God’s Wonders Keep Us In Life, No Matter What Comes Our Way

Sunday, February 28, 2021

God is with Us


Though we Despair,

Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Blessings and Joy.

Isaiah 43:5

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Words of Grace For Today

God promises us no easy or comfortable life. God promises us, though, when life is horrendously challenging, we need not fear what may come our way: We need not fear.

Some people somehow learn not to panic in the most stressful situations, though we all have our limits. There are things that drive everyone of us over the bend, and into such distress that we cannot see our way forward.

Life with Christ as our guide, though, need never leave us in doubt; God accompanies us, and when we stray, God gathers us and our offspring in from all the corners where we have strayed and been scattered like dandelion seeds in the winds of summer thunderstorms. Life can be rough, so rough that it will easily appear to do us in.

God promises us we need not fear that such misadventure will do us in. Paul puts it well: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

God calls us to be saints, the people who reflect Christ’s light to all the world. As we work to bring to light the wonders of God’s miracles among us, there will be no end of challenges that we will face, that will tempt us, and that will do us in, except God finds us, delivers us, and sets us right again, to breathe for yet another day of service.

Light and easy our lives may not be, though accompanied by God we can trust we will endure everything that comes our way. Knowing God’s promises are sure, we need not panic. Not because we are so great or practised or immune. We need not panic because God guards our hearts and minds and strength with God’s own strength. Life for us never ceases to amaze or challenge or inspire.

Breathe. God’s spirit enters us, cleanses us, and inspires us.

Breathe. All will be well. All will be well. All manners of things will be well.

Challenges, Darkness, Light

Saturday, February 27, 2021


Let Us Be Light

For Those In Dark.

Deuteronomy 32:11

As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young; as it spreads its wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on its pinions, so the Lord alone guided him.

Philippians 4:7

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges we face everyday are not inconsequential.

On our own the Devil always gets us and has his way with us.

God does not abandon us.

Like an eagle providing care for it’s young, God looks after us. Like a loving parent God guides us all our days.

We need not panic, or lose heart, for the peace of God surpasses all understanding, guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and guides us to be saints, the people of Christ’s light, Christ’s Grace, God’s love for all we encounter.

God’s peace is everything we need for this day, for each day … one day at a time.

Between Infinite and Finite

Friday, February 26, 2021

We Find Our Way Home

to the Light of God

Following the Trail Left by

the Saints Who Have Gone Before Us.

Amos 4:13

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

John 17:6-7

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you.

Words of Grace For Today

While Covid 19 restrictions force us to deal with shortcomings in ourselves, in our congregations, in our faith …

All this can have huge upsides for us. Not that we are likely to overcome our shortcomings. Recognizing our shortcomings is the first step to confession, which is our first step back to renewed life in Christ. Our confession is not the first step back to renewed life, for God has taken many much larger steps to bring us to the point where we can confess by assuring us that God will respond graciously, forgiving us, and renewing us as we confess. In truth, our confession happens AFTER God renews life in us. Our confession is our first step to realizing (again and again) that God has already renewed life in us (again and again.)

The greater challenge in all of our-realizing-God-has-renewed-life-in-us is wrapping our finite, tiny minds (imagine so very small square holes) around God’s infinitely large being, or even God’s attitude towards us (imagine one multi-universe times infinity sized round peg!)

We just do not have the horse-power in our so limited minds, in our so limited existence as a whole species, to be able to start to comprehend God.

If you are pressed and stressed to the point of giving up by Covid 19 – a shortterm pandemic- , then we all must surrender to the reality that the project of starting to understand God is so far beyond us, there is no place to start.

Yes, humans have seemingly ‘understood God’ completely, which gives rise to all sorts of human-made-up religions, almost always tools for controlling other humans. What better way to control others than to have them believe it is not just another human ordering them about, but it is the divine, the infinitely powerful (to be feared), their Creator who orders them about. Even throw in love powered by fear and … well obedience is complete … or the just punishment has often been ruin, exile or even death administered by those in power over this made-up faith.

