Grace Saves the Whole Human Race

Sunday, January 24, 2021

The woods through which life’s ‘race’ winds.

Jeremiah 2:29

Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ says the Lord.

Romans 3:23-24

Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

The all seniors cross country foot race was held yesterday in the land of the faithful.

One young woman, really a girl still and the star runner among the girls, decided the night before, that she would meet with her friends for supper, to celebrate that this year for the first time the senior girls would run along with the boys.

It was a fine celebration, with duck, wine, and chocolates, and it went on and on for the victory of being able to run against the boys was a long two year battle. The later it got, the harder they celebrated, until it was midnight, then 1:00, then 2:00 when the bar, long since closed, booted them out into the taxis called for the girls.

The star male runner kept to his pre-race routine. He had a solid supper, with plenty milk and fruit juice to drink. He went to bed at his normal 10 pm, woke up at 7:00, and did a short 1 km jog to warm up before a good breakfast. He was confident he was ready when he got a ride to the race grounds. He had received a call from his friend who had test-run the race course as soon as it was set at 8:00 to get the details of what it looked like.

The star girl runner woke at 8:10 with a headache and queasy stomach. She ate a full breakfast, with lots of coffee. She arrived at the race grounds looking a bit worse for wear but not anything like she looked at 8:10.

There were a number of sprints, and shorter races held first, so it was 12:30 before a lunch break was called. The girl ate a light, nutritious penitent lunch with plenty of juice. The boy grabbed french fries and a burger with a coke. By 1:30 there were two more shorter races to be run before the main 5K cross-country race. The girls in each race had held their own, winning one and placing second in a few more. Predictably the boys were stronger and faster.

At 1:40 there was one more race. The star boy ran to the wood with his nervous stomach and emptied the fries, burger and coke into the bush. That was common. Then, so confident of himself, he forgot to eat the sugar cubes he normally ate for his empty stomach to give him energy. The star girl, penitent to the core, visited the washroom and relieved herself of the vestiges of last night’s revelry.

Then their race was called. They lined up. Set their marks. At the gun they were off.

They started, almost slow compared to the other races, but fast for this long distance. The girl drafted off the boy as they entered the woods where the trail wound up and down and around the river valley before coming back into view for the last half kilometre to the finish line.

In the woods something happened that had never happened before ….

When the runners appeared the star runners where shoulder to shoulder. Not just next to each other, but with an arm around the other racer, they struggled to run. The pack came into view easily behind them, and though they could have passed the two, they stayed in formation behind them. It was a sight to see.

As they came closer it became obvious that the girl supported the boy with his arm around her shoulder. He was limping badly on his left leg, barely touching his right foot to the ground.

So it was they came in tied for first place across the finish line, with the other five boys and one girl runners in formation close behind them, tied for third.

… In the woods something happened that had never happened before to the boy in a race as the various racer’s recounted afterwards. His right ankle turned, he fell, rolled and lay in pain. The girl, just 2 strides behind him – some other racers say he was toying with her and was not looking ahead – stopped to help him up. He was ready to quit, his sure victory lost. But she kindly reminded him he was a racer not a quitter. She wrapped his arm over her shoulders, grabbed him by the waist and they hobbled on. The other racers, a few at a time coming upon them, at first stayed in the order they arrived, but when the path entered the last half kilometre they joined arm in arm in a line behind the two, who had developed a faster pace.

In the ‘race’ of life, if we think we are headed for the finish on our own, ready to win the glory of God, we are sorely deluded. Not a single one of us is pure enough for that.

It is only the Grace of God that picks us up (usually borne by another human who God’s Grace has saved) and carries us, each year, each day, each minute towards the glory of God promised to us at our baptisms. Not a single one of us can finish the ‘race’ on our own. Only by Grace do we move forward at all, and then only humbly with others’ aide.

The victory party for that race was more subdued by far than the girls’ party of the night before, though it spread across the whole community, as people heard what Grace and the other racers had done that day … for both the girls and the boys … and the whole community.

We are in this together, and only together by Grace can we make it through life, yet alone the pandemic … or anything else life and evil throw at us.

Hang in there, together,

with Grace.

Baptized Into Christ’s Death for Life

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Wild that Needs Taming

is not out there.

It’s in our minds and hearts.

We and the Wilderness and all Creation need healing!

Jeremiah 23:3

Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.

Luke 15:4

Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?

