Friday, September 14, 2018
Saturday, September 15, 2018
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Hoping for heaven
Why did they follow Jesus? Why does anyone follow?
If they knew what was coming, they might have taken a pass on the whole discipleship thing. No one willingly chooses hardship or suffering. No one wants to be around when their teacher and friend is brutally executed. No one wants to live under the same threat. Unless....
Unless your heart aches for something more exquisite and beautiful, hope-filled and joyful than everything you’d ever known or imagined could happen to you. Then ... maybe, you would come along, pulled by the engine of hope.
Hope wakes the heart from slumber, stirring that niggling awareness that there is something better, more alive and life-giving than the life you know, something for which you’d lose everything.
Hope is the desire to know the life of heaven ... here and now.
This is exactly what Jesus promises. The kingdom of heaven is near. It is here, he says. As you follow me, you will know the presence of heaven even amid life’s hardships.
Heaven happens every time Immense Love appears in earthy existence and experience.
An act of mercy, a moment of beauty, the healing power of love, the joy of reconciliation, a simple act of understanding and care, the grace of friendship, a loving celebration of another year of life, the struggle for justice or just another day truly lived well—the rule of God, the life of heaven shines through all of this.
We follow Jesus that we may see and know glimmers of heaven shining through the messiness of our lives and world. We follow that the rays of divine light may shine through us and fulfill hope’s fondest desire.
Pr. David L. Miller