DayBreaks for 1/11/19 – The Radical Ordinary

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DayBreaks for 01/11/2019: The Radical Ordinary

From the DayBreaks Archive, January 2009:

At the end of the gospel of John is a scene that has puzzled and troubled me.  Momentous events have transpired in Jerusalem, in the life of Christ, and certainly in the lives of the disciples.  Events so huge and significant that you’d expect they would have all been changed dramatically and for all time.  But where do we find the disciples?  They’re back in a boat on a familiar lake doing what they had done all their lives up until Christ invited them to “Follow me!”  They’re fishing.  This is what these men had done for a livelihood.  And they’re back at it – even after Jesus had told them he’d make them fishers of men – they went back to being fishers of fish. 

I have always assumed that this didn’t reflect well on the disciples.  Yet when Jesus meets them on the beach and makes breakfast for them, he doesn’t criticize them.  I assumed that the disciples did this because they didn’t know what to make of things – that they still weren’t sure about this Jesus, what it was He was trying to accomplish, and what their part in it was supposed to be.  And that may be the reality of the situation. 

Eugene Peterson, in Living the Resurrection, had a different thought on this interesting scenario.  Resurrection had always had something to do with life in the next world, the next life.  But the resurrection of Jesus somewhat broke that rule and that line of thinking.  His resurrection took place here in this world, on this planet, in this lifetime…and he was alive and out there walking around somewhere.  So, resurrection had to be taken out of the sphere of the future and made into a reality in the present.  Here’s what Peterson had to say: “This is a radical thing.  It is as radical for you and me as it was for them.  This might account – at least, this is what I think – for why the seven former fishermen were back fishing that night.  They were beginning to get the sense that Jesus’ resurrection had everything to do with their ordinary lives.  They needed practice in this reorientation, and they plunged into ordinariness – the old familiar workplace or sea and the fishing boat.”

I don’t know if Peterson is right nor not, but the point he makes is valid.  Scripture talks about how we have already been made alive in Christ – we died with him, we were raised with him.  Our soul has experienced the resurrection already – even if our bodies have not.  What difference does it make in how you will live your life today as you drive to the office or factory, the school, the gym?  How are you, and how can you, practice the resurrection of Jesus and experience it TODAY? 

PRAYER: Jesus, we struggle to grasp the reality of our new life in You.  You have said we are born again to a new and living hope, that we now live in you and that whoever believes in you will never die!  Let us live life’s moments in that reality that others may see your glory and our joy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 10/09/12 – Who Ya Gonna Listen To?

DayBreaks for 10/09/12 – Who Ya Gonna Listen To?

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. – Mt. 16:16-17

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” – Mt. 16:22-23

On Sunday, the preacher was talking about Matthew 16:13-26.  One of the advantages about not being the preacher for a change is to be able to listen and think about passages and someone else’s thoughts about them.  And sometimes, as you ponder the text, you get a new insight that you’d not seen before.  That happened to me this past Sunday.

Jesus and his followers are in Caesarea Philippi, a place that was a hotbed for idol worship.  Jesus poses the question to his disciples to find out what people are saying about him (he already knew – but he had a higher purpose, as usual).  The disciples reply, but then Jesus gets to the real point: he wants to know who they think he is…and Peter makes a great confession.  Jesus told Peter that he’d not come to that conclusion by listening to his own mind, but by hearing the voice of God.

Then, just a few verses later, Peter is trying to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem where he would die.  At first glance, we might be tempted to applaud Peter because of his concern for the Lord’s well being.  Peter, I’m sure, thought he was doing a good thing, a right thing, by trying to forbid the prevent the death of his friend.  But this time Jesus is not thrilled.  He sharply rebukes Peter.  Why?  He wasn’t listening for God in this instance, but was hearing the thought of his own origin.

How quickly, how rapidly!, we can traverse from hearing the voice of God to listening to our own voice again, or the voice of another human!  The mind of man cannot possibly think the thoughts of God on its own.  We cannot hear Him when our minds are full of our own reasoning and thinking.  He ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts like our thoughts (Isa. 55:8).  We should never confuse the two!!!

PRAYER: I fear that I listen more closely to my own thoughts and inner voice rather than listening for Yours, Lord.  Help me to remember where hearing my own thoughts has taken me as a way of reminding me to wait to hear You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/26/11 – Christmas Confusion

DayBreaks for 12/26/11 – Christmas Confusion   

We are so easily confused...

I suppose it is only normal that any time you move to a new place it takes a while to get familiar with your surroundings.  It can be confusing, especially in a place like this, where the roads are not straight, but twist and turn through the wooded hills and then they change their names whenever they go across another major thoroughfare!  THAT is confusing!  Which way is east or west, north or south?  All the old familiar landmarks are gone!

On Sunday, we went to church at a large church.  It was a gray, drizzly, rainy day and it was raining when we got to the building.  It was raining when we came outside.  But, much to my chagrin and with a major blow to my male pride, we got lost in the parking lot trying to find our car!  (That gives you some idea of how large this church is….that’s something that never would have happened at the church where I served in Cloverdale!!!)  Eventually, however, my male sense of direction took over again and we found our way to the car before we drowned.  See what I mean about getting confused in a new place?

I wonder what it was like for the infant Jesus when he awoke, removed from his eternal heavenly glory, on a manger surrounded by animals, animal droppings and animal breath?  If babies think about such things at all, it had to be a huge confusion factor for him!  (Of course, none of us know what Jesus thought at that time, or if his thoughts were any different at that moment than those of any human baby, so I’m just musing here.)

As confusing as it may have been for him, he came to give us the light to banish the darkness that confused humanity from the dawn of human history.  As it turns out, it wasn’t the one born in the manger who was confused – it was us.

I hope that this Christmas has clarified some of the confusion that may have remained in your heart and in mine.  Let the Light continue to illuminate your heart and mind and inform you walk this coming year.  Don’t let it stop now that Christmas is over.

PRAYER: Light our pathway throughout this coming year, and always, to remove the confusion and fears from our hearts!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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