Words of Grace For Today

This past Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus, and our own baptisms. For what purpose are we baptized into God’s flock, into God’s family together as children?

What was God planning, when God gathered the remnant back into the fold and let them be fruitful and multiply?

Back then of course land was abundant, people scarce. Survival as a people required increasing the population enough to fend off enemies.

Now the earth is overrun by humans, multiplying out of control. Wild lands are difficult to find, precious when they are, and seldom well protected from being overrun by mining, oil extraction, clear cutting, paving over, filling in the swamps (nature’s water filtration system), and generally developing them so that they serve human short term interests at the cost of our long term survival.

Covid 19 is only nature’s latest reaction to us way-too-many humans putting un-survivable stress on the ecosystems of creation.

Very few of us have ever been close to having 100 sheep. The image still is clear. Even the most cantankerous, stubborn one among many is precious to God. So precious that God goes away from the flock grazing together in the wilderness in order to pursue that hard headed one … ok to be honest that ‘one’ is each one of us at some time or another – sometimes quite often.

Baptized, we are God’s people. It is too easy to write off people who stray from reality, God’s reality of Grace. It is very sensible to write off those who attack us to destroy us … better that than to go on the offensive to destroy all our enemies. (That policy relentlessly pursued always ends with only one survivor.) God does not let us abandon even our worst enemies. Instead God sends us, away from the flock, the safety we find in our lives, and God gives us the task of rescuing, with God’s Grace, the one stubborn, cantankerous one, even if that is our worst enemy.

God does not kill our enemies. God transforms them into one of God’s children … through our kindness and grace.

We can understand that Covid 19 is not God’s plan to reduce the human population by killing off so many of us.

It is surely a wake up call. Creation needs us to be responsible and work to reduce the human population and right now, to preserve what wilderness and swamps and forest lands and arctic tundra and rain-forest and savannas that are left … before none are left, and to save the many species who are threatened today with extinction.

Hard choices. Wake up. Help us all make them starting today, before there is no more today for us all. That certainly is not God’s choice for us, but God does not limit our choices; we are free to destroy ourselves and the earth’s ecosystems … and we are well on our way.

Or we can behave together as the baptized saints that God makes us to be.

11th Day of …

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Light (as a Child) is Here

To Guide Us

To Life

Life Abundant!

Deuteronomy 5:29

If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children for ever!

Hebrews 13:9

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them.

Words of Grace For Today

Religious regulations abound. They have since the beginning of time as poor humans try to force others to keep ‘good order’ in religious ways, so that others feel they control everything from life to death and everything in between.

Many regulations indeed start out as wise practices to help people stay physically healthy. For example the ancient regulations for not eating pork, back when it was very difficult to prepare it properly and it killed many people. Better safe than sorry. Today through many shifts of diseases in pigs and in humans and in practices for raising, slaughtering and preparing/cooking pork, pork is as safe as any other meat.

What used to be an advantage for beef has been lost with all the dangerous raising practices and slaughtering practices which have made safe preparation of beef as demanding as any other meat.

There are other regulations, which from ancient times have been recognized by multiple, distinct cultures as basic for the protection of life, for oneself and one’s community. We call them the ten commandments.

God and many people have sighed in despair about their people and our people: If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children for ever!

We do not keep God’s commandments, not even the ones that help us live well. And it does not go well for us and for our children. Though we know that breaking even one commandment does others and eventually us great harm, we (each and every one of us) finds ourselves compelled to excuse ourselves from having to obey. We say to ourselves: this does not apply to me, not now, not concerning this.

Exactly that kind of thinking is what the commandments could help us avoid, vigorously! Yet, we give in to temptations. Sinners we are, every last one of us!

Thank God, Jesus comes to demonstrate so clearly that exactly from this sin, our sin, God chooses to forgive us, redeem us, renew us, and send us out to do the same for all other people.

Most of us seem to get what God does for us, but that last bit: doing for others what God has done for us seems so hard to get to!

Jesus put it simply and clearly adding to the ancient command to Love God: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength: Love your neighbour as yourself. Love your enemy.

Simple.

Now the doing. This is a good time to start! If not now, when?

10th Day of …

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Who are you this day,

on the path of life

that is given to you?

Who are any one of us,

If not God’s blessed saints?

