Category Archives: holy

Jesus is Coming

God is,
always has been
and yet
is still to come.

He loves us,
saves us,
frees us
and appoints us
to be with him.
We are his people,
workers with him.

And yet,
he is still to come.
He promises to come again,
that everyone may see,
there will be no uncertainty,
God’s arrival.

God who was,
is
and is yet to come
we worship you.

I come in confession
for the times I have ignored you,
not looked for you,
missed
or hampered
your arrival where I am.
Forgive me
when I have wounded you.

May I wait,
faithfully,
openly,
longingly,
looking for your presence.

Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending

Revelation 1:4-8 (CEV)

From John to the seven churches in Asia.

I pray that you
    will be blessed
with kindness and peace
from God, who is and was
    and is coming.
May you receive
    kindness and peace
from the seven spirits
    before the throne of God.
May kindness and peace
    be yours
from Jesus Christ,
    the faithful witness.

Jesus was the first
    to conquer death,
and he is the ruler
    of all earthly kings.
Christ loves us,
    and by his blood
he set us free
    from our sins.
He lets us rule as kings
and serve God his Father
    as priests.
To him be glory and power
    forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He is coming
    with the clouds.
Everyone will see him,
even the ones who stuck
    a sword through him.
All people on earth
will weep because of him.
    Yes, it will happen! Amen.

The Lord God says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the one who is and was and is coming. I am God All-Powerful!”

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Toxic Words

We all know it is important to wash our hands before eating or handling food.  We don’t want to consume more than we bargain for!  So it seems not unreasonable in this passage for the Teachers to be pulling Jesus’ disciples up on not having washed their hands.  These are men who live an itinerant life, and opportunities to wash must have been haphazard to say the least.  How kind of them to worry about the health of the disciples…

But that is not really what they are quibbling about.  They are not talking about hygiene, but about ritual.  It is not about washing your hands, or fruit, or pots and pans – all of which is necessary, but about washing them a certain way, a ritual way, almost a magic way as if it’s not done ‘that’ way, it doesn’t count.  It is just another way of control and rules and regulations that add nothing.

They want to know why Jesus isn’t doing things ‘their’ way.

Jesus, quite bluntly, tells them that they would be better worrying about what comes out of their mouths than what goes in.  There words and behaviour are far more toxic than any bacteria.

What they do and say to people is harming them, potentially killing them, and it is certainly not pleasing God.

There words and actions are meaningless, because they are about their control not God’s ways.  Where is that love that our readings have spoken of all week?

Forgive me Lord,
when I make up rules
about you;
when I focus
on things that don’t matter,
and not
on what does;
when I point to people’s errors
and don’t consider
what I am really doing.

Lord,
take me from toxicity
to love,
for nit-picking
to freedom,
from control
to hope
in
and through
you

Mark 7:1-8, 14-16, 21-23  (CEV)

The Teaching of the Ancestors

Some Pharisees and several teachers of the Law of Moses from Jerusalem came and gathered around Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples ate without first washing their hands.

The Pharisees and many other Jewish people obey the teachings of their ancestors. They always wash their hands in the proper way before eating. None of them will eat anything they buy in the market until it is washed. They also follow a lot of other teachings, such as washing cups, pitchers, and bowls.

The Pharisees and teachers asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? Why do they eat without washing their hands?”

Jesus replied:

You are nothing but show-offs! The prophet Isaiah was right when he wrote that God had said,

  “All of you praise me
    with your words,
but you never really
    think about me.
It is useless for you
    to worship me,
when you teach rules
    made up by humans.”

You disobey God’s commands in order to obey what humans have taught.

What Really Makes People Unclean

14 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Pay attention and try to understand what I mean. 15-16 The food that you put into your mouth doesn’t make you unclean and unfit to worship God. The bad words that come out of your mouth are what make you unclean.”

21 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, 22 unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. 23 All of these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God.

Living in Love

You want me to be yours,
your special one,
one with your special people.
you invite me to be yours
and shower me with your gifts.

Living with you
means living your way,
living your love,
in love,
with you
and with those
who my life rubs up against.

Lord,
forgive me when I get angry,
when I so quickly flare up
instead of taking the time to listen,
to hear,
to view from a different angle
and understand.

Anger blinds me,
it stops me seeing the good,
the profound,
the holy.
Save me from arrogance
and bring me
to humility.

Help me to listen to you,
because listening
demands a response,
an action,
a purpose
and a call.
My tongue can take me
so far from that.

Lord,
help me to speak,
think,
and do
only what shows love for you,
lived out in love for others,
through your love for me.

As I live in your love for me,
may that love
control and direct
all I do or say,
and stop me
when I am tempted
to step outside
of loves ways.

Wonderful Grace

James 1:17-27 (CEV)

17 Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing. 18 He wanted us to be his own special people, and so he sent the true message to give us new birth.

Hearing and Obeying

19 My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. 20 If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done. 21 You must stop doing anything immoral or evil. Instead be humble and accept the message that is planted in you to save you.

22 Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. 23 If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror 24 and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. 25 But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.

26 If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless. 27 Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.