Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Monday, July 6

Today’s Readings: Psalm 147; 1 Samuel 25:1-22; Mark 1:21-34; Ephesians 1:11-15; Psalm 103

It’s easy to read some of the Gospel passages as if they were amazing travel logs or itineraries – as if Jesus awoke each day with a predetermined array of things to do and simply proceeded through his day according to that list. Teach in the meeting place. Check. Heal Peter’s ailing mother-in-law. Check. That would be one way of approaching the sacred stories. I take a different approach toward understanding how Jesus lived out his days. I tend to think that one of Jesus’ many gifts was his ability to be completely present in the moment and simply let the events unfold. For instance, at the start of today’s Gospel reading I believe that Jesus desperately wanted to be present at the meeting place on the Sabbath as a part of his spiritual life. That was his goal. The teaching that ensued simply happened because folks gathered there acknowledged the wisdom that was present in Jesus. Same thing with the events that followed at Peter’s home. I don’t believe Jesus went with Peter to his home so that he could perform an act of healing upon Peter’s mother-in-law. Rather, I believe Jesus simply went to be with friends and – once there – was presented with an opportunity to effect healing for a loved one. In other words, I believe Jesus practiced what some call a ministry of presence: a ministry where he was fully present wherever and whenever he was. That is a rare gift. As individuals who proclaim ourselves to be followers of Jesus, I believe we are called to follow Jesus’ example and establish our own ministries of presence as well. Perhaps you have a challenge with that. When you’re driving to work, for instance, you might habitually find yourself thinking about the things you have to do that day. While you’re at work, you’re thinking about what you’ll have for dinner tonight. While you are eating dinner, you are thinking about the laundry you need to do before bed… The temptations to live in the future – and not the present – are endless. Today, I would invite you to follow Jesus’ example and actually live in the moment. Who knows what sort of effect this might have on you and on others. Til next time…

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