aisles to go, so she helped me finish off my list. Then I needed to get gas, and she had a couple of stops that needed to be made. As we headed back to our house, after unloading the groceries at her mother’s, I took note that there was no way I was getting to the game before game start time, which was 2:05. Before I could say anything, Christi said, “I wouldn’t think less of you if you decided not to go.” Little did she know that I was already thinking that. I don’t like going alone, anyway, and no one else had been able to take me up on the extra ticket.
So, as soon as we got home and got all the groceries in, I got on Facebook, and offered the tickets to anyone who could come get them. Sadly, I didn’t get a single nibble, not even a comment (until after the game was over). We sat in the comfort of our living room and watched the game on TV. I hated wasting the money, but I’m glad I didn’t go. We still had more laundry to put away, and a few other things, and, as an added bonus, I’m not excessively tired this morning.
Back to work today, and this week is my last chance to work on the ol’ trombone chops. But I’ve already decided that I’m not terribly worried about how terrible I play at this reunion. I’m going more for the people than for the playing. I do hope that there are enough people who can still play, so that the playing part won’t be a total bust.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!
(From Knowing Jesus)
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Today’s reading is “Jesus, the Faithful Witness.”
“A faithful witness is one who speaks the truth.” Jesus always spoke the truth, no matter what the circumstances. “He never shaded the truth.” He never colored the truth in order to gain popularity. And even when it condemned him to the cross, he spoke the truth.
Here are things that Jesus witnessed to:
- Jesus confessed in public “that he had come from God on a mission to reveal God’s truth about salvation and heaven.
- “Jesus witnessed to God’s standard of holiness and to the internal values of God’s laws.” He showed us what God’s commands truly meant, and how they affect our lives.
- Jesus always spoke truth concerning life and death, and concerning sin and our enemy, the devil. When attacked by Satan, he overcame him by “witnessing to the power of God’s Word.”
- Jesus always shared truth with his friends and his disciples. He never tricked anyone into following him; in fact, he did exactly the opposite. He was so truthful that it actually drove some people away, as he promised suffering.
- Jesus spoke of the value of the kingdom of God, “denouncing materialism, pride, and hypocrisy.” These truths drove his accusers to seek his death.
This kind of faithful witness demands great courage, which Jesus had in ways that we will never comprehend, this side of heaven. One way that this courage was fueled was by his “constant communion with his heavenly Father. His daily prayers kept him in line with God’s truth and the purpose of his mission.”
The writer tell us that the word witness “has its roots in the Greek word for ‘martyr.'” In a sense, Jesus was a martyr. Except for that part where he didn’t stay dead! Because of his resurrection, Jesus’s truth marches on. Jesus Christ is the one true “witness to God’s eternal truth.”
Father, the one piece that really stands out to me in all of this is the part about constant communion with you. That is my goal. I desire to be constantly in touch with you throughout each day. So far, I have been defeated in this, but I sense that I’m getting stronger each day. Draw me closer, by your Spirit. Keep me in touch with yourself each day, that I might be a faithful witness, myself. Let my witness to the power of grace and mercy, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, be faithful and courageous. I pray for the power and strength to boldly share your Kingdom wherever I go, even if it is just in the passing niceness that I might share with a total, random, stranger. Especially since we believe that there may not be any such thing as “random.”
I pray for this day, that you would give us safe passage to and from work. I pray for Christi’s work day, that it will go smoothly. I pray for the people who create drama in her work life, that they would think a little more before speaking and acting in the ways that they do. I pray for your grace and mercy to be overwhelmingly present in the lives of Stephanie, Rachel, Justin, and my mother. Continue to hold us up in your loving arms, making us aware of your presence in our lives.
I pray for a brother of mine who is heading into divorce territory. May you be his comfort and strength through this, and help him rediscover confidence in himself and his relationship with you through grace.
Your grace is sufficient.
Jesus was able to maintain the strength of his witness through prayer. If the Son of God needed that kind of prayer relationship with his Father, how much more to we need it? I am convicted more and more of the necessity of prayer as a lifestyle. Paul says, “Pray without ceasing.” I don’t think that was hyperbole. I think he meant it.
Grace and peace, friends.