Tag Archives: Bigread12

Over to You

Sometimes, you just don’t know whether to believe something.  Something you see on TV, that you wonder if it is just a trick of the cameras; something that causes you to make a double take; or a rumour that you are sure can’t really be true…

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them 20 and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.

21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don’t forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn’t with the others when Jesus appeared to them. 25 So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won’t believe unless I do this!”

26 A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples 27 and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”

28 Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”

Why John Wrote His Book

30 Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.

Well, by now we didn’t know what to believe.

We had all seen Jesus die, seen him breathe his last, seen the evidence.  Everyone had been there, it was real ok.

But then, but then Mary had come with this tale that the tomb was empty, but more than that – that Jesus had been raised.  Then he’d appeared to the two as they were walking  in the countryside, wondering what was happening.

Now we were afraid.  Afraid because we didn’t understand what was happening, and afraid because now the Jewish authorities would be after us.  They’d assume we’d pulled some trick or other to back up the stories of Jesus.  But we hadn’t, we were as confused as the next man and woman.

So here we were, shut away.

And then here he was, right in the middle of us, among us again.

Peace be with you

that was what he said to us.  Bringing his calming peace into our place of questioning and fear.

He showed us his hands and side.  There was no question it was him.  Thomas missed all this.  He wasn’t going to believe it he said.  Not unless he saw it with his own eyes.  But Jesus accepted that, and a week later he appeared again, allowing Thomas to touch, to see – and believe and understand.

He repeated his message of peace, and then added to it,

As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you – wow!

Seeing, believing, receiving – and then going with it.

God’s new thing was here – and now it was up to us, to me, to pass it on.

Thank you Lord

you are with me in the times I have locked myself away,

in my questions,

in my doubts,

in my fear,

in my grief.

Thank you

that you bring your word of peace,

allow me to touch you

– as you touch my life anew.

Help me to share what I have discovered in you,

that others may discover the new thing you are doing

and become a part of it.

~~~~~

I have really enjoyed this book, and found it very helpful.  Thanks to Tom Wright!

This year, I am again following the BigRead using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.

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Perfect Offering

The finding of a perfect gift is an art and a skill. Hitting on something that is appropriate both for the occasion and the recipient, something that captures the mood and the sentiment.

A Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus was sitting in the temple near the offering box and watching people put in their gifts. He noticed that many rich people were giving a lot of money. 42 Finally, a poor widow came up and put in two coins that were worth only a few pennies. 43 Jesus told his disciples to gather around him. Then he said:

I tell you that this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 44 Everyone else gave what they didn’t need. But she is very poor and gave everything she had. Now she doesn’t have a cent to live on.

So what is our response to God?

As this series of Lent and Easter readings draws towards its close, how do we respond?

We have seen the new thing God is doing come to fruition in all that Jesus taught and lived, in his death on the cross, and in his rising again to life.  What does that mean to us?  How will we live from now on?  What do we have to give to him?  We cannot begin to match the offering he has made, but we can bring all that we have – all that we are to him, and offer it back.

This woman gave not what she had to spare, but everything she had – because God was worth it.

Consider today what you are going to do, what are you going to give, to the God who gave his all for you.

Lord,

when I thank on all that you have done for me,

I have nothing that  can offer

that begins to match it.

So,

as I come today,

I offer you

all that I have,

all that I am,

and all that I can be.

 I pray that you take it,

and can use me,

in the new thing you are doing

This year, I am again following the BigRead using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.

What’s Most Important

The Beatles told us that all you need is love

When Jesus is asked the question, what is most important, what is the first commandment above all the others, he replies:

The Most Important Commandment

28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”

32The man replied, “Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. 33It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. These commandments are more important than all the sacrifices and offerings that we could possibly make.”

34When Jesus saw that the man had given a sensible answer, he told him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.” After this, no one dared ask Jesus any more questions.

Jesus sums  it up as love.  Love God, love others and love yourself.  So this Kingdom of God’s that is beginning to grow, this new thing God is doing – love is what you need.  Without love it won’t work.  Jesus isn’t talking about sloppy sentimental love, he means the hard love of sacrifice, of walking the tough road together, of mopping fevered brows, of forgiving and forgetting – the love that costs and keeps on giving.  That is how God’s Kingdom works.

Jesus has set us the example.  He brought God’s love alive – can we follow the way he has shown us.

Can we love God, as we reflect on all he has done, all he continues to do?

Can we love ourselves?  Often the hardest part, but it was for the depth of his love for us that Jesus came into the world and showed us God’s ways.  He wanted to help us, for us to understand, and ultimately to die that we might know a life of forgiveness and love.

And if we live in these, can we then turn that to others and love them too?  When they hurt us, when they fail us – and when they love us.

Lord,

may the flame of your love

burn brightly in my heart.

As I delight in the knowledge

that you love me,

may that cause me to live in love for others.

May I live in love:

of you,

of myself,

and of my neighbour

near and far

This year, I am again following the BigRead using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.