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Recognizing Him

salmonbread

Do we recognize Jesus in our day to day walk through life?  I know that I usually don’t.  I’ve really been reflecting on that thought for the past week in reading about Jesus’ resurrection and those he encountered after he arose.  He met the men on the road to Emmaus and asked them what they were talking about.  They couldn’t believe that he hadn’t heard what happened to Jesus.  They suspected that he was new in town.  I think Jesus enjoyed being a little rascally in this situation.  He asks them what things happened.  They tell about Jesus being a prophet and being crucified three days ago.  They tell him the rumors they heard about the tomb being empty.  Jesus shares with them the scriptures and what the prophets had said in the Old Testament.  They listen to Jesus share and begin to approach the village.  Jesus continues on ahead like he’s going past the village and the men immediately invite him to stay with them because it’s getting late.  Jesus accepts their invitation. When it was time to eat, Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, breaks the bread and hands it to the men.  The men suddenly have an aha moment and then Jesus disappears.  Can you imagine, not recognizing Jesus for that length of time and then when you finally do, He’s gone?  But, they can’t keep this discovery to themselves.  They return back to Jerusalem immediately to find the eleven disciples that were gathered together to tell who they saw.

The disciples are discussing the possibility of Jesus being alive when suddenly he shows up.  They are startled, but Jesus tries to calm them down and says, “I’m real, touch my scars.  Does a ghost have flesh and bones as I do?”  After they see that he is real, he asks them for food.  They give him some fish and he ate it in front of them.  He then explains to them how He fulfilled the scriptures through his death and resurrection.  Their minds are opened and they begin to understand.  He tells them that they are his witnesses and they will spread the good news when the time arrives.  He speaks of a helper that would give them power and that they would have to wait on that before they could spread the gospel.

The last passage I looked at was when the disciples are fishing in John 21.  They aren’t catching anything; their day isn’t going so well.  Someone from the shore gives them advice to cast their net on the other side, they follow his advice and they caught more than they could haul. Suddenly, one of the disciples realizes who it is and tells Peter, “It’s our Lord!” Peter gets excited and jumps off the boat, swims toward the shore and to Jesus.  The other disciples bring the boat to shore and go to Jesus.  Jesus is cooking fish and bread for them.  He tells them to bring some of the fresh meat they just caught to add to the breakfast.  After they eat, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him more than the others.  Peter says, “Yes, you know that I do.”  Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.”  And then asks again, “Do you really love me?”    Peter says, “Yes, I do, you know I do.”  Jesus replies “Take care of my sheep.”  Jesus asks a third time, “Do you love me?”  Peter’s feelings are a little hurt from the repetitive questioning, he says “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus tells him again to feed his sheep and to follow him.

So, the few things that I noticed that were constant in each of these passages are that Jesus wasn’t recognized immediately.  The men traveling alongside him didn’t realize who he was until he broke bread with them.  It was in that intimate setting where they wound down after a day of traveling that they realized who he was.  I find myself realizing that I’ve had instances in my life where Jesus has walked alongside me on some long roads where I didn’t recognize Him until after that journey was over.  The disciples that were gathered together didn’t understand how it could be Jesus there with them.  They saw him crucified, they saw him die and yet he appeared to them.  They were afraid, but Jesus explained to them why it happened and they had their aha moment with scripture coming alive to them.  There are times in my life when I don’t recognize Jesus. I question him and doubt, but then I find him revealed once again to me in scripture.  Lastly the disciples were working; they were busy and didn’t recognize Jesus at the shoreline.  They were frustrated with the way their day was going, not catching any fish.  They heard advice from the shore and listened to it, not realizing who was saying it until they obeyed.  Suddenly their bad day changed and they caught a ton of fish and they recognized the source…..Jesus.  I can absolutely attest to this happening a lot in my life.  I have days where I’m frustrated at work because nothing is coming in, I’m grumpy, I’m worried, but then I’ll hear a voice that either instructs or reminds me that He’s there with me.  The tide changes, something comes in and I’m reminded that Jesus will supply my need.

The next thing that ties all three of these passages together is food.  With the travelers, Jesus is invited for dinner.  When he shows up to the disciples, he asks for food and when he’s on the shore, he cooks and serves food to the disciples.  I love to eat and I’m glad Jesus does too!  We need food to live, to sustain us, to fill us up.  Jesus is the bread of life.  Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6: 32-35.  I need Jesus to truly life to the fullest, he sustains me and he fills me up, he satisfies me better than a snickers bar! And, I love snickers!  But, Jesus is truly the only one who can satisfy this hunger within me.