What about our faith that we hold to today? Is that made up as well? If you treat faith as a smorgasbord from which you can take anything as much as you want to form your faith, then I would guess that is not only the case, but you have lost yourself to a morass of ‘leaders’ who are yanking you around by the nose, though you may remain completely unaware of it.

If you adhere to a tradition … you may still be living out someone else’s control over you. OR maybe, just maybe …

Throughout scripture there is a thread woven of our God (the God of Abraham and Sarah and all the others down to Martin Luther, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Hordern, and many others of all generations) as a God who goes the complete ‘distance’ to bridge the infinite (imagine a multi-universe times infinity round peg) to finite (imagine a teeny, tiny square hole) problem.

We refer to it as revelation. We read it in the passages above:

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you.

We are not left to try to bridge the gap, to somehow wrap our heads around the infinite, the divine. We need not worry about ‘understanding’ God. God comes to us and does that for us.

That we cannot do anything to earn God’s favour or renewed life, that we can do nothing to understand God, must leave us as the beginning of each moment humble.

Humbled we can confess. Humbled we can proceed through our days assured that God walks with us, that we can be bold (not arrogant or self-righteous) and courageous to speak of God’s Word to us, and to be the doers of God’s Word at all occasions.

God’s Will for us, for this marvellous creation is most clearly seen in … our failures, our sins. In God’s Forgiveness in response to our sins we limited humans experience most clearly God’s Will for us and all people; that we live lives of gratitude for life, forgiveness and renewed life.

Confession and humility and gratitude are not easy nor are they comfortable. There are plenty of leaders who encourage us to start, continue and carry on our days without confessing our sins. In Covid 19 times, with recorded worship, my congregation has not had confession once as part of the services (that I have seen, at least. I would hope I am wrong. Yet it should be a part of everyday, a part of every service. It is the beginning of experiencing God, otherwise we risk avoiding God all together as we ‘make up our faith’ for the coming days.

What a miracle it is that God has given us; a way to begin to understand God’s Will and Word for us and all creation!

It is said in many ways. It is the shadows that point us to the Light! Leonard Cohen expressed it, ‘It is in the cracks that the Light gets in.’

Breathe, Relax, Choose, Do the Saints’ Work

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Relax, Breathe,

No Matter the Path We Choose,

Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love.

2 Samuel 22:3

My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

Covid 19 has brought many of the challenges to abundant living to the fore, making it impossible to ignore them. Poor care in (only some) senior care facilities, the real costs of homelessness (which we used to minimize by large social housing projects which were stopped decades ago, resulted in large homeless populations nearly everywhere, which we are only recently addressing and saving money doing so!), the huge percentage of our populations who have absorbed as the basis of their ‘rational’ thinking ‘Querdenken’, false-news, science-deniers, and wild conspiracy theories, which has fed racist and minority focused hate – this is possible since the powers that be have long since used propaganda, and all the above to rationalize their corrupt agendas and to remain in power. Fear mongering by politicians and power brokers and even courts has long term costs for a society and we are paying for it now, again, and will be for decades.

While the stress of isolation taxes each person’s resilience, the first step in responding to each new wave of stress is to relax. It is in fact the only healthy thing we can choose to do in the face of overwhelming stress.


Breathe deeply and slowly.

Breathe in the Holy Spirit’s presence to be in us. Allow it to cleanse and renew each fibre of our being.

Breathe out the effects of all evil and stress.

Breathe in deeply and slowly. Breathe out every source of stress.

Then we can remember who our rock and salvation is. Then we can remember the words of Paul which have sustained generations of God’s people:

Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So assured, again, that God is with and for us, loving us, now we can return to providing that same unconditional love to those in need around us. We can start addressing, one by one, the ills of our society that Covid 19 has made more obvious. We can in fact bring an end to chronic homelessness. We can in fact provide better value (pay) for essential workers, and less for overpaid un-essential leeches on our society, like money brokers and stock market manipulators. We can ensure all people receive respect and care. We can deal with violence (physical and psychological) against all people by anyone, not just against women by men. We can begin to deal with the many who use religion to accumulate power for themselves, to hide their abuse of others, and to perpetrate violence against anyone who stands up to them. We have more than enough ‘wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing’ in our congregations. We can begin to deal with Querdenken and raw hatred based on religion, ethnicity, gender or any other measure by speaking truth, and protecting those who speak truth for us.