Isaiah 58:10

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Luke 6:36

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

In history there were many of these people, and today we remember two, one of each:

There was a wealthy person, who had inherited great riches, position, and power. Working hard to manage all that was at her command, she increased her wealth through every means and method available to her. If her choices caused a great number of people misery, despair, or death, she took no notice.

It was her birthright, she claimed. She was going to increase her position for that is what she was born to do, just as her ancestors had done. She did not learn her history, though, and paid little attention to literature of any kind. She was interested in ways and means to increase her wealth, and only that. When something could serve her she researched, brought in expert advisers, and used everything to her own advantage. If something or someone did not serve her advantage she quickly got rid of it or them.

Those who knew of her prayed for her … to stay far away from them.

There was another wealthy person, who had inherited great riches, position, and power. Working hard to manage all that was at his command, he increased his wealth wisely.

Aware that his ancestors had worked hard to earn the wealth, position and power that was handed on to him, he learned their history, and as much of history as he could. He accepted that poverty, misery, illness and death would always be part and parcel of life, though he did not ignore the responsibility that was handed on to him, the responsibility to make a difference in many, many people’s lives; a good difference. He understood from his ancestors that all he had was a blessing from God, a blessing that remained a blessing only as long as he ensured it was handed on to others as blessings.

He did not stand in the limelight. Only a handful of people prayed in thanks for him by name. Very few people actually knew that what they received in time of great turmoil, illness or death came through various paths from him. Yet when people received assistance, opportunity or protection, they were also given a word: pay it forward. Because of his work many people prayed prayers of thanks.

With this wisdom this man of great riches, position, and power not only helped people, but what emanated from him was an ever growing web of gratitude and a sense of responsibility to share what one had, so that everyone in need received the help, exactly the kind of help, they needed in order to live thankful lives.

In this year 2021, which person would you wish to have living in your community, province, or country?

God has given us each great blessings so choose to be that person in your community!

Carry on and spread the tradition of immense gratitude for God’s blessings. First among God’s blessings is that Jesus saves us from sin and gives us abundant lives.

8th Day of …

Friday, January 1, 2021

Looking to the Light

As Our Way Forward

Leviticus 19:11

You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another.

1 Peter 3:8-9

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

Words of Grace For Today

There is much that could be done which we know is wrong, and there is much we can do that is right. We pray for the wisdom to know the difference, and the courage to follow our hearts to know what is right. Most of all to forgive ourselves and all other people when what we do is not the best we could have done.

This New Year Day and the 364 days that follow, like all of the years and days before, is an opportunity for us to consider time past, time to come … and

most of all the time that is now, the present.

We take time to make promises to ourselves in the way of New Year Resolutions, which we know …

which we know from lots of experience

we WILL try to keep

and fail to do so

and we WILL try to forget what we know about ourselves,

so that we will be able to fool ourselves in the days ahead about the reality of our own weaknesses

in order that we can on our own make our way forward or pretend to make any progress in our lives on our own.

Happy New Year.

Make the best you can of everything, there is nothing that you can make perfect, yet in trying to make things better than they are, you just might completely miss what is most important: that we are at our best when we know we can at most be humble before God.

God gives us everything we need. So there is so much to do, and so much to be thankful for, and so much to do for others, so that they may live an abundant life.

What a life?

So what are we going to do this new day?

May it be blessed.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace December 7

Monday, December 7, 2020

Look Up

To See the Light,

Wait, Keep Alert!

For Christ Will Come Again To Shine Everywhere,

In Every Heart!

Daniel 12:3

Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

2 Corinthians 5:20

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Words of Grace For Today

The pied piper led many though they knew not why or whereto.

Lemmings like sheep follow a leader who is blind to the path taken, even when it’s over a cliff to their death.

If we are ambassadors for Christ and God makes God’s appeal through us to people to be reconciled to God, and the wise shine like the daytime brightness of the sky, and those who lead others to righteousness shine forever like the stars in the dark night, then to what are we to lead people.

We confess that we cannot do anything to make ourselves righteous before God. We confess that we cannot do anything to reconcile ourselves to God.

Can we then lead other people to make themselves righteous before God? Can we lead other people to reconcile themselves to God? No, not all all.

When we try, we are as stupid as dumb sheep and lemmings leading people over a cliff of self over-importance, self-righteousness, and arrogance before God that is an attempt to be godlets, when in fact we are no more than beggars for God’s mercy and grace.

