Daily Devotions

More than a Walking Buddy

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 "This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’" (John 1:30)


The Trinity is difficult to understand, but a glimpse of its mystery is found in this verse. "He was before me," speaks to Jesus being with God in creation. This is hard to comprehend after so many years of singing, "In the Garden." "And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am one of his own."


The Trinity can leave Jesus with a theologically split personality in our minds. On the one hand, Jesus is a sweet friend who always has time to drop everything and walk in the garden with us. On the other hand, Jesus was a divine change agent who was with the other two persons of the Trinity at the moment of the Big Bang and the creation of the universe. Uff da!


Jesus is a man of mystery, even bigger than James Bond, or cooler than Austin Powers for that matter. He gets his super-power from being part of the God-head. It isn't a split personality at all.  Jesus is in all things, just as God is in all things. This same Jesus, totally divine, alive before the creation of the universe, is the same Jesus who wants to walk in the garden with you and me. We are that blessed!


Today, thank God for the powerful love of Jesus. This Jesus, who is infinitely more than just a nice guy to take a walk with, or a powerful part of creation, or the receptacle of all divine wisdom. He is there for you and me, and every person in the entire world. The greatest aspect of Jesus' power is his love. Bask in the love of Jesus, it is more vast than the universe is long. Enjoy him!



Open Our Eyes and See

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"Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” (John 1:26b-27)


These were religious leaders who were grilling John the Baptist about his actions and intentions. Not only did they not know who John was, they were even less aware of the Messiah's presence in their midst. It isn't a stretch to claim we live in similar circumstances today. Through the Holy Spirit, God is present to us in intimate and transformative ways. Yet, so many around us choose to question and deny "the one who is coming after" John.


Where can we go to "see" the one John was preparing us for? Gee, the church, maybe? The Holy Spirit moves through the sacraments, that are not found apart from God's Church. The Messiah is found in a community gathered to honor God, and bring hope and justice to the world.


The Church is so close, yet people look everywhere else but "the body of Christ." People try finding the Messiah in nature, in crystals, in incantations, on Ouija boards, even through Scientologists' space aliens. There is something almost supernatural about humanities blindness toward the Messiah. Two thousand years ago, very few of the "chosen people" could "see" the Messiah in their midst. Today, very few choose to "see" Jesus, the Messiah.


Today, pray for the world to "see" Jesus as the Messiah. If people could "see" Jesus as the Messiah, their lives would be free and joyous. I don't mean that knowing the truth about Jesus makes life easier, but it is freeing and joyful. The freedom and joy comes in knowing God's free gift of grace. Jesus is the only one who can resurrect us and bring our lives eternal meaning. We don't even need to earn the right to be joyful. That is a message worth sharing, so all can "see" the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.



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