Whiter Than Snow

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:  through your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; thought they are red like crimson, they shall be come like wool.”

Dingy streets filled with the dirt and clutter of life

They are worn and weary from the comings and goings of life

The noise of life overpowers the screams of our souls

Then a single pure flake captures our attention

Almost impossible to focus on

But hard to ignore

Then…just as the first appeared

A rush of snowflakes falling into the dingy intersections of our lives

Blanketing the worn and weary comings and goings of our lives

The screams of our souls are heard and honored

By the dizzying snowflakes clapping silently together as the fall

Their presence, not their sound drowns out the noise that fills our lives

Changing the landscape to something almost unrecognizable to its former self

No longer dingy, worn, weary

Beautiful, pure, gleaming

Reflecting the light of the sun

The Voices

The Voices-Luke 19:28-44

The turn toward Jerusalem is a shift in the story of Jesus.  He asks two men to go ahead into the next town and get the colt and if anyone asks why, tell them the Lord has need of it.  The amazing thing is they went.  Would you or I trust the word of Jesus to act on it in practical ways, even if we didn’t think it made practical sense?

People were traveling in front and behind Jesus and others who were in Jerusalem that heard that Jesus was coming went out to praise him.  What does it mean to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah?  What expectations did they have of Jesus?  What expectations did the Pharisees have?  What expectations do we have?

For the people, most likely that he would deliver them as a people and restore the nation.  For the Pharisees, that if Jesus were a good teacher he would rebuke the disciples perceived heresy.

What about you?  What do you expect from Jesus?  If your expectations are not met how does that challenge or change our faith?

Jesus’ response to the demands of the Pharisees is simple, confrontational, and also haunting in foreshadowing the days ahead.  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

The Pharisees insist that Jesus correct the crowd to fit their limited view of the work God was trying to do.  If Jesus does this he condemns the crowds as if their words were untrue, even if their own understanding of what they were saying was limited too.  Jesus then must listen fully to the word of his Heavenly Father and follow His will.

He must through the criticism and cheers listen to the one true voice.  Crowds can be a funny bunch by their very nature they are a “following” or “joining in” bunch.  Too often crowds can be moved very quickly changed.

Do we celebrate and glorify Jesus out of our own expectations?

Peace, like most things in life, including praise, should not be circumstantial.  Peace based completely on circumstance will always lead to unrest.  Likewise praise based on circumstance, is not the praise of worthiness of God but upon the favor we hope to garner.  Jesus weeps saying the city will be destroyed because they didn’t know or respond to the visitation of the prince of peace.

Don’t let the crowd control your character, let Christ.  For Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever and crowds quickly change.  Those who offer hallow praise for high expectations may soon grow silent or bitter.  Listen to the voice of Christ.

Fall From Grace?

How far then is a fall from grace?

It may be impossible to measure, if measurable at all,

What do we do to earn grace?

If it is earned then it is not grace

Grace by its very definition is unmerited favor.

The great sorrow in a fall from grace is that it shatters

It shatters that picture perfect way that we see ourselves

In that moment the greatest pain, is the reality that we are not as we thought ourselves to be.

In those moments it is not grace that has failed us, but our flawed image of self.

It is grace that sustains us, gives us permission to see ourselves and others as God see us…fallen…already

The beauty then in this broken image of ourselves is in grace, we are given then image of one who is beautiful.

We have never fallen from grace, but perhaps have fallen from our pedestals to the grace that gives life.

It is in grace that we truly see and understand our humanity and need.

It is in grace that we find who God is.