April 23, 2015
“Oh come on, the Sabbath’s my day off. Tell them to come back tomorrow.”
“Don’t overdo it. Forgive once or twice, and then nail them.”
“Did you see the way that Pharisee looked at me? And when he leaned over to the scribe next to him I was outta there.”
“There were only five and I was hungry too. What am I supposed to do? Share?”
“Hey guys, take your swords and hold off Judas and his gang while I sneak out the back gate and get away.”
“Look, I’m happy to come and heal your son. Don’t get me wrong. But does it have to be right now?”
“That man at the pool was extremely ungrateful. It just wasn’t worth my time.”
“People, stop crowding me. I am too busy and important for you to be this close.”
“Sure, I can jump from this pinnacle. There’re angels down there to catch me, right?”
“I’m not going to leave these ninety-nine sheep just to go find one careless one that wandered off.”
Anybody who knows the teachings of Christ Jesus knows that he would never say any of these things. His words, and especially his works, were intended to bless and heal. And they did, in countless ways. Even today, they still do.
Here are some things he actually said:
- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)
- Love one another. (John 13:35)
- I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
- Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20)
- Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (Mark 2:11)
The Christly power behind Jesus’ words and works is still active today. And if we catch ourselves being unkind in word or deed, or thinking only of our own needs and not more inclusively of others, we can simply turn to his example. Every effort to bless others blesses us too. And that’s a good thing.
Ask yourself: what would Jesus say? You can say it too, and mean it! (John 14:12)
April 13, 2015
Sometimes it feels that way, doesn’t it. You’ve given it your best shot, for as long as you felt you could, and things are just the same. Or maybe worse. You have an idea about how things should be. But no way to bring it about. You’ve run out of options. If you just had a little help, you might pull it off. Sometimes you just wonder what’s the use?
The Bible is filled with the stories of those who struggled against the odds: Joseph, Moses, Elijah, David, Jeremiah in the old testament, and Jesus, Peter, and Paul in the new testament – just to name a few. Other people, circumstances, their own behavior threatened to bring their careers and in some instances, their lives, to an end. And they certainly felt the burden and peril of their situations. Elijah even opted for suicide.
But God had other plans. In each case, a way forward was made plain. And a new sense of life replaced the old.
Jesus told his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) In other words, “if you want to live your life according to my teachings, and to do the works that I do, no matter how hard it seems, keep doing what needs to be done. This is what it means to follow me.” His own example of sticking with it changed the world. It not only transformed him, it transformed us too.
Mary Baker Eddy knew a great deal about the misery of failure as well as constant unwarranted attacks thwarting her every move. Yet, she humbly and persistently followed her Master, Christ Jesus, listening for and obeying the word of God at every step. As a result, she proved that the teachings of Jesus are as viable and useful today as they were 2000 years ago. And she clearly explained them for us to practice and prove as well.
Referring to the promise of salvation found in the Bible book of Revelation, she so tenderly wrote, “Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in some way. There will be no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away. When you read this, remember Jesus’ words, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility.” (Science and Health p. 573)
What a sweet promise, contradicting the futility engendered by “what difference does it make?”
You can take up your cross, you can keep moving onward. Just one more time. For God is with you, guaranteeing your success. Yes, take heart…