• People Past

    ‌Read: Psalm 25; Isaiah 25:6-9; Philippians 3:20-21; John 6:37-40

    ‌‌🔎 Focus

    ‌“This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the and believe in him may have , and I will raise them up on the last day.”

    John 6:40 (NRSVue)

    Those who have died, that have been a direct part of our lives, they still live. Our hearts and memories hold them close (or far). Their good and bad helped shape us, for good and bad.

    ‌‌✟ Devotion

    Today is All Souls Day. The day that is also termed as the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. However, even those who do not believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior have had an impact on those of us who do so believe. It might be a stretch to want to take a church and expand it, but the truth is that many of us have that person who is gone, who we miss.

    ‌They may have not been a believer. They may have been baptized as infants or children, but were either not raised in the , or lapsed. Depending, of course, on one’s tradition/theology, that baptism may or may not seal them to Christ. Ultimately, it isn’t up to us.

    ‌This is a little personal, I suppose. My stepfather died a number of years ago (my mom has since remarried to a good man). I realized all the conversations we didn’t have, and they are a source of regret. I learning that my stepfather had been baptized as a child. That was news to me. I learned it as he was being lowered into his grave.

    ‌Then I looked at his library. He was an avid reader. He read far more broadly than I ever have. What shocked me was the books about the Bible and religion. As an English teacher, they shouldn’t have surprised me. They were read. They had not been ignored or put on a shelf and forgotten (like many of my books), though they may have not been read in quite some time. Who knows where is really was with Christ? I could assume. I do hope.

    ‌Did my stepfather and I have issues? Of course! Yet, he still formed me. It is not unreasonable to grieve that he is gone. He was long part of my life. There is a hole where he was. My mom, dad, stepmom have their own places in my life, so this is not exclusionary, which is also important. No person can ever take the place of another.

    ‌Another can help you heal from the damage of bad history (including abuse), but they cannot replace someone else.

    ‌Perhaps today ought to be the day we in our calendar to remember, mourn, celebrate, reflect, upon the lives of and how they touched us. If you’re reading this, you are likely a believer in Jesus Christ. As such, we who believe also call Jesus the Redeemer. We can take solace, hope, and joy in that. Jesus can redeem both the joys and pains in regard to those who have touched our lives.

    ‌May it be so.

    ‌🤔 Reflection

    ‌Which deceased person has affected your walk with Christ (for good or bad)? How did they affect your walk? How do you imagine their life through the eyes of Jesus?

    ‌‌⏏️ Act

    another person who the most impactful deceased person has been in their life, and share yours. As you talk together, where can you see the redemptive power of Jesus?

    ‌🙏 Prayer

    ‌God, you have place people in our lives to help guide us into your ways. Some of them have been undisguised blessings, some are so through the redemptive power of your Son. Holy Spirit, guide our hearts and thoughts to see the power and influence of others in our lives. Amen.

  • Walking With Saints

    Walking With Saints

    Read: Psalm 34:1–10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Revelation 7:9-17; Matthew 5:1-12 ‌🔎 Focus ‌After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.…

  • Greater or Lesser Than Evils

    Greater or Lesser Than Evils

    Read: Psalm 119:41–48, Deuteronomy 10:10–22, James 2:14–26 ‌🔎 Focus ‌No one ever accomplishes good by means of evil, because they are themselves conquered by the evil. On the contrary, evil is corrected by good. St. Barsanuphius the Great You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. James 2:19 (NRSVue)…

  • Happiness and Joy…or Not

    Happiness and Joy…or Not

    Psalm 44; Isaiah 22:8b–14; James 4:4–10 ‌‌🔎 Focus ‌Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? James 4:4 NRSVue ‌…you did not look at the One who did it, nor did you see the One who planned it… Isaiah 22:11 NRSVue We don’t like pain or suffering. We often do…

  • Successfully Unsuccessful

    Successfully Unsuccessful

    Psalm 144; Song of Solomon 8:5–14; John 11:45–57 ISV ‌⁜Focus⁜ A great deal of water cannot extinguish love,rivers cannot put it out.If a man were to give all the wealth of his house for love,he would surely be viewed with contempt. Song of Solomon 8:7 ISV “…You don’t realize that it is better for you…