Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

At The Table With The Lord

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. -- Luke 24:30-31

This is the story of the resurrected Lord meeting two disciples as they walked from Jerusalem out to the village of Emmaus.  I believe it is about seven miles, so the three were together talking for more than an hour as they walked.  It is intriguing that the disciples, who must have been quite familiar with Jesus, even if they were not part of the innermost circle of twelve, did not immediately recognize the Lord.  Certainly, it was unexpected that it would be Him.  The same thing happened when Mary Magdalene encountered Christ by the tomb.  Jesus was, though, recognized by Peter, Thomas, and the others immediately in His appearances to them.  It may be that Jesus disguised Himself in some way or that a veil of sorts was upon the eyes and ears of the two who walked with Him.

I believe we encounter God, His angels, or His agents often -- sitting next to us on a plane or passing us on the sidewalk, perhaps striking up a casual conversation at a restaurant.  We gain wisdom and insight from those seemingly chance meetings as we travel through this world.  We may not see the hand of God or the presence of God in all life’s interactions or experiences.  Whether this is because we are failing to see or because it is God’s intention to be veiled, I don’t know.  And it may be different from time to time.

What I do know is that communion removes the veil.  When Jesus broke the bread there in the house, He could not help revealing Himself.  He is, after all, the Bread of Life, broken for you and for me.  When Paul gave instructions about the Lord’s Supper, he warned us:  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself (1 Corinthians 11:29). 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Incarnating Mercy, Love, Pity, and Peace

William Blake - "Divine Image"

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress,
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness. 
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is God our Father dear;
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is man, his child and care. 
For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face;
And Love, the human form divine;
And Peace, the human dress. 
Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine:
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace. 
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Living in Hope

Things are still busy, so I thought I might remind everyone of Emily Dickinson's little poem -- "Hope Is The Thing With Feathers":

'Hope' is the thing with feathers— 
That perches in the soul— 
And sings the tune without the words— 
And never stops—at all— 

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— 
And sore must be the storm— 
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm— 

I've heard it in the chillest land— 
And on the strangest Sea— 
Yet, never, in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb—of Me.