Discovering Light is Dark …

Wednesday 16 November 2022

What would it be like to discover,

everything we thought was light

is actually dark?

If the Holy Spirit guided us,

we might see instead of darkness everywhere

the wonders of creation.

Job 28:28

Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Luke 11:35

Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness.

Words of Grace For Today

To know what is evil and depart from it and to know that what one has considered light is actually darkness … well these are two very difficult things to imagine any human is ever capable of pulling off.

Yes, departing from a little sin here and there is something most people pull off once in a while, maybe a few times a month or so, but …

It’s an entirely different thing to leave all evil behind, to depart from it as clearly as a train departs the station or an airplane the runway, or perhaps more accurately, as a spaceship headed towards Mars on a one way mission lifts off from the launchpad never to return again …. That kind of departing from evil is seldom seen, and even more seldom actually chosen by the person departing from the ‘dark side.’

Yes, knowing what is light, and finding one’s way using it, and knowing what is darkness and not trying to navigate one’s life in it, are understandable things, but …

Discovering that what one thought of as light is actually dark, now that takes a monumental amount of self-awareness and situational awareness in God’s creation that would be completely contrary to everything one used up to that point to navigate one’s way in life. That is, well, for all humans, just impossible, unless it’s a fairy tale or fiction or a lie.

The most we can do is pray out of fear and love for God (for just fearing God helps not much) that God would help us discern Good from Evil, Light from Darkness, and God’s Will from our own flawed wills.

The light of day arrives and turns into the dark of night, the weeks turn to months and years, and joy turns to sorrow, as easily as the seasons turn and rain turns to snow and snow melts back to water,

but God’s promises are forever, as much as truth is always truth and lies always lies.

On God’s promises we place our trust and all reason we have to find joy and hope each day. So onward it is …

It’s time to head on in to another day, secured in goodness only by God’s good grace towards us.

Promises, Promises

Saturday 12 November 2022

The Reason to Hope:

Shadows Always Point to the Light!

OR Grace!

I’ll take both, thank you.

Isaiah 51:11

So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Revelation 21:4

God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.

Words of Grace For Today

To return home singing with everlasting joy and gladness through every fibre of our being, and that sorrow and sighing at the evils that can be done to innocent people shall flee away to never be seen again! Oh, what a dream! What a promise.

Likewise that God will wipe away EVERY tear, that death will be no more (though is that a good thing for creation?) so that there is no mourning or crying or pain anymore. Are these the first things?

I always thought that death was the last step in life, and grieving a loved one’s death was the last thing anyone wanted to endure again, or for the first time if one is observant of what it costs others.

Of course these are not the first things that the Revelation’s passage speaks of. The first things are all that make up this universe: God’s first things for us, beloved creatures, which also includes evil, since love requires a priori a choice to love, and then also to not love, which is a choice of evil.

That is to say this promise has a prerequisite, namely that the universe we know is no more.

I’ll hope to wait on that, meanwhile there still is death, for creation would be overrun with humans if we did not die, as if it is not already, along with all life forms that would no longer die. So death is here to stay for a while.

But already today or any day soon, I’ll take the coming home, singing with joy and happiness that will not end, putting sorrow and sighing scurrying for the far reaches of the universe far, far away in a time that is not. I suppose all displaced peoples of all times would take that, too. Those with homes they’ve never lost nor had no home for years may not quite fathom the joy this would bring us all.

It seems an impossibility for me, as for most displaced peoples, most refugees. The promise we hope for with real expectations is that we would once again be able to have a home to come home to, a secure, safe, warm/cool, and dry home, one where we have the ability to supply us and ours the essentials of life.

One might think that starts with air, water, food, clothing, shelter, meaningful work and love (giving and receiving.) Yet it actually starts with what God’s Grace supplies: faith, hope, and love. For without these a home is nothing, as many people have endured, knowingly so or completely unawares.