Fortunately God supplies us with both mercy and grace, along with renewed life and the old, old story of Jesus and God’s love.

This is what we can bring to people. And through us the Holy Spirit may indeed reconcile many people to God, and God may bring us to be among the saints, the people who reflect Christ’s Light to all people.

Can we do nothing, then, in relation to being reconciled to God? Yes, though we can do plenty to resist and destroy and tear down and separate ourselves from God. We do have free choice, and we each of us exercises it plenty in trying to turn away from God, to try to take over what only God can do, to try to become godlets unto ourselves, as if we created the universe and could ever control it.

Since God reconciles us to God by Grace alone, and since God shines Christ’s Light through us to the world, and since God sends us and equips us to be God’s ambassadors to Christ’s Grace, then through us the Holy Spirit can and does make wondrous things happen, signs for all to see God’s glory in Grace and Love.

10:00 am as I write this. The sunshine finally finds the snow on the lake, though not a drop has found the snow on the meadow between the trees. We likewise find ourselves in the escalating numbers of the second wave of Covid 19, as it spreads like wildfire across Alberta, the government responding with ideological priorities, so as not to offend those who hold their individual rights and freedoms must not be infringed on. The light seems to be that a vaccine will be available in a month. The reality is it will be available to only a few at first. It will likely be a half year at the earliest that everyone who wants a vaccine will receive it. The number who will refuse is likely to be so high that there will be little ‘herd vaccine protection’ and the virus will take a few years to subside … perhaps just in time for the next mutation of a coronavirus to sweep across the too densely populated earth.

In this mess and chaotic, deadly non-response to the virus, we are sent as ambassadors of Christ’ Light and Grace. Reach out to all those in need, especially the ineffective leaders, and the masses of skewed-thinking people who think it’s all a hoax, or that their individual rights and freedoms cannot be limited so as to save everyone.

And pray, for this is just one chaotic mess made by humans that only God’s Grace can set right. Carry on each day, trusting the God’s Grace is sufficient for our days.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 4

Friday, December 4, 2020

The morning moon

about to set.

As we, quite late in the winter,

prepare for another day

of work to survive,

and rest to celebrate God’s endless blessings.

Psalm 127:2

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Matthew 6:8

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Words of Grace For Today

From our ancestors’ instincts to rise up early and go late to rest in order to be ready to catch the prey and ensure one did not become prey, we still have an instinctual drive to ‘give it our all’ and then some, to ensure our survival.

Examples abound of humans who have worked and worked and worked themselves ‘to the bone’ at the cost of any real life. The majority of humans who have ever lived were oppressed and enslaved in poverty by the rich and the powerful; they have ‘given their all’ out of necessity to provide the mere basics of life for those for whom they are responsible.

Many others through history and especially today, as the gap between rich and poor grows ever greater, and still the ‘middle class’ is larger than ever in all of history, throw themselves into perpetual work at the expense of living life, all in order to have just one more comfort, one more luxury, to possess one more thing, to pay for just one more purchase that fails to fulfill it’s promise to give life meaning.

A third category of people are those who are rich, and give everything they are and have in order to protect and grow their wealth, as if it could ever provide them life or any real security.

This second and third group are those to whom this passage is addressed.

God did not create us to continually work. God created us to work hard, and then to rest. God created us to wake each day and work hard, but then to relax and enjoy the company of other people, and to sleep content with the blessings provided to us. God created us to work hard for six days, and to rest on the seventh.

All the sciences about humans confirm sleep, companionship, and regular rest are requirements for a human to maintain long-term health. It is no surprise at all that religious wisdom is confirmed by scientific research.

The first group is addressed less by this passage than by God’s repeated promises to bring judgment and justice to earth, for all people, living and dead. To them, to us, to all people, Matthew addresses Jesus’ words about how to pray, not heaping up empty phrases, but asking for what one needs. God listens. God walks with us. God promises justice for all in the end. And God knows already what we each need … and God ensures we receive it. We need God’s blessings, no matter our circumstance. The danger to life is not the lack of necessities or the inevitable arrival of death. The real danger to live is the corruption of our hearts, minds and strength by the work of the Devil.

Pray constantly that God would deliver us from this, and that God would bless the czar (all who exercise corrupt power) and keep him from us, very far.

