One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
3 Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
The Twelve Apostles
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Blessings and Woes
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place.
A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Today we traveled through Texas to a small hometown to see a my godmother's life remembered, celebrated, and in faith - restored.
My first memory goes way back to a late night ride going home from a happy evening - my first word (now perhaps this is an oft told event, but maybe, just maybe the oft told event evokes real memory of my first word repeated and repeated to the delight and consternation of my parents on the ride home from my godmother's house) "Light, Light, Light" at every street light.
Bringing us to the near death event of a rowboat ride becoming storm, wind, wave, adventure, escape, horror and incredulity on Possum Kingdom Lake - making the voyages of Jesus across the Sea of Galilee very real to me - involving a 5th grader, a 4th grader and a 2nd grader. With two extremely large and dangerously angry, 6', broad-shouldered fathers intent on saving life and then putting the Fear Of God Almighty into their children - who instead became intent on escaping angry fathers by rowing faster the other way.
Which brings us light year speeds back to today. Two adult men leave their mother to rest in a beautiful cemetery surrounded by a century of people, who lived pretty well to Jesus Christ. This is still two adult men leave their mother behind. When in the eternal realm - this is their mother is renewed and redeemed and going to Jesus Christ, Who prepares a place for them - with their Mom- now free from age, decay and has returned to youth.
Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." A lady returns to her broad smile, her sense of fun and adventure. Her joy, her hopes return and are fulfilled. Love.
Jesus, as God, would not say this is true were it not Truth.
Funerals are like very good telescopes. Useful to see very, very far away and if turned back around - a good telescope can be used as a microscope. Making the funeral an emotional remembrance of a day anticipated, with sheer dread, and flavored with unreality.
We become so used to the Words of Jesus - we make platitudes of attitudes. The United States anticipates a funeral being over like dinner arrives in a cellophane wrapper. Complete at the end of the event. A tradition surely we must alter as the population ages and is not renewed so readily. Grief must be looked at, relief for the end of suffering - celebrated, allowing the ebb and flow of emotion to be allowable and understandable. Each day a grief is observed - as personal need requires. There isn't a time table for healing.
Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. In Jesus - we will heal - completely.
Salvation! Father God - in Your Good Work, send me with the help of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †