Just Do It – Week 2

This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.Matthew 17:5

My Dear Friends in Christ,

It’s the real thing. This advertising slogan of Coca Cola goes back to the early 1970’s, heralding Coke’s new direction that responded to “research which shows that young people seek the real, the original and the natural as an escape from phoniness.” It’s not just young people who seek authenticity, integrity and the “real thing.” We live in a world that often reduces people to a façade and God to irrelevant. As disciples, we seek more; we seek the genuine Presence and Power of God even as it is offered in humble vessels like Jesus. Like ourselves.

The Transfiguration confirms that Jesus is the “Real Thing”. The Transfiguration shows Son of God (Mt 17:5) and points to His coming in all His Father’s glory at the end of time (Mt 16:27). But it also scares the bejeebers out of Peter, James, and John. Too often we wrap God up in a packaging that limits who God is and how God works. Here God shows us what’s real, working beyond our human understanding, demonstrating the power and the glory that are His alone. But Jesus also demonstrates that this glory comes only through love and suffering, through sacrifice and service. As Jesus comes back down the mountain and the show of God’s Glory, He re-enters the lesser reality of everyday human life, the questions and confusion of his disciples, a sick child who needs healing, the suffering road that leads to Jerusalem and death.

We have to look and listen beyond the everyday realities of our own lives to climb the “mountain “and see what (or WHO) is truly Real. It is through the everyday and through you and I as sons and daughters of God.

God is always present to us, always offering a share in His Glory. But sometimes we get sidetracked as we face the challenges of our lives, the busy-ness of our days, and the urgent needs of those we love. We struggle to find the time that will allow us to “climb the mountain” and spend even a brief moment with God, to focus on what’s truly real. Take some quiet time this week, allow God to draw you up the mountain and show you what’s real. God’s the real thing. Just Do It.


Just Do It – Week 1

The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.Matthew 4:10

My Dear Friends in Christ,

It seems so clear when Jesus says it, so black and white, so perfectly logical. In real life though, this message can get lost even as we seek to do good and to be holy. Even Jesus faces the temptation to let this central ideal go, tested first with physical hunger, then by questioning God’s Presence and authority in our lives, and then finally with the enticement of riches and power. Jesus answers all temptations definitively with the reality He is God’s Son. What Jesus was by His very nature, we share by adoption.

Each one of us is a son or daughter of God, made so in baptism.

We can lose sight of the fact that we are children of a loving God Who delights in us. We can get worn down by a daily routine, challenged by suffering, and sidetracked by disaster or loss. It is not easy to keep God front and center, to remember our primary identity comes in being a child of God.

Face it. We’re busy people, often struggling to keep our heads above water. It may not seem like there’s enough time to focus on faith and on God. But nothing we do is more important even if other things may be more urgent at the moment. Yes, it will take the investment of time and effort, but this investment benefits you – not just in Heaven at the end of time but here and now. When God draws us closer, we are better, happier, stronger for ourselves and for our families.

It’s not magic. It comes in recognizing God’s Presence in our lives and how God can help us become the better person, wife, father, husband, mother, worker, sister, brother, disciple we seek to be. If we allow it, God gives us grace, forgiveness, love and guidance. But we need to be intentional to accept what God offers.

That’s what Lent is all about, an opportunity to place God front and center, being intentional in accepting all of the good things that God offers. Check the bulletin and the website and our Facebook page for the many, many opportunities in activities and opportunities for prayer and reflection. Throughout Lent we’ll be sharing a new message series, Just Do It. This is the Nike advertising slogan and serves as a catchy, easy-to-remember challenge to us, that, ultimately, we must choose to create space for God in our hearts and lives, in our schedules and calendars. It isn’t easy but, with God’s help, we can work through the temptation to give up or to be sidetracked.

Each week of Lent of Lent we’ll be using a different advertising slogan to help unpack how we can make fruitful time for God. This week we’re stealing Apple’s slogan, Think Different. We’re challenged to look beyond the immediate moment, whatever hassles we encounter, whatever struggles we face and recognize how God is present and at work in our lives, even when we’re tempted to think otherwise. It can be so difficult at times to Think Different but when we give God the time, God makes it worth our while. Just do it.