Being Light

Today is Sunday, June 18, 2017. Day 21,647. Father’s Day.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” ― Mark Twain
Goodreads

Today’s word of the day is whizzo, an adjective meaning, absolutely first-rate; superb; excellent. It is British slang.

Today is International Panic Day. So today, go ahead. Do panic. Don’t “remain calm.” Or, you could just go fishing, because it’s also Go Fishing Day. It’s also International Picnic Day, which is a little strange, because “picnic” and “panic” are alarmingly similar.

Today is Father’s Day. I wish I had more time to write about this, but since it’s Sunday, I’m pressed for time. And Windows tried to kill my computer yesterday (see yesterday’s entry), and I was planning on writing a bit about that yesterday. Anyway, if my math is correct, and it frequently is not, this is my third Father’s Day without a father. While it is true that the initial pain has subsided somewhat, there is still a great emptiness there. Not just today. Today is just a day. The emptiness is every day. when you “lose” a loved one, if I may be so bold as to state this, the emptiness will always be there. There will always be things that you shared with that person, that you can no longer share with him or her. The radio is a constant reminder, because I will come across a song and think, “My dad would love this song.” I’ll see something about a movie and remember how much he loved that movie. We heard “All Night Long,” by Lionel Richie, while we were in Oregon, and I remembered that it was my dad’s very favorite music video. This memories will never fade. At least I certainly hope that they don’t!

So, today, if you still have a father on this earth, and you have any kind of relationship with him (I understand that there are broken relationships), give him some love. If you are able, give him a big, strong, embrace (more than just a hug), and give God praise for him. And if you are a father, Happy Father’s Day to you! I hope you have a great day and are able to share it with your kids. We pretty much celebrated ours yesterday, and it was great.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. 
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:5
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis
At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.
Psalm 75:2
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 
And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

Luke 4:16-22
“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” 
The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. 
You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.

Psalm 12:5-7
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love,
that through your grace each of us may proclaim your truth with boldness,
and minister your justice with compassion;
for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From Living the Message)

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 
If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 
Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 (The Message)

We are supposed to be “light.” There are an awful lot of “Christians” spreading darkness on social media these days. Let’s put a stop to that, please. Let’s be light.

Father, help me to be light and not darkness. Help my life to be a life of light, mercy, and grace, showing your love to the world around me. Help me to walk in the your Kingdom and in the “easy yoke” of Jesus. Help me to walk in his words and in his steps.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

Real Men Act Like Jesus

Good morning. It is Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Hump Day. But not so much for me, because I work Saturday this week. So tomorrow will be my Hump Day.

Today is International Panic Day. So go ahead, but just for one day. But tomorrow, it’s back to “Don’t Panic.” And always remember your towel.

The learning process at Christi’s new job is going slowly. Much more slowly than she would like, in fact. The pace, she says, is rather rapid, perhaps too much so. Hopefully, she can teach them to slow down just a little and get more quality work done. There isn’t much else to report today. Her new boss worked from home yesterday, so there wasn’t much interaction there. The major rollout supposedly began at 1:00 this morning, so maybe after that is over, some people will be able to spend a little more time with her.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

(From The Divine Hours)

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
Psalm 66:8-9
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
Psalm 70:5
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
Psalm 71:5-6
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Psalm 8:1

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Jesus Humanity.”

“The Gospel portrait of Jesus is that of a man exquisitely attuned to his emotions and uninhibited in expressing them.” In one account in the book of Luke, he is offended by Simon’s discourtesy and expresses that (this may not have been brought on had they not criticized the woman who was bathing his feet in perfume). In Mark, he is moved by the woman who anoints his head with perfume and tells people to write it down, that she will be remembered where the Gospel is preached.
her-precious-perfume

This Jesus of the Gospels shares all the same emotions we do. “A man consoled by the tears of a sinful woman, a man who experienced anger, irritation, and fatigue. A man who drank his people’s wine and sang their wedding songs. He was not afraid to show us his humanity.

When Jesus saw her weeping,
and the Jews who had come with her also weeping,
he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

John 11:33

There’s a big move in Christianity today (at least in this country) to “act like men.” I’m not part of that movement. I’m part of the “act like Jesus” movement, because I believe real men act like Jesus. Let’s not be afraid to show our emotions, but, at the same time, let us all be in control of them, as Jesus was.

Father, I pray that I might find comfort and inspiration in the humanity of Jesus. We are so often called to find strength in his great and powerful name. And I will continue to do that. But I also hope to find peace in his humanity; joy in the expression of emotion, the way Jesus did. But may I also be cautious to be in control of those emotions, or, rather, let the Holy Spirit control them. I pray that I will not be afraid to let them show, though, whenever appropriate. I pray for the inspiration of the Spirit; the discernment to know when emotions are appropriate, or when they are purely driven by flesh, as anger generally is. It’s a fine line, Father, and I pray for the discernment and judgment of the Holy Spirit as I try to act like Jesus in all aspects of my life.

I pray for the day ahead. I pray for Christi to have more opportunity to learn about the new job circumstances. I pray that she will not be overwhelmed by the pace of work at the new job, and that your Holy Spirit will bring peace into the situation through her. May she have a positive impact on all she works around at this new place. I pray for safe passage to and from work for both of us today. I pray that Stephanie will continue to feel better today, and that you will bring wisdom and understanding to her.

May your peace that passes all understanding surround us all today.

May we all embrace the humanity of Jesus today, and try to mold our emotions in the way that he would have us live.

Grace and peace, friends.