And we can begin and end each day thanking God: My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence.

Our Little to God is More Than Enough

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A reed, a little bark.

What we have may not look like much,

Doch whatever we have

God will use to give all people life,

life abundant!

Leviticus 26:5

Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land.

Matthew 14:20

And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

Words of Grace For Today

God provides a great bounty for all to live from.

All in good order from sowing, to ripening, to harvest, to eating; God provides security for all. Not merely food security, but also food security.

We muck it up terribly so that through history billions go hungry and die of starvation.

Jesus comes to teach us, to heal us, and we gather. It is late. It is meal time. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We all have brought a bit to eat with us. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We do not bring out the food hidden for safety sake, lest the greed of a few fools and truly poor (who have brought no food with them) brings them to attack us, maim or kill us, and take our little food from us. We, too, are greedy this way. We call it caution or wisdom. Jesus calls it sin.

Jesus does not chastise or demand or expose us. Instead Jesus gathers the little his disciples have, places it in a few baskets, and passes it around for all to take from it what they need. Those with plenty add to the baskets, those with nothing take a meal from the baskets. Jesus does not dictate love, Jesus only lives an example of sharing God’s bounty with all people.

The people follow Jesus’ example, assured by his presence that they need not fear.

In the end many, many baskets of the leftovers remain uneaten. We are not stupid, we have brought more than enough. Jesus is not stupid, he shows us how to share God’s blessings of food and God’s blessings of everything else, so that all have enough, and there is plenty left over.

Now, today, amid the challenges of Covid 19, take the new opportunities we have before us, to relax (which negates fear), to bring out God’s bounty, and to share God’s great bounty with all, so that all have enough to live, and to live abundantly.

God’s Creative Responses of Love, Us

Tuesday, February 23, 2021



God Needs All We Can Be

To Bring Wayward Creatures Like Us

To Be Reconciled With God

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

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

God’s Kingdom is never a static, accomplished, passive, settled thing. God’s Kingdom is God’s rule over God’s creation and all the creatures in it, including us very sinful and loving and stubbornly arrogant and gracious and cruel and kind and ….

God’s rule over us responds to our vagaries, pulling, twisting, diving, climbing, enveloping, releasing, disciplining, celebrating [and fill in everything God does in response to us] us.

God does not do this at a disinterested distance. God walks with us. Significantly God works in creation through us. God needs ambassadors of God’s will, as well as engineers, healers, teachers, gandy-dancers, architects, poets, and [fill in all we humans can be and do] of God’s will.

Always God is looking for volunteers. While God can easily voluntell us to go, God more often waits, patiently, for us to respond to God’s pleas ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’

The temptation for us is to ignore God, for history teaches us well that those who respond most often are disparaged, persecuted, and even killed for their trouble.

When we listen to God’s history told as a complete history of life, Creator and creation and creatures all together, then we begin to understand that there is no life with as much value and reward and joy and hope and love as a life lived in response to God’s call, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’

When we respond, ‘Here am I; send me!’, then we become ambassadors for Christ who entreat all people on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. In response … well the responses are all over the map of possibilities given our sinfulness and love and stubbornly arrogance and graciousness and cruelty and kindness, our success will appear to be minimal at best, and the demands Covid 19 places on us are nothing compared to those creatures and Creator will place on us.

And our all our hope will be fulfilled, our joy complete, and our love will be made whole … even as we sin yet again and require God to step in to graciously forgive us, redeem us, and send more ambassadors to us to teach us how to be reconciled to God.

God’s rule requires everything from us, especially creativity in being God’s gracious, unconditional, and unending love and joy for others.

Blessings Are Challenging

Monday, February 22, 2021

Streams Like This Have Flowed Since Earliest Times

Just as God’s Blessings and Wisdom Have Flowed

Even in Difficult Times.

They Flow to Us in Our Traditions.