For now I am, as many are, graciously given faith, hope and love, so that where we land for the night and sometimes through the day is already so blessed, a home without them would be nothing to desire.

Singing and endless joy is ours already. A home would be a bonus, a good bonus, a longed for bonus, and for that we hear God’s promises and hope that one day ….

Did You Hear That Call?

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Though Our Way May Seem Dark,

Burdened With Our Pasts,

God’s Light Guides Us

Onward Each Day.

Isaiah 12:1

You will say on that day: I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me.

Matthew 9:13

Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.

Words of Grace For Today

When the cell phone rings it plays a wonderful tune, reminding me of the person who is calling. Or if it is an unknown to me caller it plays the default, rather unpleasant ringtone.

I am fortunate that I do not get angry phone calls. I get enough angry visitors who have displaced their anger and focused at me. Hard to tell what they were legitimately angry at or about, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what they are angry about that involves me. Mind you I get other visitors, too, it’s just the angry and violent ones are more memorable in the danger they could be to me. So far nothing has come of any of their anger, usually drunken or drug enhanced anger.

Getting anger directed at one by God … well that’s a whole other level of anger and a real and present danger!

Fortunately I can say, and I would hope, we all can say: I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me.

We trust in God’s Grace made clear to us by Jesus’ sacrifice and call for us to follow him. We were and still are sinners, and Jesus comes to call not the righteous but sinners.

So that certainly includes all of us.

Sinners.

Yet God-made-saints, by Grace alone.

That is enough for any day, and every day, including today.

Thanks we give to God for that,

when we hear that ring-tone (Amazing Grace) of Christ’ call.

Thanks Giving

Monday, October 10, 2022

As We Stand

Wonderfully Coloured

In God’s Glorious Light,

We Always Cast a Shadow of Sin

Behind Us.

Leviticus 22:31

Thus you shall keep my commandments and observe them: I am the Lord.

Philippians 2:14-16

Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.

Words of Grace For Today

Leviticus lays out rules upon rules before coming to this passage: Thus you shall keep my commandments … Just prior to this conclusion the offering of young animals is laid out in clear detail.

Now if these few rules were all it took to keep the Lord’s commandments, then we’d have a hope of being able to keep and observe them. They are, instead, voluminous even in scripture and interpretations fill seemingly endless volumes, often with contradictory rules and admonishments, so that keeping them is impossible.

Jesus pared the commandments down to Love the Lord your God, with all you heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself, even your enemy. And with that concise formulation it seems possible at first glance, but …

But only by denial of one’s own reality, one’s wishes, desires, yearnings, and actions taken to make it through life – only by denial of one’s own reality is it possible to think that one can keep this one commandment.

The simple truth is we fail at keeping the commandments, every last one of us. That does not mean that we ought to go about our days intentionally murmuring and arguing, or that we should remain oblivious to how our actions hurt others. We need make great efforts to help others.

We need not do all this in hope of satisfying God’s commandments. Rather we can only do this with hearts filled with gratitude in response to all God has done for us.

Obligation does not produce goodness from and in us.

Gratitude does.

Obligation seeks approval for what is already not good enough.

Gratitude seeks nothing except that other people will benefit from one’s words and actions.

We are not going to get out of life free from blemish. Trying to do so is futile and drags us down into the pit of despair, out from which we do not emerge on our own, though we all too often create a false narrative for our lives that tries to convince ourselves we are not stuck in the pit of our own sin, of our own making.

Rather gratitude accepts that we are all blemished, ourselves as much or more than others. Gratitude accepts that God alone transforms us, while we remain wretched, dreadful sinners, into saints who bring life abundant to others.

Thus, as we enjoy meals, and family, and time to relax, reflect, and give thanks (well some of us anyway, for many have none of that even this day), we remember that:

  • The value of life and of ourselves is a gift from God.
  • The joy of life is knowing to whom we owe thanks, and being able to give it.

So today we Give Thanks, as grateful people, as sinners-made-saints.