Friday, March 1, 2013

John 5:30-47

‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

‘You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’

Today is another day of fasting. We have been setting aside each Friday to experience a fast of one sort or another. Some of you will fast from food. Perhaps a single meal or you might choose the entire day. It is your choice. Others will fast from television, or technology (imagine no Facebook or texting for one whole day!) or you might choose to fast from speaking for a certain period of time.

We are not trying to be obedient to an arbitrary rule…our desire is to create a pattern of spiritual practice in our lives that will help us focus on God and the Lord’s dream for our life. Take a risk, try it!

While we get stressed about fasting from food, Jesus reports to his disciples that he has food that they cannot see. He reports that his food comes from the spirit of God as well as food that arrives in the form of grain from the harvest. You might remember the quote that Jesus offered when he was challenged to turn stones into bread. He said that he (and the people of God) does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.

We might stop to ask ourselves…are we God-directed or food-driven? How many times do we plan our daily activities around the food we will prepare, or the places we will eat, or the things that we need to buy so we can eat some more? Eating is not a bad thing. In fact, it is an essential part of everyday life. The question comes when we shift from essentials to obsessions.

What if we spent this day considering what it would be like to be obsessed with the love of God? Would that make a difference in the offering we prepare for the Sunday opportunity to give from our abundance?

World Day of Prayer


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