1 Samuel 1:11

Hannah made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a Nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’

Luke 1:46-48

Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed’

Words of Grace For Today

Hannah is barren, unable to have children. Her husband shows her great favour, loves her deeply. But her husband’s second wife (who has borne him many children) persecutes Hannah because she is barren. Like faithful people of every age, Hannah turns to God and prays for a son, and vows in exchange for a son she will offer him to serve God, raised in the temple by a priest.

Out of Hannah’s suffering, her vow bartering with God, and God’s Grace, God gave us Samuel, a faithful servant of God who anointed and guided kings and rulers of Israel through his lifetime, including a king no less than David.

Out of our suffering God works wonders to bring about great things, greater than we could have imagined possible.

Mary, mother of Jesus, recognizes the blessings God bestows on her, as she is chosen to bear God’s own Son, giving him life in this world as one of us. Mary is remembered as blessed, all these many generations later. She will be as long as Jesus is remembered, which we trust will be for as long as humans live. That is a great honour, an honour that God bestows on a young woman, really barely a woman. A young woman caught in the poverty of a backwater eddy of life’s flow through Israel’s history and geography, Nazareth.

The blessings come at a huge cost to Mary. She will be shunned as a pregnant girl not yet married. Joseph in marrying her will take on her shame as well. Together they will struggle in poverty, and when Herod catches wind that there is a king born among the children around Bethlehem, they will have to run for their lives to Egypt. Herod will slaughter all the children of Jesus’ age in the area. That is just the beginning of Mary’s sufferings which continue until Mary will see her own son accused, condemned and tortuously crucified for crimes he did not commit.

There is no end of heartache for Mary, and we remember her for that, and for God blessing her.

When God blesses us, there is hardly any guarantee or example in our faith stories that this will mean we will live a ‘normal’ life, a comfortable life, a life of anything less than one filled with huge challenges.

We think we suffer greatly in this time of Covid 19. There have been many, much worse pandemics before. The church, and individual Christians in it, have been persecuted much worst many times over in our history. Now as then we are forced to be creative. Life is not as comfortable as before. We have to learn to be practical in entirely new ways. We have to learn to worship in new ways.

Along the way we see how little some leaders have valued the long-and-hard-won traditions we have inherited. Instead, feeling this is the first time anyone has faced any challenges as God’s faithful people, leaders are making up new words. Were those words profound and as meaningful as the words our ancestors of faith had written, edited, and refined through so many ‘difficult times’ that would be one thing. Unfortunately many of these words end up merely as trite and pithy as mass marketed greeting cards.

Our traditions are not weak, nor wrong, nor set in stone. They exist for us to tap, to adapt, and from which to create new and continuing traditions from.

That requires a deep and broad knowledge of our history and traditions, a profound wisdom about faith and the world, and a great humility that allows an ongoing confession of one’s own and our collective sins, from which God saves us again and again.

We pray (with no first born to offer to God in barter) that God will give us all we need, so that we will not set to ruin the church that we have inherited, the faith that we live in, and the awareness of God’s presence among us … especially in difficult times such as these with which Covid 19 presents us.

We pray, God save us. God guide us. God help us mourn what is lost. God help us rejoice at what is left. God help us celebrate what is new to us again, as it was to many who have gone before us.

Striving Onward to ‘Greatness’?

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Every Living Thing Strives and Grows,

Trees Were Once Seedlings And Before That Mere Seeds In Pine Cones

Up to Be More Than They Started Out To Be

Psalm 102:26

They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away.

1 Corinthians 1:8

He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans strive.

It’s built into our DNA, that we strive.

We strive to provide the necessities of life for ourselves and those we are responsible for and those we are responsible to.

When we no longer need to strive to provide the necessities of life we continue to strive, to make life more, to make life easier, to make life more comfortable, to make life more secure.

Our striving requires that we persevere through even the apparently most unendurable circumstances in order that we can hope that we will emerge successful.

Our common, built into our DNA, sin is that in our striving we think highly of ourselves, and with our successes when we strive, we think even more highly of ourselves. This assessment of ourselves provides us a base, even if totally falsified, from which we operate with boldness, sometimes raw foolish boldness, to achieve what we strive for.

