Thursday, June 27, 2019
Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” John 21:17
We have to hear that question as being central to all of our Christian ministry because it is the question that can allow us to be, at the same time, irrelevant and truly self-confident.
Look at Jesus. The world did not pay attention to him. He was crucified and put away. His message of love was rejected by a world in search of power, efficiency, and control…
The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus?...In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God, a heart that forgives, cares, reaches out and wants to heal…
Knowing God’s heart means consistently, radically, and very concretely to announce and reveal that God is love and only love, and that every time fear, isolation, or despair begins to invade the human soul, this is not something that comes from God…
The knowledge of Jesus’ heart is a knowledge of the heart. And when we live in the world with that knowledge, we cannot do other than bring healing, reconciliation, new life, and hope wherever we go. The desire to be relevant and successful will gradually disappear, and our only desire will be to say with our whole being to our brothers and sisters of the human race, “You are loved. There is no reason to be afraid. In love God created your inmost self and knit you together in your mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13)
-Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus
Monday, June 24, 2019
Saturday, June 1, 2019
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
This is a familiar to passage to many Christians. But do we really know it? Do we believe it to the extent that we are willing to trust the promise of Jesus and wait for Him to send His Holy Spirit? If we are willing to wait, and not move until He moves, then we may have the experience of the disciples, and our pain and sorrow may turn to joy as we tell the world about Jesus (though with sufferings).
If we are not willing to wait, if we move out on our own like Moses did when he killed the Egyptian in Exodus 2, we may find ourselves waiting in the wilderness for many years. Or the way Jonah did, trying to escape to Tarshish, we may find ourselves blessed with an undersea adventure. These are God’s mercies, for He is teaching us His way, and saving us from our own way.
We need to wait, but not just for the sake of waiting. We wait for the Spirit of God. We are not called to depend on our reason or our strength or our friends or our team, but on Jesus who promises the Holy Spirit. We don’t wait in some sort of spiritual pressure-cooker, as if at some point we are “done” and able to pop out with a new gift. Neither are we waiting for the proper frame of mind, as if God’s work depends on my thoughts. It really is waiting for God’s Spirit to move.
The key to the disciples’ success was not in their abilities and strengths (Erickson). They simply followed Jesus, and obeyed his command to wait.