As we wait, prepare, and remain alert, we pray with thanks for all God gives us, every blessing. We can work hard and rest easy. Covid 19 restrictions, infections, long-haul symptoms, and even death cannot separate us from God’s unconditional love, nor our ability to exercise that unconditional love for all whom God created.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 2

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pyramid Mountain Before Sunrise

God’s promise of a day of renewal

each day,

every day.

Psalm 11:1

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me, ‘Flee like a bird to the mountains.’

John 14:27

Jesus spoke: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Words of Grace For Today

When I am most drained, I head to the mountains. I do not flee. I head there to hike, to camp, to ski, to take photos, to write. The mountains are a place of renewal.

Mountains have long since also been a place where we humans have fled from danger to our lives, for in the mountains we are harder to find, though life there is much more challenging. The world can easily give us more than we can take, where even the renewal of the mountains or the refuge of the mountains is not enough.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

The world, filled with sinful people, gives in lots of horrendous ways.

The world gives Covid 19, generously, killing and maiming millions.

The world gives false security with power, fame, and money, but all of that can evaporate in an instant and become more of a burden than a security for the future or a freedom for one’s todays.

The world gives promises of equality, justice, and opportunity; and then oppresses the masses, knowingly judges and falsely convicts, incarcerates and ruins honest people based on falsehoods and cruelty … The world promises opportunity but offers only opportunity to be enslaved so others can exercise corrupt power.

The world provides the blessings God created it to contain: air, water, food and opportunity to produce and utilize clothing and shelter; but the people in the world ensure they have their own excessive ‘comforts’ and luxuries at the expense of others being robbed of clean air, clean water, nourishing food, adequate clothing and sufficient shelter.

The world invites the masses to work to make a living possible, and then enslaves the masses at a standard of living that is impossible to call humane.

The world comes at us when we speak out and encourage change, equity, and justice. The world comes at us, condemns us for threatening the powerful people’s privileges in order to bring justice to the masses. The world comes at us to kill us with lies and Gaslighting or drive us into exile.

This is nothing new. It’s been humanity’s inhumane manner of executing injustice from the beginning of time.

God gives in many and various ways, all of which are marvellous.

God created and creates a universe that provides enough to support each and every person’s needs to live, and to live abundantly.

God gives us free choice to love, along with the other option, to choose evil.

God frees us from our inevitable choices that are evil, forgiving us, redeeming us, and renewing us so that we can live free from the sins of our past, present and future.

God gives us abundant life, and inspires, equips and calls us to give life abundant to all those around us.

God promises to walk with us no matter what we encounter in life. God’s Word is absolutely trustworthy. God keeps promises, always.

God sends Jesus, God’s own son, to live as an example of how to live life fully, abundantly; sacrificing oneself to provide life to others, forgiving even our enemies, and fearing and loving God, loving oneself and all other people, especially one’s enemies.

Jesus gives us peace, a peace that no one and nothing can take from us.

Therefore we have no cause to be afraid and our hearts need not be troubled … by any of the chaos that churns the world around us.

We get to be the people at peace, sharing life and peace – graciously – with all.

What a life.

It is the life of living renewed, each day, as if we were in the mountains.

It is a life living as refugees, in God’s arms, protected from all the threats of this world.

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 30

Monday, November 30, 2020

As the sun rises

some trees stand between us and the light.

What will darken our view of God’s light?

Zechariah 2:12

The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

Romans 8:33

Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Words of Grace For Today

Our Apostle’s Confession of Faith reads as the word concluding the second article about our faith in Jesus, Son of God, “from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”

It is common to imagine God’s judgment as a terrible day. Jesus, sitting at God’s right hand, judging all people, living and dead, may seem a bit less daunting to those who have received faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. For Jesus came to preach and teach, comfort and heal, and bring truth and salvation to all who believe in him.

That judgment may seem a long way off, sometime in the distant future, in some distant millennium when the earth comes to an end, perhaps when the sun collapses into itself and the explodes into a supernova consuming everything in the solar system.

As we enter Advent, with integrity as faithful Christians, waiting, preparing ourselves, waiting, yearning (as opposed to starting the Christmas celebrations already – early), we take time in this reflective, sombre, anticipatory and hope-filled time to notice how God already walks with us each day, how Jesus is present in all creation, and how the Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to be God’s children each day in new and surprising ways.

We notice also that there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right before God. God justifies us, and God alone. There is also no human (or devil’s being) who can bring a valid charge against us, God’s chosen, elect, forgiven, justified, and sanctified children.

