WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?

Mark 7:27-29
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Jesus, huh???

Jesus, huh???

The question is easier to ask
than to answer.
I know there are
some who read this blog who
do not believe
in Jesus,
and for you
there may indeed
be no recognizable Jesus
for you,
but also
it might just be that in
spite of your disbelief,
you, yes you,
might become Jesus
for someone else,
and if we know each other
you may have for me
at sometime
and you will never know.
The difficulty with the question
is to answer it
for yourself
and not
what you were taught
in Sunday School
or what you think is the
correct answer.
I suggest
there is neither a wrong answer
nor is there a correct answer,
and that there are as many
honest answers
as there are people to answer.
So
to answer my own question,
who is Jesus to me?
Jesus is one of those
people who teaches me best
about the nature of God.
There are others,
but it is Jesus who shows me
how to love fully, openly, truthfully,
and courageously.
Jesus had a vision
of God that was full of love
and untainted by
prejudice, fear, or agenda.
Jesus found ways to heal.
He found ways to change lives.
He followed a path of love
and showed us how to do the same.
Jesus proved to any
who would be changed
that we are
all daughters and sons
of the one
living God of all love.
Jesus believed this so much
that he was willing to die
so we could
come to understand
this as absolute truth.
Jesus, to me, then,
is the bringer and giver of the
heartbreaking
beauty
that is the love of God.
And I meet him
at odd times.
And I meet him
in odd places.
And
there are people
who are as real
and the most real reality
I have experienced.
I have met Jesus
in a backyard dumpster.
I have met Jesus
in the heart of a homeless vet.
I have given my heart to
the Jesus
who offers to trade her life
to save the lives of
others.
I have wept next to
Jesus
as she cried for the lost of her lover.
I have wandered in a wilderness-like
garden
of crushed dreams
with Jesus,
emotionally lost and afraid
and deserted by the nation
that promised hope and succor.
And my soul has been saved by Jesus
as he and she sat before me
in my little congregation
in Geyserville, CA,
and worshiped
and praised
the God of all…
Who is Jesus to you?

WORK AND LABOR

Work Vs. Labor

Work Vs. Labor

Romans 4:4-5
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Work and labor are not necessarily the same.
A distinction can be made.
On the one hand,
labor is that thing we do
which earns us the ability to live:
to pay bills,
buy food,
have transportation.
Labor can be,
but is not always,
mentally or spiritually fulfilling.
Our work,
on the other hand,
is that which we do with our lives.
Our work is not always labor,
but at times it can be harder,
tougher, rougher,
more dangerous,
and much more challenging—
but it is always fulfilling.
A life’s work can be what we do for a living
—labor—
but it is more akin to
what most understand as an avocation.
Some only labor
and never have a life’s work.
Some have both.
For a rare few
it is one and the same.
Sometimes,
it is only a matter of perspective,
and changing our own perspective
can change our labor into our work.
What is it
we do with the days of our lives?
Do we only wait for Friday
because that at which we labor
is so mind numbingly drear that
we live our days stultified?
How might we change that?
Is there some way
that changing how we view our
daily,
hourly,
minute-by-minute interactions
with those around us
could change our perspective
on what we are doing
with our lives?
If we are finding our workplaces
limiting and stultifying,
or those around us
mean-spirited and hopeless people,
try understanding them
as ones who have run out
of the possibilities
we have
and are desperately
reaching out.
The time has come for love,
and if we
can change our understanding
of what we do where we labor
into a way
to offer this love,
we can proclaim it
through our responses and actions and demeanor.
Doing this can also
change our labor into a life’s work,
then
instead of dreaming about Fridays,
we will look forward to Mondays.
We can ask God to help with this,
and God will,
but we must change our own minds.

Training Your Ear To Love

On Listening Alternatively

On Listening Alternatively

James 1:17-27
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

I will try to be the love
that others need
and the hope
that others seek.
I will attempt to be the ear
that listens for the need.
Knowing it will neither be spoken,
nor be seen.
This need will not be noticed,
except
by one who is prepared to hear.
I would be the ear
to that which is unspoken,
yet
which is shouted so loudly
by actions,
loud proclamations—
my ears burning from shame,
ego stumbling,
my pride tripping
on the inappropriateness
of the plea.
Still
I would like to try and hear.
I keep waiting
for God to speak.
I keep waiting
to be noticed by God.
I keep waiting.
I keep waiting
to be needed.
Seeking,
listening loudly,
strongly,
for the divine word
that I may never hear,
because it appears
to come from those needier than I,
and in inconvenient
and troublesome ways.
For it seems
the very people whose needs
cry loudest for help,
use the exact words
that push my buttons,
shut my ears,
and harden my heart.
Help me to listen
beyond my own needs,
God,
help me to listen.
I would be love…