John 8:12. “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” When the sun sets and night comes, many people turn on the lights. When my wife and I leave home in the evening, she will say, “Let’s leave on a couple of lights to welcome … Continue reading The Light By Which We See
Psalm 78:1. “Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” Several years ago, I spent a summer participating in a pastoral care internship. As the summer progressed, I realized I was really doing an internship on learning to listen. I came to understand that listening is essential for good pastoral care, but it is also essential to having … Continue reading Ears Are a Gateway to the Heart
Luke 2:49. “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Why are you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’” Growing up isn’t limited to children or a particular age group. Regardless of age, we are all in the process of growing up, and that is hard work. Ultimately, growing up is about running away to our Father’s house. Sometimes growing … Continue reading Growing Up
John 4:11. “The woman said to [Jesus], ‘Sir, you have no bucket and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?’” The Samaritan woman’s question about living water is not just a question; it is also a confession. She doesn’t have “living water” and doesn’t know where to get it. I know this woman, and I understand her. Maybe you do too. … Continue reading Where Do You Get That Living Water?
Psalm 23:1. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.” I have a pretty long wish list. I have places I want to go. I have things I want to do. I have dreams I want to come true. I have visions of who I want to be. I want. I suspect we all have wants. The issue isn’t whether we have … Continue reading The Things I Want
Romans 2:29. “Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart— it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.” One of the things I am learning about myself is that when I literalize the scriptures, theology, or my own life experiences I am (more often than … Continue reading Inside Out Living
Romans 2:13. “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” There is more to doing the law than simply following the rules. When I think of following the rules, I think about being compliant, meeting the minimum requirements established by an authority. I don’t think that is what … Continue reading Doing the Law
John 5:8. “Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’” I sometimes need to get up and get going. At times, I have put my life on hold. I’ve pushed the pause button. I’ve filed my life in a folder labeled “Action Pending.” These moments mostly happen when I’m waiting for something or someone to change. In those times, I’m as blind, … Continue reading Getting Unstuck
Psalm 62:1. “For God alone my soul in silence waits; from him comes my salvation.” One Sunday, years ago, I knelt to pray before the liturgy began, as was my usual practice. I always had something to tell or ask God. This day, however, was different. I had no words. It wasn’t that I had nothing to say—I simply lacked words capable of expressing what … Continue reading Prayer Begins When the Words End
John 4:42. “[The Samaritans] said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.’” There’s a difference between listening to someone describe a sunset and seeing the colors for yourself, between reading glowing reviews for a great restaurant and eating a … Continue reading Secondhand Faith or Firsthand Experience?