Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hospitality

Mark 14:12-16
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal with you?” 

So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions:  “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you.  Follow him.  At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’  He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up.  That is where you should prepare our meal.” 

So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When I think of Biblical hospitality, I always think of the story of Mary and Martha opening their home to Jesus.  Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, and Martha was concerned about making things perfect for Jesus.    

As many times as I have read the scripture about Jesus' Passover meal, I’ve never wondered about the person who opened his home. 

This passage leaves me with a lot of questions. 

1.     Did the owner of the house know Jesus?

2.     Did Jesus make prior arrangements to use his guest room?

3.     Was it customary to just open your home to strangers during the Festival of Unleavened Bread?

4.     Did the Holy Spirit prepare the owner of the house, and he set up the guest room as a result of this personal encounter?

5.     Was the owner just naturally hospitable?

6.     The scripture says the room was prepared already.  Was it always set up in this manner or was it set up specifically for this event?

7.     Was the owner of the house involved in the preparation of the meal? 

Since these questions are not answered in scripture, they must not be important to the story.  I have to wonder though, what would happen if someone asked me to give my guest room to Jesus and all 12 of his disciples. 

Would I go crazy like Martha did trying to make sure everything was right?  Would I be prepared in advance like the owner of this house?  Regardless of whether the owner knew Jesus was coming or not, he was ready.

Our society is much different than in Jesus time; however, I think we are still called to hospitality by sharing our homes and lives with others.   Whether it's a planned event or last minute, I want to be as willing as this man to open my doors widely to others.  

With Thanksgiving four weeks from today, this scripture is a good reminder to me to prepare things ahead of time, while life is moving at a slower pace. 

I'm typically a last minute gal who works until the guests arrive.  I want to change that this year so I can have time for Jesus, the reason to be thankful for everything.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Legacy

I’ve taken a couple of weeks off from writing because I have been tied up with my family in NC.

My step-dad went to be with the Lord on October 10th after a long struggle with his health.   My mom and he would have been married eight years November 11th. 

What a blessing Bill was to my mom’s life!  He enriched it so much before his stroke three years ago.    We reminisced while I was there about all the good times they had together.   

Bill not only blessed my mom’s life, many years ago he took an early retirement so he could help with his grandchildren.  They are grown now but I believe they are who they are today because of their granddad.

The celebration of Bill’s life really challenged me to be a better person.  It made me realize what life is really about.  It’s not about what we own but about how many lives we touch.  

Lord, make me a blessing every day to those you bring my way.  Help me encourage and strengthen everyone in my life -- family, friends and strangers.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Want More of Jesus

Habakkuk 3:2 
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.  Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

I look forward to Thursdays every week.  It’s the day I set aside weekly to unplug from the normal schedule and spend some time writing, which I really enjoy.

I feel this blog is more for me than anyone who reads it.  It does me a world of good just to let go of some of the things I have stuffed inside.

Today my heart is just crying out for more of Jesus.  I am not satisfied or content with my life right now, and I feel the reason is I’m not living the “Acts” type of Christianity.

Those people had miracles occur daily.  They fellowshipped together, ate meals together and changed lives.    Our culture is different than it used to be.  People have more gadgets to help them with "life" but less time.  

I want to live that abundant life Christ talks about in His Word.  I definitely  have been given an abundance of blessings – my husband and family are the best!  However, I believe God has so much more for us to experience and share. 

I remember the 70's and 80's.  Life was definitely different in my circles.  I never got involved in alcohol or drugs as a teen because Jesus was so much better.  There was excitement.  I saw miracles happen around me often.  They even occurred in our home praying for each other and for those who visited.  I want that back and more.  What happened?  I guess I got bogged down just doing the routine things and my focus shifted.   

I’ve been contemplating on where to go from here and the list below is what I came up with:

·                                 Express myself to the Lord and ask for His presence to saturate my being. 

·                                 Take some time to read, pray and fast.  

·                                 Allow Jesus to be my companion and communicate as I go about my day.  I think that's what the verse means when it says to pray without ceasing.

·                                 Allow God to rearrange my schedule if He has a divine appointment along the way.  

The Word says if I will draw near to God, He will draw near to me. I’m counting on that. Join me.