Arise and shine!
Your light is here,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
— Isaiah 60:1
The third week of Lent starts today.
Last Wednesday we thought together here about getting our hands away from the snooze button of our souls because it’s time to wake up.
The next thing Isaiah 60:1 says we’re to do is to shine. This has nothing to do with our shoes.
This is about coming out of our comfortable Christianity that’s making us comatose.
What might you and I do today, and all this next week, to arise and shine rather than be zombies for Christ?
Changed wallets recently, had to move stuff from my old one into the new.
Some of the stuff I’d been carrying around amazed me. Easy to get rid of.
Sliding my driver’s license under the clear plastic cover, I again noticed its picture. Best I’ve ever had.
It’s the only ID card I carry.
When asked for identification, it’s what I show to tell who I am.
Jesus didn’t have a driver’s license, but He had ID.
Jesus tells us in seven different ways who He is, and they’re all in The Gospel According to St. John. Over the next several Tuesdays, let’s look at the pictures He shows us of Himself.
Meanwhile, next time you’re grabbing for your wallet, join me in remembering His most serious question: Who do you say that I am? (Mark 8:29)
Earlier today I was trying to change something I’d written when this suddenly popped up among my editing options:
Save Joe Scheets
Uhm, thank you for the offer, but I already am. By the grace of God. In Christ.
Save Joe Scheets flashed me back to days gone by in a certain place and time. People would stop me on the sidewalk and tell me they were praying for my salvation. I would thank them, and then say — but they would interrupt me with things like “and so are all the people in my Bible Study.”
Me, confused: “All the people in your Bible Study are what?”
“Praying for your salvation.”
I ‘d explain that I already was saved, and in fact was in school to become a pastor.
“Yes, we know. And that’s why we’re all praying for your salvation.”
And the conversations continued in circles.
I’d forgotten all of that until Save Joe Scheets appeared on my screen.
All I can say now is, Lord, protect me from presumption. Amen.
From a friend in a place where they’re not buried in snow today —
On my first day of being in Kuwait, I was on the bus in the middle of no where. I observed an abandoned brand new corvette on the side of the road. and a few miles down, a dead camel. I don’t know.
First, please keep my friend and the others in similar situations in your prayers.
Second, Luke 10:25-37 tells a story worth a revisit from you and me today.
We’re not where my friend was, but do we really see what we observe right where we are?
Today, what do you see?
Whom do you see today?
But the biggest question is this: and so?
Sometimes some things just need to be shared, straight up and undiluted. Here’s one now:
“It’s not fitness.” That’s how the tag line in ads for a national gym chain starts.
The rest of it: “It’s life.”
There’s an old line about Christianity not being a religion but a relationship.
The One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and I am life itself” (John 14:6) demonstrated and still teaches us that it’s not religion — it’s life.
Let’s help each other remember: It’s not religion — it’s life.
He said it’s okay to name him, so Thank You to my friend Howard Bell for this great line of Lumiere’s in Beauty and the Beast:
“Life is so unnerving for a servant who’s not serving.”
Somehow that cued up one of my favorite Carolyn Arends songs:
One thing I’ve noticed wherever I wander
Everyone’s got a dream he can follow or squander
You can do what you will with the days you are given
I’m trying to spend mine on the business of living
So I’m singing my songs off any old stage
You can laugh if you want, I’ll still say
“Seize the day, seize whatever you can
Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day, pray for grace from God’s hand
Then nothing will stand in your way, seize the day”
What’s your real purpose, and how are you fulfilling it today?