Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday January 14, 2013

Today’s text

John 1:29-31

The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me." I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptize with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.'


In Jesus presence--and in the presence of the sacraments of Jesus, separation is disappears.  Sin is removed.

Sin is a power in our lives. It not so much bad or evil things that human beings do, as it is the cold distance between us and the warm heart of God.

It is the condition of not dwelling within the personal knowledge of God’s grace and blessing. Within the arc of grace, we know ourselves and our world as beloved and holy, a place where we and all things are made to glorify and praise God. All creation is a gift for sharing.

Freedom appears in Jesus presence. The heart expands, no longer confined by its ordinary anxieties.

It is like standing on a hill and taking in a broad and beautiful landscape that enlarges your vision and allows you to breathe deeply. Hills rise and fall before your eyes, and your heart reaches out to take it in.

You feel as expansive and broad as the scene before you. Freedom fills you, and you are no longer hemmed in, held down by narrow vision and expectations. The constriction of anxiety about yourself, your performance, about tomorrow or the troubles of the day fade away.

You are in a gracious place where their power wanes, and you feel joy and gratitude that is naturally shared with whomever is near.

This is what it is like when the power of sin is taken away. This is what happens in the presence of Jesus--and in the presence of the community who truly knows him.

There are people who truly know Jesus and in whose presence we know the power of Jesus taking away the power of sin in our lives, which is why we hunger for their nearness.  It is also why I am drawn to small groups that gather to pray and talk, welcoming each others joys and sorrows.

They are sacraments of Jesus, a circle of Jesus presence that takes away the sin of the world, eliminating the separation from the heavenly Father, and coaxing us to enter our humanity once more in freedom and joy.

Pr. David L. Miller

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