WHO IS THIS?

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Mark 4:35-41 — New Revised Standard Version

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

A Delineation of Borders #41

A Delineation of Borders #41

Who Is This?
©Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Who is this
that breaks into our
lives with such
amazing love
and grace
and hope
and deeds?
Who is this?
From whence have you come?
To where do you go?
Who are we
that you linger a moment
so
we might be healed?
Who is this?
We walk at times
alone and in fear,
lying awake at night,
alone,
with only visions of doom
and specters of dread,
for company,
sleepless,
and frozen
in a
night-terror-panic
of hopelessness,
and we are visited
by one who
motions to
all that is frightening,
and it is gone.
Who is this that
calms the raging waters
of lost souls,
hearts forsaken,
minds consumed,
lives without hope,
who is this?
And yet
second to second,
day to day,
week to week,
month to month,
lifetime to lifetime
the presence of this
one-who-will-save,
this one-who-will-calm,
who-will-protect
and calm our fear
companions us —
we are never
truly
ever alone.

IF AS IF

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Mark 4:26-34, New Revised Standard Version He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does … Continue reading

CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES

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Mark 3:20-35 — Common English Bible Jesus entered a house. A crowd gathered again so that it was impossible for him and his followers even to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they came to take control of him. They … Continue reading

GIFTS, GIVING, TAKING CREDIT

 

Psalm 81:1-10 ̶̶ ̶̶ The Message

A song to our strong God!
a shout to the God of Jacob!
Anthems from the choir, music from the band,
sweet sounds from lute and harp,
Trumpets and trombones and horns:
it’s festival day, a feast to God!
A day decreed by God,
solemnly ordered by the God of Jacob.
He commanded Joseph to keep this day
so we’d never forget what he did in Egypt.
I hear this most gentle whisper from One
I never guessed would speak to me:
“I took the world off your shoulders,
freed you from a life of hard labor.
You called to me in your pain;
I got you out of a bad place.
I answered you from where the thunder hides,
I proved you at Meribah Fountain.
“Listen, dear ones—get this straight;
O Israel, don’t take this lightly.
Don’t take up with strange gods,
don’t worship the latest in gods.
I’m God, your God, the very God
who rescued you from doom in Egypt,
Then fed you all you could eat,
filled your hungry stomachs.

# # #

Hearing, Talking, Talking Action
Psalm 81:1-10

There is an apocryphal
story about a farmer who
was complimented on
the beautiful farm God had given him.
The farmer replied that,
yes, it was a beautiful farm, now,
but the person should have seen
the disrepair it was in
when God gave it to him.
In today’s text
we hear God’s gentle assurance.
Despite that the one
hearing God’s words
never thought they would
ever hear God speak at all,
God did heard their cry for help.
God set them free from slavery,
fed them and nurtured them.
Loved them.
However, God
saw a need to admonish them
to not stray off after false gods.
Really?
Wow, what a bunch of ingrates!
What silliness to snub the one
who had done so much for them!
But then
I wonder just how true
I am to this God
who rescues me,
bestows gifts on me,
and feeds my empty belly?
How many times
have I prayed for things
that I have ended up taking the credit for,
and not publically
thanking God?
Maybe I don’t worship
at the altar of some weird
god,
but I do seem to worship
at the altar
of my own pride.
I think there is a balance
between going
through life,
giving thanks to God
for every little thing,
constantly,
and never accepting any credit for anything,
with false humility,
and never having any accountability
for any actions,
and giving God
recognition
for our talents and gifts,
with a full understanding
of the hard work it took
on my part
to hone them into
the beautiful things
they have become.
God gives us gifts
every second
of the day
and we use them
as best we can,
and hopefully for God’s glory.
I think the balance in this
is to give God credit
for the gifts we have received,
but also accept credit
for our own work in the process.
Thinking back to the farmer,
what are the gifts God has given
you to do God’s work,
and what work
have you had to do
to make those gifts ready
for that work?