“When Christ is squeezed from the Body of Christ by our own priorities and agenda as a congregation or through our busyness as leaders or disciples, what is left is little more than a corpse masquerading as a church.”
“Today, patience is one of the greatest gifts we can give others.”
God fulfills his promises. We know this. But we often struggle to see how. Because the promises God makes and the promises we would like aren’t always the same. His wisdom is not ours.
“God’s strength becomes available to us when we are rooted and established in his love. In what other things are you tempted to root yourself? What in your life makes you feel secure and established?”
Today we encounter two men, Timothy and Epaphroditus, who have chosen to believe what Paul has taught them about joy. They don’t just believe it, they are putting into action the things they’ve learned. Their stories serve as perfect examples of how serving well leads to joy.
“What do you mean, that’s not my father? Those are the hands that cared for me. Those are the arms that took me up and hugged me. Those are the lips that spoke to me; the eyes that searched for me; the chest on which I fell asleep, knowing I was safe in his care. Everything I have ever known of my father was through this body. Don’t tell me that’s not him.”
“It’s less about being a radiant and holy person and more about being a radiant and holy people. And we become what we behold.”
“We are not only impoverished in love; our loves are disordered, out of alignment. We can attempt to cushion them as much as we want; only realigning misplaced joints will relieve the pain, though.”
While we can’t ignore the past – it happened – we can reframe it into a story of redemption by looking at it, by talking about it, by thinking about it through the lens of Jesus’ love and grace. We change our past by allowing it to be redeemed.
Yesterday was the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday; “gaudete” is Latin for “rejoice.” Even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals that joy and rejoicing are an inevitable overflow in the lives of people who have understood and experienced God at work in their lives.