Join the joyful doubters

Thoughts on Luke 24:35-48

It’s the evening of first day of the week, the disciples are still together, wondering about the reports of an empty tomb and sightings of you, when suddenly you appear in their midst. Startled and frightened is an understatement. At first they thought you were a ghost, like they were experiencing a Folie à deux. You gave them more credit than they deserved. You seemed surprised that they were troubled and doubting. All along you had been telling them the truth about what would unfold to accomplish your mission: suffering, dying, rising on the third day; you had given them enough information so that they might have expected your resurrection. Their doubts proved their disbelief. Patiently, you give them hands on evidence proving that all you had told them about yourself and your plans for humankind were true.

The scripture says “they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered.” Joy and doubt were vying for prominence in their hearts. You, alive, talking to them, showing them your wounds – this was too good to be true. Yet here you were, asking for something to eat.

And now you give them a new identity, a new purpose, “You are witnesses of these things.” A witness, one who reports what they have seen or experienced.

Lord, I count myself one of these joyful doubters. Like them, I’ve heard you tell me the truth about who you are and who I am, what power is yours and how you share it with me, what purpose is yours and how you need me to help bring it about. This is reality and your intention for me. You patiently allow the truth to sink into my thick head, giving me proof after proof of your power and your love. Like them, joy and doubt compete for my heart. Help me to align myself with joy and belief. Thank you and amen.

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Take comfort and hope

Thoughts on Isaiah 51:3

The Lord shall comfort Zion. I am Zion, but I am consciously unaware of my need for comfort. I have no major loss in my life right now. Of course there is the existential loss of all around me. Maybe I am feeling no sadness because I am comforted by you. Let my comfort not immobilize me or make me callous toward the lack of comfort I observe in the world, in my friends. etc.

The Lord shall have pity on all her ruins. You will have pity on all that was in my life, all the things I built, created or was part of that are no more;  just the memory of them, the bones of their being remain. You have pity on me, cry with me over their demise, acknowledge their function and their beauty. You honor my ruins, recalling all that went into their creation. Thank you.

Her deserts he shall make like Eden. My dry places, waterless places you shall cultivate and cause to grow into a lively and lovely garden. You will bring water, soil, seeds for flora and you will tend me until I rise up and bear fruit, offer shade, beauty and shelter. It is a long process, you are patient, let me also be patient.

Her wasteland like the garden of the Lord. My wasteland, the place where I dump my garbage, my unwanted, used up, worthless items. Can you take this refuse and make it a garden? Can  you compost my trash and turn it into something that can feed my garden? Come Holy Spirit, do this, in your timing and in your way.

Joy and gladness shall be found in her. Make me the home of joy and gladness. Let my countenance shine with joy and gladness. Draw all who thirst for joy come and find your gladness for them when they are with me. Let me carry your joy with me wherever I wander today.

Thanksgiving and the sound of song found in her. Let these be on my tongue and coming from my heart as a constant theme. Thanks for your work and wonders, a little ditty about you springing up from my heart at all times.

Today, this snowy morning, I need my wastelands turned into a garden. How about you?

What God intends for you

Which of these words do you need to hear from God’s heart toward you today? Make it your breath prayer for the day. From Jeremiah’s canticle in chapter 31, verses 10-14.

You find ourselves scattered, a piece of you here, part of you over there. It is not God’s design for you to live in such a thin way, spread out, tossed about; without substance, unable to be wholly present to your life. So God sets out to gather the pieces of your soul, to return them to a whole. The puzzle parts of your life only make a beautiful picture when set in place by the master artist. God is committed to re-membering you and keeping you safe. Thank you God.

You are home, thank the Good Shepherd. God bought you back from the enemy, traded his life for yours. You no longer are the plunder of the enemy. Your life is reunited with your Life. What can you do? Shout and laugh with great joy, why contain the pure and holy energy that runs through you. Move with delight. Like Jack with his fireworks.

 Join the other ransomed ones who are running toward God’s blessings: abundant nourishment, pure enjoyment, absolute comfort, eternal safety, appropriate power. You are a beautiful garden that is watered from secret sources, you will never lack what you need to flourish.

All the innocence in you is released, all the strength and curiosity in you is unleashed, all the wisdom in you is unsheathed. All that has saddened you is converted into joy. God, the great consoler, acknowledges the sorrow you’ve experienced and comforts you in such a way that it is transformed into glad character. God lavishes you with what is perfectly suited for you and fills you with uncountable blessings.

The word of God for the people of God.

With you on the journey,

Debby

MM 2/5/15 are you married to patience?

What? James says let patience do it’s job. Let is the same word used in old marriage ceremonies, “to have and to hold.” We are to make a vow, a promise to patience; it has a job to do in our life and we are to embrace it’s work. Hang in there! Please pray for me, I have a presentation to do tonight and then I’m home free. I’m running on fumes and have a cold to boot. Love you all. D

MM 2/5/15 the Patience we are married to… from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.