Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, May 19, 2019 - Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Global Refugee Mural -Joel Bergner, Silver Spring, MD

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, May 19, 2019 - Fifth Sunday of Easter
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Call to Worship
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (G.M. Hopkins)
Praise God!
The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. (Thomas Berry)
Praise  God from the heavens!
All creation is a song of praise to God. (Hildegard of Bingen)
Praise God from the earth.
The Earth is a sparkling blue and white jewel laced with slowly swirling veils of white, like a pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. (Edgard Mitchell)
Praise  God from the deepest sea.
Great Spirit, give me strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that  is. (Black Elk)
Praise God  all people, young and old.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. (Rachel Carson)
Praise God!

Opening Prayer


As We Gather Here
(Words for the above video)
As we gather here in the harbour of your safety
We thank you for fellowship and family.

We ask that you will strengthen us, restore us and inspire us with your love.
Lord, would fill us with your peace
So that as we journey onwards
We would pour out your love and grace to others.
We ask that our souls would catch the wind of your spirit
so that we would take your promises to all the earth.

Amen.

Prayer of Invocation
Gracious God, Yours is the gift of creation, the rebirth of spring. Yours is the grace that makes all things new. Yours is the Word that speaks a spring of water to slake our thirst. Yours is the urgency that challenges us to care for your Creation. Open our minds to the mind of Christ. Open our lips, and we will sing ALLELUIA with sun and moon, with mountain and hill, with all creatures of land and sea. Together we will sing awe to your splendor. Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Creator God, we have neglected our neighbors in their times of need. We have enjoyed profits and pleasures that harm your land and pollute your waters.  We have squandered much of what you have made and called “good.”  Have mercy on us. Help us change our ways and make us new, that all may know the joy of abundant life.  Amen.

Assurance of Grace
From birth to rebirth, God writes new beginnings. God offers grace upon grace. In Jesus Christ, God shows and tells an endless love that inspires green shoots of new life. We are forgiven. Thanks be to God.


First Reading
Acts 11:1-18
Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem
11:1 Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3 saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4 Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6 As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10 This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11 At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14 he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18 When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

Psalm 148
Praise for God’s Universal Glory
1  Praise the Lord!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;
     praise him in the heights!
2  Praise him, all his angels;
     praise him, all his host!

3  Praise him, sun and moon;
     praise him, all you shining stars!
4  Praise him, you highest heavens,
     and you waters above the heavens!

5  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for he commanded and they were created.
6  He established them forever and ever;
     he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7  Praise the Lord from the earth,
     you sea monsters and all deeps,
8  fire and hail, snow and frost,
     stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9  Mountains and all hills,
     fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
     creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
     princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
     old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for his name alone is exalted;
     his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
     praise for all his faithful,
     for the people of Israel who are close to him.
   Praise the Lord!


Second Reading
John 13:31-35
The New Heaven and the New Earth
21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

   “See, the home of God is among mortals.
   He will dwell with them;
   they will be his peoples,
   and God himself will be with them;
4  he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
   Death will be no more;
   mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
   for the first things have passed away.”

5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.


The Gospel
John 13:31-35
The New Commandment
13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Benediction
God, ground us and grow us in love. Love for the earth and the world. Love for our neighbor and one another. Love for you, the author of love. Amen.

Closing Prayer

(Words for the above video)
Lord, thank you that we are a family in Christ. Help us to share his love and legacy with everyone that we encounter this week. May we lavish Christ’s abounding goodness upon our families, friends and colleagues. Holy Spirit, come and equip us in our workplace, guide us in our school life, and inspire us in our neighbourhood. May we be your hands and feet to the needy, your words of affirmation to the oppressed and your arms of comfort to the lonely.

Thank you for choosing to use us to bring your kingdom here on earth.
Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."

