Spiritual Thought for Today Archive Week #14

Acting on a Dream

"When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him."

Joseph experienced his angels while he slept in his dreams. He was troubled by what was going on in his life and while he slept an angel appeared to him in his dream and set the record straight.

When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.

Do we pay attention to our dreams? Do we see them as another vehicle of God's revelation?

What might the angels in our dreams be commanding us to do?


The Family Tree of Jesus

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahson, and Nahson the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz due father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Aching and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ."

There is something very poetic about listening to the reading of Jesus' family tree. The names trace the human roots of the savior.

A study of these characters is even more enlightening. I will take only one of those mentioned, Judah.

The son that was born of Jacob that we would expect anyone wishing to fabricate a family tree of Jesus would be Joseph the subject of the forthcoming movie "The Prince of Egypt" but instead Judah is the son that we are told is the descendant of Jesus.

Judah was primarily responsible for Joseph being sold into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. Later his daughter-in-law Tamar who had been widowed posed as a prostitute when she knew that Judah was in town. Judah was interested in her wares, but unaware of her true identity.

When he later heard that his widowed daughter-in-law was pregnant due to prostitution he wanted her killed. She then revealed it was by him that she was pregnant.

Both are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus along with a host of others who have similar soap opera worthy lives.

God used both Judah and Tamar to bring about his plan. God can use us too, no matter what it is that we have done or where we have come from.


Be it done!

"I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." And the angel left her."

An angel's mission is to deliver God's message. Angels leave when we get the message.

Mary received God's message and accepted it.

Do we? Or do we continue to argue with the messengers that God throws into our paths and debate?

Let, "Let it be done.." roll off of our lips today.


In you I trust!

"In you I trust;
Do not let me be disgraced."
Psalm 25

The psalmist prayed boldly to God and with expectation.

Do I pray expecting that God will answer?

Jesus makes it clear in the Gospels that faith is an important element to the effectiveness of prayer.

Today pray as though God's reputation is on the line.


Who will ascend?

"Who will ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?

Those with clean hands and pure heart,
who desire not what is vain,
and never swear to a lie."
Psalm 24

This psalm answers the question how do I encounter God in my life? The answer is by directing myself toward God.

George Lamsa remarks that "the hand is the agent of the mind" so clean hands refers to actions done with right intention as a pure heart refers to emotions and desires that are good.

It is typical of the psalmist to repeat what he says in the first stanza using other words. So a person who does not desire what is vain, i.e. what is not God and never swears to a lie, i.e. someone who does not give allegiance to something that is not God, is a person with clean hands and a pure heart.

What keeps us from encountering God?


How Can This Be?

"How can this be....?"

Mary's question to the angel is the fundamental question that we all ask God, how can this be?

What we are asking God differs based on our experiences but faced with Divinity it is the question we all ask about our life experiences in the presence of God.

God answers us through the archangel.

"Nothing is impossible for God."


The Poor Will Eat and Be Satisfied

"The poor will eat and be satisfied. Those who seek the Lord will praise him. May your hearts live forever!" Psalm 22

If you open your bible and read Psalm 22 you will recognize it from the very begining as the a description of the passion of Jesus. The opening verse is "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Although most of the psalm is a vivid description of the passion of Jesus it ends with optimism. It ends with a picture of the suffering person leading people in the praise of God. It holds out hope that the present ills are only temporary for those who trust in God.

God is faithful!

What are we waiting for during this Advent season? Psalm 22 may direct us in the right direction.