Friday, April 29, 2016

Our words through a Love Filter

"This is my commandment: love one another."
John 15:17

Jesus didn't just suggest to us that we love one's a commandment!  Each of us has thousands of opportunities to choose to treat others with love each day.  They come around so fast that we may not have the time to sit and weigh out what is the more loving option for response.  People say or do things and we snap to judgment or response and then the palm-to-the-forehead moment occurs later--"Why did I say that?" Today, let's be aware of all the chances we have to choose to respond in a kind and loving way--the way Jesus commands us to respond (not merely suggests!) Before we speak to someone let's try to send our words through a Love Filter in our brains before they actually escape our mouths.  Do these words sound loving? Will they bring life? Would Jesus say this?  Would I say this to Jesus? Yikes! there ya go! Love, heidi

Thursday, April 28, 2016

We are One in the Spirit!

"And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts."
Acts 15:8-9

Is it somewhat reassuring to realize the early Christians squabbled about who was "in" and who was "out," too? Seems like nothing has changed in the two thousand plus years of Christianity. Some of these guys involved in this disagreement actually had walked with Jesus and heard his actual words about wanting all to be One.  And yet, here they are, wondering what conditions need to be placed on new followers of Jesus. If Jesus showed them anything it was to be inclusive, as he was inclusive.  Human beings are human, though, and we like dividing lines.  See this line? I'm on this side and you are on that side.  What is it about us? Well, today, this late-April Thursday, let's cross some lines!  Let's realize that God made all of us and loves all of us and the dividing lines we find are of our own making.  God pours the Holy Spirit on us without distinction, purifying hearts! It certainly isn't up to us to decide who's in and who's out. We are one in the Spirit!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Food from heaven

"You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you..."
John 15:3-4

When I was praying with this Gospel this morning, what came to me is how Jesus nourishes us, as the Vine.  We are nourished through the Word and also through the Eucharist by Jesus, not unlike a mother nursing her child.  We are given the food necessary for us to grow and bear fruit, if we just do what comes naturally to us and take it all in.  Even the pieces of our lives that may not feel connected to our spirituality are nourished by Jesus.  Our comings and going throughout the day may be very secular, but they can still be nourished by our Jesus.  Every facet of our lives needs to be connected and fed by Jesus.  Today, let's find whatever image helps us to realize how Jesus nourishes us to do all that we do in our day. For me it is the image of the nursing mom, gazing down at the child in her arms, realizing that the child is growing and is nourished by this glorious food she is able to provide. Jesus provides that for us...every second of every day!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Peace I leave with you...

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you..."
John 14:27

I was thinking about this "Jesus peace" the other day as I was driving.  What does it look like in my everyday life? How is it different than what the world gives me? And what really got me wondering is how do people live without it? How do people without a lifeline to Jesus survive in this crazy world?  I experience the peace of Jesus when my mind goes off to some anxiety or future concern.  Like thinking ahead to retirement and will I have enough to live on? Yikes! That's when I flash to these words of Jesus and feel reassured.  "God will be with me to see me through that time, just like God has been with me all throughout my life." Ah yes, peace. There it is. Or when I feel anxious about something going on now...Yikes, this!  Wait, God is with me in this...God got me into this, most likely.  God will help me through.  I rely on these thoughts so often that I really do wonder how people manage without a vibrant, active relationship with God.  My reliance on God is a daily, hourly, constant comfort to me.  It is a deep, reassuring peace when all around me may feel like it's spinning out of control.  Ah yes, there it is. Peace. The peace only God can give. Love, heidi