Oh, the world and many people in it will try, driven by the Devil’s evil ways, to charge God’s people. Corrupt courts will even try, convict and imprison innocent people, all in an attempt to exercise their corruption of power, as if it were absolute or final.

These corrupt people can only place themselves under God’s judgment, even in these days. They can do all sorts of damage to our lives on this earth, harm greatly a great number of people, especially the most vulnerable including children, and make many people’s lives miserable in many ways. They can attack the integrity of society, even the integrity of God’s earth. They cannot actually harm us before God. They cannot separate us from God’s love and blessings. They cannot do anything that God does not allow them to do, all in order that we humans are capable of loving one another.

(For love requires that it is chosen by the one who loves, which requires free choice. Therefore there must be something besides love that we can choose, which requires in turn that hate, sin and all sorts of evil be on the menu for us to choose from … and to suffer as we and others choose other than to love as God loves us, unconditionally.)

We can, in these blue days of Advent, know that God walks with us, and is for us in all ways; God justifies us! Nothing can separate us from God’s love; not Covid 19, injustice of any kind, or lack of the necessities of life.

Because God justifies us, we can be the people who reach out to administer to those in need, to heal the sick, and to share the power of the Holy Spirit with all people.

That power is not the power of force or might; it is as Jesus lived for us, the power of self-sacrificing love.

That brings us to each day, no matter how dark or bleak, sure that our future is in God’s gracious hands, driven to be God’s Grace for all we encounter.

What a wondrous future!

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 8

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Light

Light in the Trees

Blessings among People Sorely Tempted

If One Knows How to See

Both are Easy Enough to See.

Genesis 39:9

Joseph said to Potiphar’s wife, who wanted to seduce him: Potiphar is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

2 Timothy 2:1

You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

Potiphar’s wife covets Joseph, and badgers him to sleep with her. He refuses. This is the right thing for Joseph to do, out of respect for all Potiphar has done for him, buying him as a slave and elevating him to be overseer and in charge of everything Potiphar has.

Potiphar’s wife eventually tries to force Joseph, grabs his robe, and he runs away leaving his robe behind, which she uses to accuse him of trying to rape her.

False allegations by women have cost men their lives since the beginning of time. It is still the case today. My financial and reputation lays in ruin because a woman lied, and then more women lied, and then those with authority lied, a lay pastor, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges.

It’s a common corruption that eats at the social contract that keeps barbarism at bay. It is the tip of the spear of barbarism that tears civilization to shreds.

It is a good example that Joseph sets for us, to resist overtures for evil’s pleasure. Temptations are everywhere. Resisting does not guarantee you will have a good life, only that you will lived blessed with the free conscience. Setting good examples and doing the right things can get you buried in jail and left there to rot like Joseph, and or driven into ruin like me (as millions before me and millions after). Right is still right. Lies are still wrong.

There are many things that tempt us, evil pleasures are but one.

We are not to give in to evil temptations,knowing that Jesus brings God’s grace to bear on all our sins, as if our gleefully sinning gave witness to God’s grace.

We are to live, unafraid of our sins, for God’s grace does save us continually.

We can, and we can expect others, to live righteously. And when we fail, we can and can expect others to forgive, trusting God has already forgiven … us and others.

Evil will persist, false allegations and convictions will continue, civilization will crumble into barbarism. Only God’s Grace saves us.

Pray it comes to bear before it is too late for those who bear false witness, and bring the curse of evil persistent in their lives.

Pray God’s Grace comes to bear before it is too late for each of us.

Evil is powerful, temptation is overwhelming, and we cannot resist, doch our strength is not our own, it is God’s who walks with us always. As the air that is blown in the wind, God is always with us blessing us. And God is always with those who choose to destroy us with lies and injustice, revealing their sins against the backdrop of Christ’s Grace.

There is nothing boring about this life that God brings us to live, unless we are like Potiphar’s wife, always adding more evil to our accumulated sins, so much that nothing is enough for us. Life remains boring for we try to be our own purpose; God has more than enough purpose for us.

Is your life boring or is it full of God’s blessings? Choose whom you serve and it has consequences … hardly those you expect or we expect. God’s forgiveness keeps reshaping the world we try to make sense of … into something new, re-newed, re-created. A miracle.

It is a miracle that we can be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.