theROCK

Results filtered by “Jesus”

Brokenness

main image

In Mark 2:13-17, Jesus is calling his Apostles and welcomes the tax collector, Levi, into the group. Tax collectors were considered the dregs of humanity back in Jesus’s time. They were overwhelmingly unpopular for many reasons. However, here is Jesus calling one unto himself. The text says that Levi simply got up and followed Jesus. No question. No concern. Simply obeyed. Later in that passage, Jesus is seen at dinner at Levi’s house with the other apostles and growing number of disciples. Some scribes, who were Pharisees, imagine spies for the religion police, were watching this and commenting among themselves, for how could Jesus sit among such horrid and wretched people as tax collectors and sinners. Evidently, they are above reproach. The scribes ask themselves, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus hears this and responds, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do; I have come to call not the righteous but the sinner.” This is for sure a mic drop moment! I am fairly certain that the scribes don’t quite understand what Jesus is saying. We should, but they don’t. Jesus did not come for those who are “perfect”; He came for those who are broken. We are all broken in one way or another. Jesus came so that we may be united with Him and healed of that brokenness. We are already whole in just knowing Him, further healed by serving Him, and all consumed when loving Him. It is in our imperfection that we are made perfect. Jesus meets us right there just like He did Levi and every other poor soul at the table. It was those who already thought they were perfect that He simply couldn’t reach. I think of them as the do-gooders who are just looking for appreciation but miss the purpose of doing good, or those who can regurgitate doctrine or dogma but just can’t seem to apply it. They didn’t get it. They were unable to humble themselves.

When reading the gospel, place yourself in the story. Take a moment to read Mark 2: 13-17 and the surrounding verses. Where would you be found? Would you be at the table, in the room, in the shadows, among the scribes, out in the street? What would it sound like, smell like, feel like? If you heard this first hand, what would you be thinking? Encounter Christ here. Let him speak to you. Let your mind get carried away in the exercise. Build your relationship with Jesus.

Posted by Jill Fischer

Glory to God in the Highest

main image

“Do not be afraid; for behold I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” No, I’m not talking about a vaccine for the COVID virus, I am quoting from the gospel of Luke as to the pronouncement by the angel to the shepherds. The angel heralding the birth of Jesus. But the words are good ones to remember and live by.

The birth of Jesus is good news. It is THE good news and no matter what we are feeling, the recalling of God made one of us means that as we and the world are living through these times, so is Jesus. Knowing it was God’s choice to enter into the mess of humanity 2000 years ago, and still walks with us today, is the foundation of Advent and of joy.

It’s not too late to stop and enter into the mystery of Christmas. It’s not too late to find that joy which may have eluded you until the very moment you are reading this. Take this moment, right now, to ponder the reality of Jesus with us. What would it mean in your life and the life of your family if you lived each day, made each decision, knowing Jesus was at your side? Maybe, like the angel, you would become a herald of the Good News! Announcing the good news that God didn’t come to praise those high up, but to elevate the lowly, to bring comfort to those in sorrow, to quell fear to those distressed. God started life as a small vulnerable infant. Remember, as God cared for the Holy Family, you are cared for and protected.

This year may seem like one in which everything is askew, that nothing is what it was, and yet, on Christmas Day we celebrate a certainty. On Christmas Day, we celebrate that God loved us so much that He sent his only Son to be with us, and with that the world is changed forever. This year, we may need to draw this mystery out a little more. We may need to work harder at pondering the meaning of the birth of Jesus. We may have need to search deeper for joy, but it is there and it is waiting. It is not too late. Start with repeating, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Have a blessed Christmas season.

in Joy, Jesus

Welcome to Advent!

main image

I love the feel that Advent has. There is a joy, an energy that rivals nothing else. When we can keep Advent separate from Christmas, it makes Christmas all the better. Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation. It is a time to prepare for Jesus coming. In retrospect, it is the preparation Mary and Joseph took in awaiting his arrival. For us it is waiting for the day of Christmas. It is also the waiting for his triumphant return. It is this last point that we must always focus on – are we ready? Scripture tells us that we will not know the date nor will we know the time, but will we be ready? That is what we should be spending our time doing during Advent. That is what we should be spending every day preparing for. We should be preparing the way for the Lord every day! We are to take a renewed interest in our relationship with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit to claim the joy that is there for us always. With that in mind, I share this video with you. I hope you enjoy it as we work to get ready for Jesus this Advent.

Advent in 2 Minutes

Advent is like springtime in nature when everything is renewed, fresh, and healthy. Advent refreshes us, makes us healthy and able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us. At Christmas, he comes as a little child, small, helpless, and in need of his mother and all that a mother’s love can give. His mother’s humility enabled her to serve. If we really want God to fill us, we must empty ourselves through humility of all the selfishness within us. – Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Thirsting for God, 2000)

Posted by Jill Fischer

1234567891011