Monday, January 26, 2015

Like a Jedi

"Jesus...summoned those He wanted..." Mark 3:13
In the 3rd chapter of Mark, we see that Jesus selected the 12 apostles after He prayed up in the mountain. Now this motley band of ordinary men can be very reassuring for us "ordinary" men and women. He chose 4 fishermen, brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, who recognized Jesus as the Messiah and hastened to introduce Him to Peter. Then there's James and John, nicknamed (perhaps fondly by Jesus) as Boanerges or sons of thunder because they were impetuous and wanted to rain fire upon some villagers who refused them accommodation. Philip did not pass Jesus' test question of how to feed the five thousand. Nathaniel was initially skeptical of Jesus, scoffing, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Matthew was a despised tax collector who went on to write one of the Gospels. Then there's Thomas, forever famous or infamous for doubting and needing proof before believing. James is most known for being Jesus' "brother", meaning he was most probably a cousin by Jewish custom. Jude Thaddeus wrote one of the epistles, and asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He showed Himself to them but not to the whole world. Simon is known as a Zealot (or a political radical) in some studies, or the groom at the wedding of Cana. To Eastern Orthodox believers, he left his bride after the miracle of the wine! Either way, he was certainly a radical! And we all know what Judas Iscariot did!

 I don't have to be extraordinary for Jesus to choose me! He chose me in spite of my weaknesses, idiosyncracies, and failures! He knows me and gives me chance after chance to turn back to Him, to be fed by His Word like the apostles. He knows I am weak, that I deny Him (even more than 3 times!), that I doubt, am skeptical sometimes, even betray Him. But as long as I repent, turn back to Him, I can continue with grace, and finish the journey with Him in victory!

"It was fitting that we should have such a High Priest." Hebrews 7:26
The description of the garments of the Jewish High Priests were so specific and mysterious. There was a breastplate with different colored stones with engravings on them, and this had to hang from "remembrance stones" on the priests' shoulders. Even the means of securing the breastplate and the colors of the ribbons hanging from it were identified. The high priests could only go inside the Holy of Holies once a year to offer sacrifice. That was in the Old Testament.

In the New Covenant we have Jesus as our High Priest and intercessor. He offered The Sacrifice once and for all. Our High Priest is forever before the presence of the living God, and He "forever lives to make intercession" for us! (Hebrews 7:25)
I think of how people would line up for hours (some up to 10 hours), walk long distances, stand in the rain and shiver with the wind, only to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis. Then afterwards, they would say it was worth it! Can you imagine what it would be like to BE in the presence of Jesus forever and ever? To be eternally His friend? To not have to wait in line? We do not need to go through elaborate ceremonies, and wear different colored stones attached to "cords of wreathen work", "fastened to ouches on the shoulder", etc etc. Revelations 1:6 reads, "Jesus Christ has made us to be a kingdom and priests unto God." Jesus' Word and power and victory are available to us who believe!

 "...this was called the Holy Place." Hebrews 9:2
When we read the instructions of God about the tabernacle and its furnishings in Exodus 25 and 37, we see how specific God was about this Holy Place. The amazing thing is it all foreshadows and symbolizes Jesus and what He did for us. Back then there were 3 veils that separated God from men. Only priests could enter the Holy Place where the lampstand, the table of showbread and the altar of incense was placed. Only the High Priest could enter once a year into the last veil where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy seat was hidden.

The bronze of the whole courtyard symbolized sin, and the gold inside the tabernacle symbolized God and His separateness from us. The lampstand clearly was an early representation of Jesus, light of the world. The light on this lamp could not be permanently lit, but we have the light of the Word which will never die. The table of showbread was specified to be made of acacia overlaid with gold, which symbolized that Jesus was both God and man. The bread on the table, which was also called Bread of the Presence, symbolized God's presence among us. God with us! The altar of incense is Jesus' interceding for us continuously. Blood was applied to this altar on the Day of Atonement! How obvious could God be about His plans for us?
There is so much richness in all God does. Even in the little things then, and the little things now. I really need to open my eyes, to read His Word, and take advantage of the many gifts He wants to give me in His Word and in His presence in my life!

 "Stir into flame the gift of God bestowed on you when I laid my hands on you." 2 Timothy 1:6
Today, January 26, is the Feast day of Saint Timothy, and this verse is part of a letter written by Saint Paul to him. I do not know how old Saint Timothy was when he accompanied Saint Paul in his travels but I like to think of him as a young man when he converted to Christianity. Saint Paul baptized and circumcised him.
"Stir into flame the gift of God" can be compared to the Star Wars greeting, "May the Force be with you". Luke Skywalker was told by his mentor, the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, "The Force will be with you. Always." What was the Force in these popular movies? Obi-Wan explained to Luke that the Force was what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field that surrounded them and penetrated them. It held the galaxy together. I'm not an expert on Star Wars but the way I see it, when Luke Skywalker was sensitive to the Force, he was able to fight the Dark Side successfully.

We have the Holy Spirit within us. We should be in training like the young Jedis to sense God's presence, movement and guidance in our every day life. There are many dark forces, enemies that seek to turn us away from God. Even our busy schedule can keep us from praying and connecting with God. With the Jedis, the mightier the foe, the more the Jedi had to close their eyes, keep still and connect to the force before the battle. The same with us! The busier we are, the more we should find time to be still, talk to God and listen.

"The Word of the Lord came to Jonah saying, "Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will give you." Jonah 3:1

It seems to me that the entire Bible is God's love song to us, His wooing us, His calling out to us. There are stories like Jonah, of how God uses prophets to convince men to return to Him. Then there are the stories of Jesus' life. How Jesus called and trained 'fishers of men' who in turn would call people to Himself. God's desire is we would all get to know Him, be part of His Kingdom as His sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to one another. But just like any adopted child, we would have to learn the values and the ways of our new family. That's what He is doing today, with all our trials and challenges. These are all ways to turn us into men and women who live with Kingdom values. 

The world lures us with its values of relativism and consumerism and selfishness. God lures us with His love and faithfulness. "Where else can I go, Lord? You have the Words of eternal life!"


  1. LOVELY ideas, thoughts and ART!

  2. I love how you read the Word, and create such beautiful artwork in your Bible!!! I'm so tired of this fallen world and look forward to seeing our Savior face-to-face!!!!

  3. I like how you are showing lately how you do your art using reference photos. I noticed that you repeated a paragraph. It may have been a mistake on your part, but I as I read the Life-giving words a second time, absorbing their message more fully, I believe it was divinely orchestrated that you repeated them.
    Blessing hugs,

  4. I always am so blessed when I visit here! Your words are always rich... and your artwork inspires and uplifts! So glad I stopped by from Unforced Rhythms today!

  5. I just love the way you personalize the scriptures, both in words and in pictures. Indeed, the Bible is God's love letter to us. Your art is your love back to him. Thank you for linking at Small Wonders.

  6. You are very gifted. Thanks for sharing at so Much At Home.
    God bless.


I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy