2024-01-26 10:30:54

2024-01-26 10:30:54

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Together By the SeaTogether By the Sea

As the island empties in the growing darkness of autumn, my mind considers other seashores, other ages, other lives. I think about the Sea of Galilee and what it must have been like for Christ to walk beside the sea in those days. We’re told he went up into the hills to pray and perhaps to gaze at the water. When he entered a boat to preach to the crowd that pressed against him, perhaps he was already familiar with the rocking of the waves, balancing himself so he wouldn’t fall. He must have felt comfortable with fishermen, able to approach and chat with them, connecting with them enough to make several his disciples. Boats were his transportation in many instances, taking him to new preaching healing sites. It was in a boat that his power to calm a storm was displayed and from a boat he guided Peter to walk on the water. Much of Christ’s life centered on the sea and water was often used as a metaphor for his presence. As I walk beside the sea, dear Lord, help me draw close to you; help me feel your presence as those people did so long ago, and help me find your place in my life today. Amen.

God’s PlaceGod’s Place

I was born and raised in a large city, its designs imposed by humans. Paved streets, curbs and sidewalks marked by play boundaries. The garden was a small plot maintained by my father whose roses required constant intervention. At night I listened to city sounds—fire sirens, ambulances, distant trains, traffic, and squealing brakes. All of it was artificial, created by humans for human purposes. The power of God was visibly present only in severe weather conditions like tornadoes or blizzards. Perhaps this explains part of the island’s appeal to me. When I walk here I see chiefly nature at work, not human hands. No one waters or fertilizes the sea oats, the sand is neither mowed nor groomed, there are no paved surfaces that sear my feet, and night sounds are dense with bird calls, fog croaks, breaking surf, and gusting breezes. Too much of civilized life omits God; on the island I feel close to His presence, aware of His power. I have only to stand at water‘s edge and realize the vastness of the uncreated chaos from which all matter was generated. Faced by the sea, the power and scope of God are undeniable. I thank you, Lord, for this refuge and the power you display. May I be ever respectful of that grandeur, in awe of your might. Amen.

Flowers Along a Garden Path

God’s GardenGod’s Garden

Flowers Along a Garden Path Each morning I walk among my plants, searching for new buds, trying to determine the status of plants wounded by winter’s frosts, appreciating the daffodils, pansies, and pinks.  One day I see no buds; the next I find buds well advanced on branches previously bare.  I watch my plants carefully, drawing pleasure from their sturdiness, worrying over their illnesses, excited over their successful blooms.  I think God must sometimes feel like a gardener, walking over the face of His world.  We are His plants.  He worries about our survival, our failure to flourish, our setbacks, and He must celebrate with us our successful blossoming as His people. God, I pray that you will help me grow and bloom; may my life bring you glory and be a source of good for others. Amen.