Look hard at Jesus, especially as he goes to his death, and you will discover more about God than you could ever have guessed from studying the infinite shining heavens or the moral law within your own conscience.
You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship……When you gaze in love and gratitude at the God in whose image you were made, you do indeed grow. You discover more of what it means to be fully alive.
N.T. Wright Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.
I had an opportunity to pray with my neighbor for her migraine. I simply laid my hand on her brow and smiled. I prayed inside, asking the God of comfort to come and give her a sound mind. I breathed in and out slowly, and she started to do the same. Her bleary eyes started to clear and she actually appeared to gain her vision. I kept my hand on her head while our collective children ran about the yard laughing and shouting.
A holy moment in ordinary life. A moment on the porch when we just need each other. A place where our children are present but not in the way and we can care for each other in a place of deep pain. Simple. Healing. Touch.
Condemning religious spirits come to me in droves during these simple acts of mercy. They try to convince me that I should be doing something more pious to let her know that I am a Christian and she should really come to church with me on Sunday. But another part of me trusts that the Holy Spirit is moving through my hands and into the deepest places of my neighbor’s need.
In the week proceeding Jesus’ death, the week on the church calendar that we observe right now, Jesus was all about the business of healing people. He was in the temple doing things that made religious people really really mad. He turned over the tables of merchants who had turned the temple into a place that it was never meant to be. He let children shout and make loud noises. He talked about His authority to do exactly what He was doing. And people couldn’t stop Him.
We know the end of the story. Death couldn’t stop God’s love reaching out to humanity through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So in our ordinary lives, as ordinary followers of Jesus, how are we joining in His unstoppable ministry? Where are the places where we feel shut out by religious rules that Jesus has already overturned? Where do we see the Kingdom coming through simple acts of justice, grace, and hope?Holy Holy Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was and is and is to come.