Zechariah / 12:10-11; 13:1
- Armageddon. The Apocalypse. The Revelation of John. Everything has a beginning and an end – as too, all of us and the world we live in will pass. Hadadrimmon is a place in the valley of Megiddo (a part of the plain of Esdraelon, six miles from Mount Carmel and eleven from Nazareth), where a national lamentation was held for the death of King Josiah. It was named after two Syrian idols. The mass shootings in Orlando are a painful reminder to us all that this world is a broken place where satan is allowed to folly. Rather than focus on the storm of this past week (and the related mourning and grieving), let us focus on the sunrise (and love) that always follows the storm. The love that people showed in Florida, the U.S., and the World has been overwhelming; far outweighing the evil acts of a crazed individual with a “debased” mind as in Romans 1:28. When are we judging others in lieu of the judgement reserved for only God? Are our thoughts really that different from the people who “act” on those thoughts? Aren’t we all “broken” to some degree needing God’s grace and mercy?
Psalms / 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. R. Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. R. Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. R. You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. R.
- I love Summer. It reminds me of kickball, baseball, swimming all day in the pool, kick the can, and anything we could get our hands on to do. We squeezed as much into a day as humanly possible when we were Kids. And, I remember “thirst”. Not a little thirst, but a thirst “like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water”. A thirst so intense that you wouldn’t blink twice at the chance to get 10 seconds of garden hose juice while your buddies were waiting in line behind you for their turn (and yelling at you to hurry up). Kool-Aid was the drug of the day – we’d go through tubs of that like we were living in a crack house of sugar. You remember that thirst, don’t you? That is the thirst that God has for us and that we have for Him. Guttural, Eternal thirst. Where do we thirst for God today? How does He quench our thirst and do we quench His?
Galatians / 3:26-29
Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s children, heirs according to the promise.
- If we are all children of God and heirs to His promise, what right do we have to judge others? While we may judge a sin to be “bad”, we are not to judge the sinner – EVER! That is hard to do. It’s hard to not judge the schmuck (notice my judgement?) that stole my credit card number and bought 2 turbo-chargers for $2,800 in south Georgia. But, you know what? I’m not supposed to. He stole and that’s the sin. I’m always amazed at how quick I am to judge others when I’m having all kinds of thoughts throughout the day about other people. Matthew 5:27-29 will really make us think about how we are sinning even when we’re not walking into a crowded venue hell-bent on killing others. We were made to love, not to kill (1 John 4:11-12). How do we sin less than others? How can we find the balance between judging the sin and loving the sinner?
John / 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. R.
- A voice of one calling in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3). Let me hear your voice (Solomon 2:14). A still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). There will be one flock and one Shepherd (John 10:4,14,16). There is no denying it – God speaks to His people and amazingly enough God granted His grace and mercy to the Gentiles (us) and we are now part of His flock. God spoke to Jesus, Moses, Isaiah, John/the Apostles, Job, Noah, Abraham, and on and on and on. So, why do we think that he doesn’t speak to us? Why are we not actively listening to Him? What stops us from opening up our hearts to His wisdom and understanding?
Luke / 9:18-24
- Back in college, I took Calculus 1 – 4 as an Engineering student. I remember the Professors regularly showing us some ultra-archaic way of finding the mathematical solution to a problem. Eventually, after showing us the theory behind the mysterious problem and solution, they would show us a short-cut on how to get there quicker and easier. I would think, “why didn’t you just show us that the 1st time”? In this same way, you might ask yourself, “why does Jesus go away to pray to God; isn’t He part of the Holy Trinity and already part of God? Doesn’t God already know what He’s thinking”? Just like my Dad showing me how to swing a hammer straight versus just shooting 2×4’s with a nail gun, Jesus showed us all how to pray and set the example. As Fathers, we are called by God to set the example. We are the 1st line of defense in our Families. If we watch a rated R movie with our Son, it impacts both him and a younger Daughter. If we allow our Son’s girlfriend to come to our cabin and sleep-over, it sends various messages to our entire Family, as well as the young woman’s Family. Conversely, if we show an example of love to someone who is full of venom and anger, it also impacts those around us. What is stopping us as Men as Christ from standing up for what we believe in? What stops us from being men of honor; or Knights of Christ; or Saints? Why not start acting the way Jesus taught us to act right now?