Too soon old and too late smart. It hit me a few weeks ago that some of my favorite stories in the Bible have a similar theme: God invites us into partnership to announce the arrival of the Kingdom, because it gives God great joy and us significant purpose. Here are some of my faves.
O God of hope, send your Spirit upon me that I may hear your call and respond with faithfulness for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Monday – Matthew 10:1-10
Okay, this is not one of my favorite stories, but it sets the stage for the rest of the readings this week. Until a few weeks ago, I had not thought of this passage. Sure, it names the disciples, but how significant is it that Jesus gave them the authority over disease, disaster, and death? These are the things Jesus was doing, and Jesus shared that power with them … and with us? How does God want to work through you today to help others overcome disease, disaster, and death?
Tuesday – Matthew 14:13-21
I continue to be amazed at this miracle. But isn’t it interesting how Jesus responded to the disciples’ request to send the crowd away to get food. Jesus said, “You feed them.” Surely Jesus knew this was impossible … for them. But they brought what they had. Jesus blessed it. Jesus gave it back to them to share with the crowds. And it was more than enough. What do you have that would be more than enough if you gave it to Jesus to bless? How would Jesus have you share it with others?
Wednesday – John 11:38-44
I love this story. It reveals Jesus’ compassion and the hopes of those who believed in him. But it is also a clash of the reality of death in a life of faith. What catches my imagination is that Jesus commands the witnesses to Lazarus’ resurrection to “Loose him and let him go.” Why did Jesus need someone to unbind the mummy like bandages? If he has the power of resurrection, he couldn’t dress him, too? Or was it the privilege of others to participate in the miracle by helping set Lazarus free? Who can you help set free today?
Thursday – Judges 6:11-24
Gideon is so honest. He complains that his people are being persecuted and wonders what God intends to do about it. But when God reveals that Gideon is God’s answer to the problem, Gideon has all kinds of excuses. God meets all of Gideon’s objections with the promise of God’s faithful presence and power. Could it be that you and I are God’s answer to the problems of our world? Could it be that God wants to use you and me today, and blesses us with God’s own presence and power?
Friday – Acts 1:1-8
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those first followers of Jesus. They witnessed his crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection. What is he about to do next? And when they asked the crystal ball question about God restoring the kingdom to Israel, Jesus taught them that they will receive power to be his witnesses – even to the ends of the earth! We may not know much about the future, but we do know what role God wants us to play. Be a witness! Are you a witness!
Saturday – Jeremiah 29:11
Okay… this is just my favorite verse – because it was written to a people in exile who may have lost hope. It is reassurance that even in the worst of circumstances, God is still engaged with us and will bring us through whatever we face. What hopes and dreams does God have for you?