E-votional - Easter People ... Are Made
May 9 - May 15, 2004

Verse:

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35 (NRSV)

Thought:

There was a book out not too long ago entitled, "All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Faughum. Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people, put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. And remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all--LOOK.
But mom's teach us more. Hugs work. Kisses are better. Having a book read to you can fix just about anything. All my art is priceless. My jokes are funny. I am loved just because. I am supposed to love, just because. Mistakes are only mistakes. Finally, mom's can fix everything.
I think we can all agree, mom's make and shape us. We learn a lot from our mom's. Our mother's carry us. But our momma's hold us. Our mother's give birth to us, but momma builds our character. Mother's are biologically responsible for us, but moms take care of us. Today is Mother's Day. A day each year when we take a moment, not nearly long enough to honor both our moms and our mothers. It is a day when we give thanks to those women who have shaped us into the men and women we are today. You see, by their presence or their absence, they have shaped us into the people we are today. Make no argument, we have been shaped into who we are today because of moms. They have taught us what to do and what no to do, the meaning of love, of service and forgiveness. But son's and daughter's are not the only people made, Easter People are made..

Hear the Good News, Easter People are made by and through Jesus Christ. To begin with, let's first look at the Disciples, they were made. From the humble origins of fishermen, we have the development of the transmitters of the Gospel. From the persecuting terror of Saul, we have a new babe in Paul. Then of course, Paul's pupil, Timothy. Shapers of the shapers.
How were they shaped? This is what Jesus taught: Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another, this is how others will know me, through you, recognize that you are mine, my disciple.
From this teaching an amazing thing happens, A Legacy, the life of the teacher continues, just as the life of our mom's continue in us to this day. So here we are face to face with the question which should burn in everyone's heart, the question of legacy, the question of shapedness. Before we answer this question, let's look at what is left to us from Christ. 

Jesus Taught to Love. Jesus Taught to Be Loved. Jesus Taught to Serve. 

First, by loving we extend the hand of God to others. "To whom," you might ask? "Everyone" is the answer. In a world where we face the polarization of issues such as homosexuality, war, penal system, justice system, and education, daily, we are all called to love on another in spite of our differences. Yes, loving is not necessarily the easy thing to do in life. Loving means forgiving. Loving is not solely reserved for those feeling which give you sweaty palms and an accelerated heart rate. Loving is extending your life, your heart, your commitment in hopes that a connection is made and a relationship happens.
Secondly, by allowing ourselves to be loved, we can indeed find ourselves and come to understand the depth of love. Being loved charges us to see ourselves as people who belong to God, not second rate individuals. Too often we are beat down into thinking we don't have all the tools we need for life or for love. We feel we must settle. This is what leads husbands and wives into relationships of abuse. This is when we find the cycle of abuse repeating itself generation after generation. We must understand that we can not love another person until we get to the point of being able to really love our self. This means accepting our brokenness and knowing that God does and will work in our life anyway, using what we see as a weakness as a strength, using our folly for wisdom. We must be honest in understanding who we are. We do not do ourselves any favors trying to be someone we are not, but we must see the beauty that God sees in our own life.
Finally, By serving we are refilled and refreshed. By emptying ourselves of what we have we are then refilled by God instead of allowing what is in us to become stale and stagnant.  Service, in it's purest form, service which fills our need to make a difference in the world, needs to be focused toward God. When we focus on our self, we address our needs for power, control, mood alteration and even people. When our focus is only on other people, there is a loss of direction, boundary and identity. We can often do more harm than good. There is nothing emptier than serving, emptying yourself out, and having no refill. As we serve God, we have a focus and direction, and while we do empty our self out, God refills us with new, life giving water. This water we receive beckons us to share it with more and more people.
Being a mom is so vital to life. Being a Christ Disciple too is vital. Don't confuse being the mother or the church member with mom or Christ Disciple. Too many of us see the primary business of parenthood as transferring resources from big people to little people. But the primary business of motherhood and fatherhood is building relationships. In the same way, as people of faith we must refrain from being about the business of being Christians and live out what we have learned from mom. We gotta love and build relationships with one another. We are hardwired to connect, and no amount of debate can deconstruct this basic fact out of existence.

Momma taught me that hugs made a difference in my day. Jesus taught me love makes a difference in the World Love one another. "As I have loved you, love one another, this is how others will know me, through you, recognize that you are mine, my disciples."

Prayer: 

   Gracious God, I am Yours and You are mine.  Thank You for life, for love and the hope of a new day.  Help me to live each new day as one who shares Your presence in the world.   Lord, I want to be an Easter People. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003

 

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