“Love One Another” The Sermon for SUNDAY, May 19, 2019 - Fifth Sunday of Easter


Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 13th chapter of John, beginning with the 31st verse.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:31-35, NRSV)


All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

“Love One Another”

Today I would like you to think about a four letter word. It is probably the most difficult word to understand in the English language. This word has caused more thorns in peoples’ sides, it has divided more people and families into different groups, it has as many different meanings to it as people who think about the word.

This word has changed the course of history, this word has made heroes out of ordinary people, it has been the source of tension, the source of doubt, the source of wonderment for many centuries.

A Gaelic legend tells of an eagle swooping down and carrying a little baby to it lofty nest. The strong men of the village tried to scale the high and rugged cliff, but each one failed. Then past them went a small, frail woman, climbing the sheer precipice and returning the baby to safety.

"How did she do it’’ the strong men asked in amazement.

She told them her secret, "I am the baby’s mother." Her love enabled her, frail as she was, to out-distance the strongest of men.

Yes, this four letter word is love. Love, a simple but most complex of words. For this word, love has allowed people to change the course of history, it has allowed nations to go to war, it has allowed mankind to advance in its compassion and kindness to one another, but for all of it’s qualities, this word love is probably the most misunderstood, the less understood, the most highly charged word in our English language.

Jesus is talking about this word this morning in our gospel lesson. He says "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." Jesus says love one another. What does he mean? How am I to love? Why am I to love?

Who am I to love?

Once we start thinking about this word love, all kinds of things start happening. Questions, doubts, wonderment, values, ideas, relationships, all come into play. Yes, this four letter word seems simple enough, but in reality, it is the most, difficult thing, the most difficult concept we can encounter.

I would like to look at this commandment of Jesus this morning in two different ways, one by seeing why we are called upon by Jesus to love one another. Why Jesus gave us this commandment in the first place, then secondly, to ask some questions, to do something thinking about my, and your love.

But first, why did Jesus give us this commandment. Did you know that Jesus gave only two commandments in the New Testament? One about loving God and the other this one about loving each other. The commandments are written in different versions in different places in the New Testament, but essentially, they are alike.

He commands us to love. But that word commands is difficult for us Born-again Christians, because we believe that we live not by the demands of the law, but by the grace of God. So, why does he command us to love? Why does he order us to love?

Notice who Jesus was addressing when he gave this commandment. He was addressing his disciples, people who were already part of his family, people who had experienced his grace, people who were in a relationship to him. The new command has nothing to do with life or becoming a child of God. Christ has forgiven us and given us life before we even thought of obeying him.

The new command does not tell us, "Do this if you want to be saved," but rather, "Do this if you want to glorify God." Do this if you want to praise God, do this if you want to serve God. It-is thus not a command to qualify us for the kingdom. It is a command to us as members of God’s family. Only here does Jesus addressed his disciples as "little children. He is speaking to them as part of the family, not as people who are seeking admission. He is not telling them how to become members but how we are to act as family members.

As parents, we give instructions to our children. If they don’t listen to us, we are sad, hurt, but we don’t throw them out of the family. Obedience doesn’t make us members of a family, birth does. Likewise we become members of Cod’s family not by obeying is commands but by receiving the new birth he give us. Our obedience is how we glorify God. As part of the family, Jesus tells us how we are to give Glory to the father of the family, by loving one another. Jesus is saying, if it is your intention to glorify God, to give praise to God who has made you a member of his household, if you want to respond to God’s grace in your life, if you want to respond to God’s love in your life, if you want to be a responsible family member, here is how to do that; obey the command of love.

Why does Jesus command us to love?, because God has loved us so much that we are motivated to reflect his love to others.

As members of the family of God, our love reflects the love that God has for us. It is like the doctor in the following story:

A surgeon operated on a poor boy, whose foot was twisted out of shape. The operation was successful, and a friend came to take the little invalid home.

He said to the boy, "What a beautiful hospital you have been in!!"

"Yes," said the boy, "but I like the doctor best."

Then the friend spoke of the nurses and their kindness. But the boy replied, "Yes, they are kind, but I like the doctor best."