Besides falsely assessing ourselves, we falsely assess other people. We think less of them. If they have not achieved with their striving as much as we have (measured by what we have striven for) we devalue them. This gives us a greater assessment possibility for ourselves. If they have achieved more than we have (measured by what we have striven for) then we devalue their achievements in order to give us a greater hope of matching and surpassing their achievements.

The most deceptive part of our striving is that we also devalue God, the ultimate power, creator, and judge of us all, in order that we can move forward in our own ways (measured only by our own standards of what is acceptable and what is not). We throw off the inconvenient truth about the ethical value of our strivings, methods, and accomplishments. It is simply a drag on our confidence. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are capable of god-like achievements, that we have out-paced other humans, that we have stepped above the rest, and even that God must be dead because we can achieve enough on our own to be able to prove that God cannot exist if God ever did.

Ah, yes, we become godlets to ourselves and those around us who worship us.

Until God changes us like clothing, and we pass away into oblivion.

To avoid such a terrible end, an end of the same kind of nothingness we’ve actually achieved with our lives founded on the sinking sands of deception, we know we must turn to God, confess our sins, and worship God. Thus we may remember who we actually are; mere creatures of God’s making.

We know we must pray (or when we are so lost we no longer remember to pray we need others to pray for us): strengthen us to the end, so that we may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We know on our own we can strive all our lives long and achieve nothing worth anything. With Christ Jesus our Lord graciously forgiving us, redeeming us, and renewing us, there is no limit what God can accomplish in us, with us, and through us.

Always wretched sinners, simultaneously God-made saints, our lives lack nothing. Compared to the highest roller coaster ride, our lives require that we ‘hold on to our hearts, minds, and souls (and soles)’. There is never a dull moment. God walks with us, and moves us to places, events and endurance we could never imagine possible.

Hang on, here we go!

Sheep of a Not Good Kind

Saturday, February 20, 2021

As of Old,

God’s Magnificence is Very Present

and God’s Love Redeems Us

When We Are Lost and Cantankerous.

Isaiah 63:9

It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Luke 15:5

When he has found [the lost sheep], he lays [the reckless, cantankerous, wandering-into-danger sheep] on his shoulders and rejoices.

Words of Grace For Today

Today so many people make up their religion from what they find available around them, as if it were all on a smorgasbord, all-you-can-eat for one small price.

They pick a little of this, and little of that, pile into their lives and try to make it through the day. Their smorgasbord is not certified or health inspected, nor governed by any safety measures. It contains delicious looking poisons, some that work fast, some that work slow, some that only work as death approaches from some other cause.

I met an older man when I was on 4 different medications and a regular injections just to make it through the day. He told me his story when he saw me take one pill. Years before he had a small health problem, went to the doctor and was prescribed a powerful medicine to deal with the issue. Then after months he developed a more serious issue, went to the same doctor and again received a script for medication to deal with that issue. In a few months he had three other rather debilitating issues including that he could not sleep through the night. More medications and a referral to a sleep clinic and thousands of dollars later he went to sleep with a breathing machine on his face. The first mask had eaten into his nose creating a sore that just would not heal, so he had to pay hundreds of dollars to get a different larger mask that covered most of his face. The sore took months to heal and left a noticeable scar.

One day, four years after his first minor issue, he got up and went out to repair a fence. It was rather simple manual work. Before this all started he did this kind of thing easily. Now he could barely gather the tools and supplies together. He made two slow trips to get the tools and supplies to the fence where it needed repairing. He spent hours to get the simple repair done that should have taken less than a half hour. Finally toward supper he came back into the yard, completely exhausted. He left his things for the next day to be put away and shed his jacket and boots as he came in and barely made it to his bed to lay down.

The next morning he woke up famished. His last meal was the morning the day before. He had not used his sleeping machine, he’d forgotten to take his medications. He felt better. He realized that while taking his medications and using the sleeping machine he felt ten times worse then he had with the first minor issue he went to the doctor to have dealt with years earlier. He stopped taking all the medications and using the sleeping machine.