The last theme in these passages is to share who Jesus is with others.  The travelers immediately went to tell the other disciples when they figured out they had spent the day with Jesus.  The disciples were told that they were Jesus witnesses and that they were to tell others about Him once the Holy Spirit gave them power to do so.  The disciples, especially Peter were asked to feed His sheep.  We are supposed to share Jesus with others.  I honestly don’t do it enough. So, that makes me question myself….do I really love him?  Am I more concerned with what others think, whether I will offend them, instead of being concerned about where they are spiritually?  Yes, often times I am.  Other times, I know that I allow myself to be so busy with life that others I pass are just a blur to me.  I have recognized that I miss Jesus a lot and so I am reminded to look for Him, to spend time with Him, to be directed by him and to share him with others around me.

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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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An Empty Vessel

Her heart was hollow and she stood unyielding to anyone that tried to reach out to her.

She was used to the insults flung at her by those who were supposed to love her.

She didn’t trust what people called love.

She heard their artificial claims and witnessed their cold shoulders.

 

Yet, she crossed my path.

I want to show her the love that My Father showed me.

So, I take the time to

Chisel….tap….stand back

Wait.

Pray.

Smile at her with an honest grin

And with eyes that hope,

With eyes that felt like she does….once upon a time.

Until, God shook me and showered me with love that wasn’t deserved,

A pure love, a real love.

I’m waiting for that cloudburst to drizzle upon her face

And fill that heart to capacity.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Poetry, Writing

 

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Danger in disguise

snake

Dreams always intrigue me.  Sometimes they are just nonsense, but other times I think they have hidden meanings.  For the most part, I don’t remember dreams, but occasionally a dream will stand out, wake me up and make me think about what it meant.  Early this morning I awoke from a dream.  It bothered me and I told my husband about it.  I didn’t understand the meaning of it, but while I was at church, I felt like God revealed to me what it meant. 

I was out walking with my son; the sun was shining and bright.  We started walking by a rocky hillside.  He started veering off the path and walked clumsily on the rocky bankI told him to come back on the path and stay off the hillside.  He ignored me and started going further up the bank.  I was getting aggravated with him and started to tell him to get back down when I noticed something camouflaged and moving.  I quickly asked him to come down the bank that there was something up there.  I suddenly noticed what it was and yelled, “It’s a snake, come back down slowly away from it.”  Instead he walked further up the bank and the snake slithered toward him.  I yelled back, “Get away now.”  Instead of running, he turned around picked up the snake by the head, like he was a pro.  The snakes’ mouth opened wide and he struggled holding the snake, it was long and stronger than he thought.  In the struggle, his hand loosened enough where the snake struck and bit him on the forehead.  He dropped the snake and it slithered away as I ran and grabbed him.  My son is twelve years old, once the snake bit him and I ran to him he transformed to about the age of six.  I picked him up and carried him to a bench; I cradled him in my arms and evaluated the bite.  I was starting to panic when someone came to me with a book.  It was a picture book of snakes.  They asked me to point out what the snake looked like.  I opened the book and immediately saw the snake I thought it was.  I pointed to it and said this one.  It was a non-venomous snake.   The person shook their head and said, “No, it wasn’t that.  It was a rattlesnake.  There are slight differences.”  Meanwhile, I look at my son and he’s very pale and shaking.  The person who showed me the book said, “I’m a doctor.  Keep him calm.  I’m going to go get the anti-venom.”  I drew my son close to my chest cried and told him that I loved him and not to worry the doctor was getting medicine for him.”  Then I woke up.

 

What God told me later about this dream is that sometimes when we are teaching someone and trying to keep them on the path that God wants them to be on they may stumble.  You try and encourage them to get back on the path and they decide not to take your advice.  Then you see them about to get hurt, while they don’t even notice that danger is at their heel.  You warn them but they decide to take matters into their own hands.  When this happens they get hurt.  How you react to it determines what will happen with them.  If they are hurt and have done something stupid, you can yell at them and tell them that it was dumb for them to do that or you can pick them up and dress their wounds.  When you start looking at the wounds, you can see how much damage is done.  The person that came in with the book and asked you to point out the snake was a doctor.  You thought you knew exactly which snake it was or what the cause is to their wound.  But, the doctor corrects you and shows you its more serious than you think.  He asks you to take care of him while he gets the medicine.  The doctor is God, the only true healer.  My job was to keep him calm and love on him while God got the antidote. 

In the dream, I was getting upset because my son wasn’t listening.  When he got hurt, I could’ve kept kicking him while he was down by hurling harsh words at him but instead because I loved him greatly, I pulled him away from the situation and loved him.  I am a youth leader, so this spoke to me a lot.  I can deal with kids two different ways when they mess up.  How I deal with them can determine whether I get them to the doctor in enough time to be healed.  The bottom line is to show grace and love, it’s the quickest way for them to see the great physician. 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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