When he brought the boy home his mother was happy to see her son again.

She fell on her knees and looked at at his foot, "Why it’s just like any other boy’s foot now’" she exclaimed with delight.

All the time the lad was saying to her, "Mother you ought to know the doctor who made me walk."

Yes, Jesus commands us to love as members of his family so that we can give glory and honor to God because of his great love to us. It says in the Bible, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." God acted, he gave, God loved us, and Jesus is saying because of that love, because of God’s love for us, we are to love one another too, reflect God’s love in our lives, to give honor and glory to God.

Now that brings us to the second part of our discussion concerning this word love. We have just seen why we are to love. We have seen why Jesus commands us to love, and now we turn our attention to how. How do you and I love one another? How do I love you as a member of the family of God? How do I love those outside of God’s family?

Notice, Jesus doesn’t give any formula for how to love, he says only, "love one another just as I have loved you."

Maybe in that short phrase is the clue we might be looking for in how do we love. Just as I have loved you. Just as I have loved you. How did Jesus love you? How does Jesus love me? He made a commitment to me. He makes a commitment to you. His love is genuine, honest, caring and compassionate. His love is there, it is not turned off and on by fleeting passions, or emotional highs. Jesus’ love has a responsibility to it. Maybe in that word responsibility is another key. We are responsible, we are accountable for our action of love. There is freedom in the word love, but also a responsibility, a commitment, a sense of pride, a sense of value, a sense of dedication to some one, some principle, some value or truth that we hold high. It is our relationship to Jesus, our faith in him that lets us love our neighbor. It is the values, the worthiness, the acceptance he has for me that allows me to love my neighbor. Jesus is asking us to take that relationship we have with him very seriously and then from that we can learn and see how we respond to the brokenness of our neighbors. From our relationship to Jesus, we learn how to love our neighbor in a way that is authentic; in a way that accepts that person has we have been accepted by Jesus; in a way that looks for not what can I get out of my act of kindness, but what can I give to that person to make that person’s life one that has a sense of wholeness integrity and worthiness to it.

How can I lift up the life of my neighbor as Christ has lifted up my life through his being lifted up on the cross of Calvary? I think that is the fundamental question asked of each of us in this command to love one another. How can I give of myself, as Christ gave to me through the cross, so that I might be able to respond to the brokenness of my neighbor?

Jesus doesn’t give us an easy formula to follow. He doesn’t spell out in concise terms what it means to love one another. But through his life, though his deeds, through his words he does give us an example to follow, he gives us a sign, a clue, a road map to follow. And he is asking us today if we are following those clues, if we have been using his road map, if we have been responsible members of the family of God? He is asking us if by our lives are we giving glory to God for making us his child? He is asking us how important is it to you and me to be in God’s family, if it is important, then Jesus says love one another.

Let us pray:
Jesus, it’s a simple concept, but it is so against our nature to live this command out in everyday life. Holy Spirit, remove our selfish hearts and replace them with your own. Help us to react in love when we are wronged. Even down to our thoughts, Lord, renew us with your love.

God, there are some of us praying this prayer that haven’t experienced the fullness of your love. You say, “Love one another, just as I have loved you.” Holy Spirit, break down walls right now and soften hearts. Fill us all with the fullness of your love. Your love is self-sacrificing and healing. We receive that love right now. Let it burn into our hearts and purge them of selfishness and hatred. In Christ, we are made new right now. Thank you, Jesus. We love you. Amen.


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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Jesus says love one another. What does he mean? How am I to love? Why am I to love?

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, May 19, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=NIV&search=James%203:17-18

James 3:17-18 (NIV) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Read all of James 3

Listen to James 3

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Sunday, May 19, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/05/19

Los hijos del divorcio

Y ahora, Señor, ¿qué esperanza me queda? ¡Mi esperanza he puesto en ti!
~ Salmo 39:7 (NVI)

Esta semana la he dedicado a ese problema triste y común que es la separación o el divorcio, y he motivado a las mujeres, y a los hombres por igual, a seguir adelante a pesar de sus frustraciones.