Each day he felt noticeably better. A week later he went out to repair another area of the fence and it took him a half hour. Then he went online to the Mayo Clinic website and read about his first symptom, the medications he added each few months and their side effects. He realized that the first symptom could be dealt with by a change in diet and more exercise on a very regular basis. All the other symptoms were known side effects for the medications, each as they were added, at least for the first 4 drugs. Then it became clear to him he’d been on such a soup of drugs his body was completely incapable of dealing with all the powerful effects and side effects and it had started to slowly shut down.

His last comment finally caught my attention: he’d talked to a number of men who’d suffered the same thing. It was as if doctors were trying to incapacitate men with medications.

It took me a few months to realize the same thing had been done to me. I stopped taking all but the one medication I’d been on for decades that I needed for my GERDS. Life returned to normal and I started to realize I was also being abused and gaslit by my now ex.

As in the days of old, God gathered in this wandering sheep, carried me back to the flock, and saved my life, literally and figuratively. For this I give God thanks each day, and pray for those that tried to do me in, and still try to this day. May God gather them into the flock, as in the days of old.

Faith and one’s faith community is not a smorgasbord, any more than medications are a smorgasbord to pick and choose from. Traditions develop and continue because they provide a healthy manner of living. Humans continually mess up the traditions, and the traditions, at least my Lutheran Christian tradition, is well prepared to face such challenges and call us back to rely on …

to rely on God alone, and God’s Grace for us as the only thing that saves us. We need one thing, something like I needed only one medication. We require God’s Grace. Everything else only appears to provide us life abundant. In fact the ‘side effects’ of most religious self-made conglomerations is that one finds oneself out in the wilderness, defenceless as the wolves come closer and closer.

Thanks be to God, for God’s Grace, made known to us through Jesus’s old, old story.

As of old, God walks with us, and rejoices when we return to the flock after we inevitably stray into danger that could do us in. Our enemies, and God’s enemies, may want us dead and work hard to accomplish that, doch God works wonders to save us, and there is joy for us, because of God’s Grace, all the days of our lives.

In Our Sin God’s Greatness Is Most Clear

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Cracks Let’s the Light In, The Shadows Point to God’s Greatness

We May Think Sin Keeps Us From God

It Is In Our Sin That God

Most Clearly Demonstrates God’s Greatness

Deuteronomy 3:24

O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours!

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Words of Grace For Today

It matters not how much we’ve experienced of God’s great wonders as blessings poured out on us, there is always going to be more and more and more. We cannot know everything that God has in mind for us; the goodness and blessings flow without end.

Jesus’ contemporaries expected that God’s blessings would flow only to the Israelites. The surprise and unexpected comes after Jesus’ death when it is made clear that God’s blessings flow even to those who are not Jews. Paul did Jesus’ work well, as did others, ensuring that Gentiles and Jews alike knew God would bless all kinds of people, Jews and Gentiles.

Today, we also try to restrict God’s blessings to only some people. As people have since the beginning of time, we try to claim we are better, more blessed, by God than others, which somehow explains that while others do not have God’s favour, we, even if we do not deserve it, are God’s chosen few.

False pride in all that, and to ensure we are not found out to be no better than others, we try to make others out to be much more terrible than they really are. Lies, deception and all that goes around freely.

This is what we do, unabashedly sinful to try to make ourselves appear to be better than we are.

God knows all this about us. Even so God exercises grace upon grace for us, forgiving and renewing us to live as God’s own children, God made saints.

Such riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in [us], the hope of glory, are made known to the Gentiles … exactly in this way: the Gentiles have no expectations of God’s blessings, unlike the Jews. So the Gentiles, when they know God blesses them without end, know that this is God’s real work for us all, this is the sure demonstration of God’s wonderful Grace – the greatest work of God, that the undeserving receive God’s favour and blessings.

This is the good news for us: we do not deserve anything good from God, and still we receive blessings upon blessings.

Then the big surprise comes: God blesses those we most think do not deserve God’s attention yet alone all of God’s blessings poured endlessly out upon them.

What a surprise, a surprise of all God’s goodness for us … and for all people.