Transfiguration – Last Epiphany A

by Terrance “Lil Bear” Plummer

Matthew 17:1-9

NO ONE IS EXCLUDED FROM THE CALL, SEEING THE GLORY, AND LISTENING TO JESUS

We often feel marginalized by free society, those of us in prison. Many of us don’t believe that God would want to call us for anything. We often feel alienated from God, and disqualified from any service in The Kingdom, because of where we are. Continue reading

Advertisements

Thursday, First Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him… and count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation (2 Peter 3:14-15)

It is inevitable that we, human that we are, will work to seek God. We will try to learn, and to do, to bridge the immense gap between God and us. And yet, as Peter so strongly reminds us, it is Christ who comes to find us.

I have been angry at God. In the pain and anger of my life I have rebuked God, and blamed God. I have heaped the unfairness of the world on God, and I have laid both the wrongdoings that I have done and that have been done to me on God. And I have turned my back on Christ and looked elsewhere for answers.

If you were to give a thirsty man advice on digging a well, the advice would be simple: find the right spot, dig a deep hole. You would not stand by and let him dig 20 different wells only 10 feet deep; but that is what I did, and many of us do, with other religions and philosophies. When you need a well you dig one 200-foot hole. I may have picked up some Buddhist tendencies, but it was only when I came home to Christ, and was willing to dig deep, that I found solace and comfort. God found me, called me home, and welcomed me.

When we are angry at God, when our faith wavers, the answer is never to go on some superficial journey to other ideas. Instead it takes a step of deliberate faith to dig deeper. When we don’t have an answer, we know God does. Dig deeper. Like the wise men that we remember on Epiphany, be willing to journey and to go to a new place to search and find Christ, and to be found by Christ.

Thank God that our straying and questioning are accepted and forgiven. The forbearance of God is great. Be zealous to be found.

With God the Father you are one, and one with us in human flesh. Oh fill our weak and dying frame with godly strength which never fails. (Hymn 55)

Tuesday, First Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth you have. (2 Peter 1:12)

It isn’t often that we stop and think about the deep foundational issues and truths that define our lives. When we do take the time to think about or talk about these issues, we always want to cling to very high and noble ideas. But the truths that are actually established in our lives are the ones that are made manifest every day. It can be disappointing if we see that what we claim and profess to believe, we do not live.

In prison it is a common mantra to hear men say that they will begin to live a more upright life in their last year in prison; or that they will go to church ‘when they get out.’ I always tell them that the truth is that if you aren’t doing it, then you aren’t going to do it. What these men don’t grasp is that if they cannot live a righteous life now, then they will not be able to live one when they get out. Tomorrow starts now, and as you prepare so shall you live.

Prison is a time of preparation, so what are you preparing for? Advent is the time of preparation, what are you preparing for? If you live in and focus on the pain and depressions of prison, then that is what you will be established in. If you live only for the toys and presents of Christmas, then that is what you will be established in. But if you live in the joy that the Lord brings, if you actually live it, then it will be established in you. The deepest roots of our faith are sown when we can find the strength and joy of the Lord in hardship and pain. God is there. Tomorrow starts now. God is here.

As you prepare, so shall you live.

Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free:

from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. (Hymn 66)