Sin embargo, hoy llego como una gran defensora de los «hijos del divorcio».

No les hagamos más daño del que ya les hemos ocasionado con la triste noticia de que papi y mami no seguirán viviendo juntos, pues ese es un trauma de por vida que solo se logra sanar por la misericordia de Dios.

Cuando nos separamos o divorciamos, es como si olvidáramos que esos hijitos son el resultado de esa relación. Caemos en el grave error de cobrarnos la venganza por nuestras manos y ponemos a los hijos de carnada.

Nuestros hijos pasan a sufrir la manipulación y los convertimos en mensajeros para nuestro ex. Lo triste de todo es que, en la mayoría de los casos, esos mensajes van con amenazas, insultos y lo que menos damos es un buen ejemplo. Incluso, a menudo los papás cortan la ayuda económica a fin de castigar a las madres y no les dan dinero.

Si estás pasando por algo así, recuerda que necesitas la intervención de Dios en tu vida y mucha oración y protección en esta nueva etapa que estás experimentado. Así que el mejor consejo que te puedo dar es el siguiente: «Busca a Dios y entrégale por completo tu vida y la de tus hijos».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hoy llego como una gran defensora de los «hijos del divorcio».

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, May 19, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/05/19
SERVING TWO MASTERS

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
~ Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

Riches are dangerous because their seductive power often causes people to reject Christ and His kingdom. The rich young ruler who turned sadly away after being told that he had to part with his riches to inherit salvation prompted Jesus’ statement, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:24; Mark 10:23; Matthew 19:23)

A desire for riches can cause people to do almost anything—even to the extent of selling their souls. The result, Scripture warns, is anguish now and damnation later (1Timothy 6:9-10). An abundance of possessions can easily lead us to forget that God is the Source of all good. The people of Israel were warned of this before they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 8:11-17).

The pursuit of wealth often results in wars. James 4:1-2 says this clearly and it is amply confirmed from world history. Instead of fostering more compassion toward the poor, riches often harden the hearts of the wealthy. Rich persons are often unconcerned about the poor at their doorstep. (Luke 16:19-31; Isaiah 5:8-10; Amos 6:4-7; James 5:1-5)

Money is not neutral; it is a power with a life of its own. It is a power that is even demonic in character. When Jesus uses the Aramaic term mammon, translated as money in the NIV, (Matthew 6:24) to refer to wealth, He is giving it a personal and spiritual character as a rival god. Mammon is a power that seeks to dominate us.

Hence, money is an active agent. It is a law unto itself—capable of inspiring devotion. It is tremendously instructive to stand back and observe the frantic scramble of people for money. And this does not occur just among the poor and starving. Even the super rich still seek it furiously. The middle class continue to buy more houses, acquire more cars and purchase more clothes than they need. If money were only a medium of exchange, it would make no sense at all to attach such prestige to it. We value people in relation to their income. We give people status and honor in relation to how much money they have or appear to have.

We can have all the Christian externals and yet be complete materialists in our hearts.

RESPONSE: I choose to serve God, so I will not give money any place of prominence in my life or in my heart.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help today to stay focused on You and not on all the “things” around me.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - Lift High the Cross

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190519

"Lift High the Cross"

May 19, 2019

"All newborn soldiers of the Crucified, Bear on their brows the seal of Him who died. Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim. Till all the world adore His sacred Name."

"I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Those are words to celebrate, words that set the angels to rejoicing and, as they say, "Them's fighting words." The newborn soldier of the Crucified—child or adult—is sealed with the sign of the cross on the forehead and heart, marked as one who has been redeemed by Christ Jesus.

In the baptismal service, the newborn soldiers turn from all previous allegiance, renouncing the devil and all his works and ways. As faithful soldiers do, the baptized, empowered by the Holy Spirit, confess new allegiance to the Triune God, whose Name His soldiers now bear. Baptized, we are mustered into a fighting force, the "church militant," as the church on earth is sometimes called. The cross that marks us as the redeemed also becomes a lifelong cross to bear as we follow in the footsteps of the Savior, whose precious blood cleanses us from sin. The cross is the sign of our salvation and bearing that cross we engage in battle. The devil we renounced at Baptism is now our enemy, an adversary who "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8b).

No newborn soldier is sent into battle unarmed. In the water and Word of Baptism, we "cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12b). The righteousness of Christ in which we are now clothed covers us like a breastplate, like the body armor of a modern warrior. Our salvation is a protective helmet and the gift of faith shields us from the doubts, fears, and accusations the enemy hurls at us. Satan is a defeated, yet still dangerous and frustrated opponent, who rages against us as he once raged—in futility—against our Lord.

We are tempted by the enemy, and at times we listen to the enemy, and our allegiance wavers as we stumble. But we are marked by the cross and, repenting of our sins, we turn from our sins, and we are strengthened again for battle with the forgiveness that our Savior won for us on the cross. As newborn soldiers, we continue to practice and grow in the use of our armor and weapons, especially in the use of the sharp, double-edged sword that is the Word of God. It is the weapon that Jesus used so effectively against the enemy, a weapon now placed in our hands by the Holy Spirit.

Dressed in the armor of God, armed with Word, as soldiers and witnesses for Christ crucified, we lift high the cross, praying that others will hear and believe and join the ranks of the redeemed.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You have redeemed us and armed us in Your service. We pray that by the Spirit's power the Gospel will speed on and triumph. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Lift High the Cross." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
These are words to celebrate, words that set the angels to rejoicing and, as they say, "Them's fighting words."

Unser Täglich Brot - Der schiefe Turm


Der schiefe Turm

Lesung: 2.Korinther 12,1-10 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: 1.Chronik 7-9; Johannes 6,22-44

Lass dir an meiner Gnade genügen; denn meine Kraft vollendet sich in der Schwachheit. 2.Korinther 12,9

Schiefe Kirchtürme machen die Leute offensichtlich nervös. Freunde erzählten uns, wie der stolze Turm ihrer Kirche nach einem heftigen Sturm verbogen war und einige Unruhe auslöste.

Natürlich wurde der Schaden bald repariert, aber die Geschichte brachte mich doch zum Nachdenken. Oft halten wir die Gemeinde für einen Ort, an dem alles perfekt aussehen soll. Da soll nichts krumm oder verbogen wirken.

Doch in einer kaputten, gefallenen Welt sind wir alle irgendwie „verbogen“, wir alle haben unsere eigene Kombination von Schwächen. Vielleicht versuchen wir sie zu verbergen. Aber die Bibel ermuntert uns zum Gegenteil. In 2.Korinther 12 etwa meint Paulus, dass Jesus gerade in unseren Schwächen — bei ihm war das ein nicht weiter erklärtes Problem, das er einen „Pfahl ins Fleisch“ nennt (V. 7) — seine Kraft zeigen kann. Jesus hatte ihm gesagt: „Meine Kraft vollendet sich in der Schwachheit“ (V. 9). Deshalb folgert Paulus: „Darum bin ich guten Mutes in Schwachheit, in Misshandlungen, in Nöten, in Verfolgungen und Ängsten um Christi willen; denn wenn ich schwach bin, so bin ich stark“ (V. 10).

Es mag sein, dass wir unsere Unvollkommenheiten nicht mögen. Aber wenn wir sie verstecken, verleugnen wir, dass Jesus gerade an diesen Stellen in uns wirken kann. Wenn wir ihn an die kaputten Orte einladen, heilt und hilft er uns zurecht, wie wir selbst es nie könnten.
Was ist in deinem Leben „schief“? Wo hast du erlebt, dass Gott durch deine Schwächen wirkt?
Lade Jesus dazu ein, an deinen Schwächen zu arbeiten.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Schiefe Kirchtürme machen die Leute offensichtlich nervös.