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Glimpses of Grace Daily Advent Devotional for December 7, 2017

Devotional Reading: Matthew 21:33-46.

Text: I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. (v. 43)

Probably noting produces more regret than missed opportunity. In A Christmas Carol when the Spectre (Ghost) of Christmas Past took Scrooge back to his younger self something in the old miser’s conscience stirred. Seeing himself as a child sitting alone in a run down boarding school he wished that he would have been kinder to the caroler who had come to his shop the previous late afternoon.

When, in a later scene, he saw his beloved sister Fan telling him that he could come home because “Father is so much kinder now,” he regretted how meanly he declined his only nephew’s invitation to share a cup of holiday cheer. These were glimpses of grace that allowed Scrooge’s to shed the spiritual barnacles that encased his heart for too long. Sadly, opportunities pass as quickly as they come.

In today’s reading Jesus told a parable directed at the “holier-than-thou” religious people of the day. You know who they are; they are the ones to are quick to judge others, too-sure of who’s a Christian and who isn’t a Christian. They are so sure of their own understanding of the nature of God, which have been solidified by the cement of their own prejudices, that they can recognize neither the True God nor God’s Kingdom in their midst.

It has been said that there are none so blind as those who will not see. In this season of Advent we are well advised to reflect upon our prejudices and preconceived notions of both God and others.  In humility we need to seek God and ask God to allow us, as much as humanly possible, to see this world through God’s eyes. We need to practice the spiritual discipline of being slow to judge and quick to forgive.*

Lord God, give me spiritual insights that shake the spiritual barnacles off of my heart so that I may, day by day, be a truer reflection of Jesus, the very revelation of Your Eternal Self in this Temporal world. Amen.

*At some time in the future I will write about the nature of “Forgiveness”, a greatly misunderstood concept.

Christian, devotion, faith, Humble Humility, Presbyterian Church (USA), Psalms, Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for July 4, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Psalm 46

Text: Put not your trust in princes, in whom there is no help. When they die and return to earth, their dreams die with them. (vvs. 3&4)

An international company in the city where I grew up started to build a new factory but a year or two into the project the global economy changed. Construction halted and only a steel skeleton stood against the sky, a silent witness to a plan that never came to life.

This text has been one of my guiding principles in life. It applies to me and to others. It keeps me humble and helps me avoid putting too much hope in any one individual or having too much confidence in myself. It has reminded me that I do not truly own anything in this life. No one or thing is truly “mine”. It reminds me that there is only one Savior, and it isn’t you or me. These are good things for us to keep in mind.

On this national holiday as we commemorate the “birth” of a nation, we can celebrate and, at times mourn, our collective history, but we must also remember that it is “in God we trust.”

Lord, thank you for all that You have given to us. Make us responsible trustees of this portion of Your estate during our short time in this world. Show us how to pass on to those who follow us a better world than the one we inherited. Amen.








reminds me who God is and who I am.

Christian, devotion, faith, Humble Humility, Love, Luke, Gospel of, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for June 9, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 18: 9-14

Text: …for all who exalt themselves will be humbled and all who humble themselves will be exalted. (v. 14b)

When I was little my mother used to tell me, “If has to brag on themselves they must not be very good.”  That insight has served me well over the years acting as a “governor” in not thinking of myself as better than someone else. Now, there are degrees of humility from “false humility” on one end of the scale to the “Eeyore Syndrome” on the other.* I like to think that over the years I developed a healthy sense of humility.

Today’s reading is introduced by the writer as a parable directed toward those who thought of themselves as being righteous and regarded others with contempt. They were really “self-righteous”. This isn’t the only time Jesus broached this subject. On a different occasion he said that when we are invited to a banquet that we should not presume that our seat is at the head table. We should take the lowest seat until we are moved to another.  In one of his letters the apostle Paul wrote that when he gave up his “childish” ways he could better understand Faith, Hope and Love. And of the three, Love was the greatest.**

I often say that there is no one more humble than a dedicated follower of Jesus because we know how much we have been forgiven and how generous God truly is.

Lord God, throughout this day give me a humble heart; a heart that neither judges others nor looks down upon them as anything less than another one of Your precious children. Amen.


*The Eeyore Syndrome” is something I made up as I read Winnie the Pooh books to my daughters. Eeyore was a “pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey” creature who had such low self-esteem that all he would eat was thistles–the plants that no one else wanted to eat.

**I Corinthians 13: 11-13