Monday, July 25, 2011

A Story: Brother Elias and the Angel

Allow me to introduce you to a story… .a story of ancient Italian origin.  I am not the original author of this story.  The author is unknown.  It is a legendary account written after the death of Saint Francis of Assissi.  It is one of many such legendary accounts and it contains both an acknowledgment towards the wisdom of St. Francis and a historically practical proverbial lesson.  We can learn something from St. Francis and Elias, his brother in the faith.  Here is a retelling, in my own words, of the story of Brother Elias and the Angel….
The silent Franciscan convent was impinged by a rowdy knock.  The uninformed traveler besieged the door with his untamed fist.  “Our Father” corrected Brother Masseo, “Give only three clear knocks and wait for a brother to reply ‘Our Father’ and then come to let you in.”  The traveler asked pardon for his haste and expressed his lengthy journey towards St. Francis with whom he desired to speak…. .a man now abiding in devotions, prayer and the forest.  “I will not interrupt him,” said the traveler, “May I speak instead with brother Elias, he full of wisdom?”
Brother Elias pulled a weed.  He prayed heated prayers to no one, for who would listen?  God?  Surely not.  The angry soul was venting an anger unjustified and oh how the floral delicacies trembled for fear he should miss a gardener’s beat and pull one of they instead!  “Brother Elias, come meet with the traveler.”  A grunt over the peony suggested that he would not. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love never ends…”  God never ends.
He is eternal.  And His love is eternal. It continues beyond judgment and the grave.  He continues to love the very people that were both favorably or adversely judged by the righteous laws He set in place.  His law and His righteousness are best for creation and His nature sustains creation.  His attitude is that He would be cut off from existence, righteousness fulfilled and justification made complete, for the sake of our salvation.   Therefore, we must receive this final verdict towards our flesh yet poured out upon Himself.  We just receive this eternity - this eternal love.  Its sustenance is powerful to resurrect us from the grave and carry us into eternity.  If He is eternal and His love is eternal than those who receive are given His life for eternity.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love endures all things…”  God endures all things.
He persists in the face of adversity.  God doesn’t give up.  He continues to advance His kingdom in the heavens and earth.  He advances it in us against all of our stubbornness and rebellion, in the midst of our sadness and grief, in spite of our scattered and often unreliable affections. We are not always the most desirable vessels to move through, yet, God persists to save in and through us!  Bless God for His mercies!  He suffers violence against Himself, scorning the shame of its open wounding, remaining quiet concerning the personal blows and establishes His kingdom in and through us.  He knows that the very work that He persists to do has eternal ramifications. We depend on His persistence. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love hopes all things…”  God hopes all things.
He is confident of His own imminent success. He is confident in His own ability to succeed in us.  He is confident in His own ability to succeed in all of creation.  This causes God to rest.  This causes us to rest.  He is successful.  Hope does not disappoint because God has put a measure of His eternal promise in our spirit.  He is letting us know beforehand that He is successful. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love believes all things…”  God believes all things.
He recognizes that all things are legitimate.  Belief suggests legitimacy.  That something is real, not a lie.  God believes ALL things.  He accepts that all things are a form or fashion of reality.  Nothing can exist that has not been made.  So even a fabrication is part of reality.  He believes humanity.   The legitimacy of our pain, misery, suffering, foolishness, fears, anger, hate, love, joys, passions, celebrations etc…  He does not deny our perspectives or emotions.   God connects with our versions of reality in one way or another.  He meets with us and broods to bring change or enjoy our faith.  God meets with us for real.  

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