Remember – it is trees with the strongest roots that bear the most glorious fruit!
My friends, dig deep into the Gospel, connect with others in prayer, silent or vocal, believe Him and in His wonderful promises, and LOVE – only then can you bear fruit worthy to be set before the King.
… we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.
I told you a few weeks ago about my newly found love for Mary. I have been thinking about her a lot and wanting to know her more and know her story.
Tonight as I was conquering the mountain of laundry that has piled up since school let out for summer, I decided to watch the first part of a movie that has been sitting in my queue for a while, Mary of Nazareth.
First of all, let me tell you that I love it and I will be watching the second part very soon.
While watching it I realized that maybe we can know more of her story through His stories, by looking deeper into the parables of The Gospel, and then imagining how these parables might translate into her life, her childhood, her memories and her thoughts that she shared with her sweet and blessed son, Jesus.
Imagine for a moment Mary’s wedding celebration. I had never done this before, but it was vividly depicted in this movie. Her parents prepared a feast to celebrate their daughter’s wedding, but no guests came. Their neighbors looked on with disgusted judgement refusing to attend while Mary, Joseph and her parents sat alone.
Now imagine what might have happened next.
What if Mary stood up, reached for Joseph’s hand and together they walked through the village inviting everyone they found to join them in celebration?
Does this sound familiar? Check out Matthew 22 and Luke 14:15-24.
Maybe some of her story is buried deep His parables. Maybe we just have to read The Gospels again from yet another perspective to find her story.
I think it is time to start digging deep again my friends!
Some believe that Jesus told Judas Iscariot to betray him.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus said, “But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”
If this is the case, then Judas acted out of obedience and faith in Jesus and he was given the strength to follow through with Jesus’ request. Imagine for a moment being Judas once things had been set in motion and he was outside the loving gaze and light of Jesus. Imagine the torture and suffering he put himself through questioning his actions, wondering if he had acted within the will of God or made a mistake. Imagine the tortured thoughts he experienced as he second guessed his actions under the criticism and hatred of those who had once called him brother, his fellow disciples.
It is so hard to keep our hearts and our heads clear and open to God’s message, and then once we are bogged down with fear of a mistake or acting selfishly rather than within His will, we pull yet further away from Him and our faith is so quickly drained from us.
I think it is in these moments of fear that we have to breath deep, and know our faith is being tested. The moment our faith begins draining from us, is moment that we must hold tight to it and thank God for our current suffering, questioning and lack of confidence in our actions or words. We must continue to reflect even more on His perfect plan and remember that sometimes acting within His will might not be comfortable. If we have stepped off the path, there is a lesson within each step and we must remember that He loves us so much that He will not let us stray far before He begins nudging us back on track.
I said something a few days ago that I so deeply regret, that I can now actually appreciate why some people take a vow of silence. I am not sure if I was on track or off track with what I said, but even through my regret I am trying very hard to be thankful for experiencing these feelings of regret, for the increase in my desire to be pleasing to God (through silence if necessary) and for yet another opportunity to empathize with Judas.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for everything.