Monday, March 15th, 2021
— John 4:46-50 —
“He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. And there was a royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum; hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son, as he was at the point of death. Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and portents you will not believe!’ ‘Sir,’ answered the official, ‘come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go home,’ said Jesus, ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and went on his way home.”
Painting: Healing the royal official’s son by Joseph-Marie Vien, 1752.
Current location: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille; Marseille, France
Hello and welcome—
In his book, Henri Nouwen talks about, “the descending way of Jesus” and “the descending love of God.” I have spent time visualizing these two phrases and want to share my thoughts about them from my limited perspective.
The Descending Way of Jesus
Jesus, being fully divine became fully human. He was born to a virgin and was raised by his parents, Mary & Joseph. Jesus experience life just as natural as you and I. Jesus knew the highs and lows of pain and joy. He loved us so much, he became human, to be present with humanity and to give us eternal life.
The Descending Love of God
God loved his creation so much he gave his one and only son for the redemption of all humanity. God gave us Jesus so we can learn from him because Jesus lived and died a human, experiencing all the emotions that it entails, Jesus being fully human and fully divine defeated death. God is our God, the God of the living.(1).
➡️ firm belief in something for which there is no proof
➡️ complete trust
➡️ without question
➡️ belief and trust in and loyalty to God
Our anchor verse today we read about faith, the faith of a father for the healing of his son. Faith is not just something to simple shrug off as, “I don’t understand this” so I’ll believe it for now. To me, that sounds more like making a “wish” and crossing your fingers in hopes it is true. Or possibly waging a bet in hopes things work out in my favor. Faith can include, “I don’t understand” but in my humble opinion it’s so much more. Nouwen explains faith this way, “when Jesus talks about faith, he means first of all to trust unreservedly that we are loved, so that we can abandon every false way of obtaining love.”(2). The Bible tells us very clearly that God loved us first in, 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” (NRSVA). The Bible goes on to tell us that we cannot save ourselves; “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSVA). As I shared a few days ago, my moment of conversion was an action of faith, I did not fully understand ever aspect of what it meant to be a Christian; but I did see the positivity in the lives of my friends and their families. I wanted what they had! Accepting Jesus as your Savior is not about a life of ease, without pain or hardship but it is filled with peace, love and understanding deep within your soul. I would not lie to you, life has struggles some are of our own making, others are learning curves. God never wants us to suffer, he feels our pains and will be with us every step of our journeys. It’s never easy to admit when we make mistakes or to ask for forgiveness, but it is good for the soul. I have been doing my share of asking for forgiveness this week, and I’ve learned you’re never too old to learn new ways of seeing the world. Some days I’m a half full glass kind of girl and others, half empty. And some days, I can’t even find the glass! It’s about perspective to include which side of the street you’re standing. I am a firm believer in learning and growing and I have to say, I might be having a growth spurt. I am reminded that I have been forgiven by God for a multitude of offenses and I too must forgive others as well as myself and to preserve. Ephesians 4:32, “Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.”
In the divine womb of God, life is always born again. . . . The truly good news is that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle.(3).
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”
— Robert Muller
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Speak Kindness – Day 23
Refrain from gossip and other unkind words. Only speak what is positive today. Bonus: add a quarter to a giving jar if you say something negative.
✝️ Prayer ✝️
INTEGRITY and generosity are marks of Yahweh
for he brings sinners back to the path.
JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble,
instructing the poor in his way.
ADORATION I offer, Yahweh,
to you, my God.
— Psalm 25:8, 9, 10
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 84, paragraph 1.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 84, paragraph 1.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 84-85, paragraph 2, 1 respectively.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation