Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, February 1

This stained glass window is found in the Central Church of Christ (Disciples), Orlando, Florida. In addition to this striking windows inside, CCC also has the oldest drive-in worship service in the nation. It began on November 23, 1952.

The church's guide to the stained glass windows describes the Wisdom Window as follows:
Wisom, as understood in the scriptures as coming from God, is more an ethical than an intellectual word. In the state of sin, man confused wisdom with intellectual and philosophical knowledge. Thus, St. Paul derided the Greeks for their seeking after wisdom. The wisdom of God is beyond the comprehension of man. Divine wisdom is not something man reaches for through the mind, but rather it is what God reveals. It is the final knowledge of good and evil.

The window explodes in all directions with a radiance of golden light which penetrates and enlightens all. At the center is the primary symbol of the Christian faith, the cross. We are reminded of Paul's words, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe...we preach Christ crucified" (I Corinthians 1:21-23).

Today's scripture continues Paul's discussion of "the wisdom of this age" and the deeper wisdom of God's Spirit. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6:-16.

Today's Prayer
Dear God, You are the All Wise Lord of All, seen and unseen.
I pray that you will reveal yourself to me in truth,
for too often I think of you in my terms
and build a concept of you out of cheap stuff.
Forgive the idolatry and vain pride of my efforts.
Enter my life, and fill me with your Holy Spirit.
Give me your blessing and show me your path,
that my life may honor you and bless others

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2009


I Baptize Thee, William Johnson, 1940
Smithsonian American Art Museum

When Jesus was baptized, as he was coming up out of the water, the Spirit descended on him like a dove. (Matthew 3:13-17) First baptism, then the Spirit.

In this passage from Acts, the Spirit fell on the listeners as Peter was preaching. The people began speaking in tongues and exalting God. Peter realized that he could not withhold the water of baptism from those who had received the Spirit, so he ordered that everyone be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. First, the preaching, then the Spirit and its manifestations, and then the water of baptism.

Both stories (and additional variations) hold a place in the New Testament. The administration of baptism and reception of the Holy Spirit are common to those stories; but the stories tell of differing experiences by different people.

I don't believe that there is a prescribed order by which these things must take place. After all, we are talking about gifts of God's grace. They cannot be reduced to a formula. God works in each of our lives differently.

The more important question is whether we are living out our experiences of baptism and of God's Spirit in a way that is consistent with our new identity and the expectations of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monday, January 25

 The results for "love" in the Visual Thesaurus

Verse of the Day
So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.  (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Voice of the Day
When love works in the community, the community is built up, not necessarily or primarily in numbers. . . . Love usually brings out the best in the ones loving and the ones being loved; love usually elicits love in response. 
J. Paul Sampley, The First Letter of Corinthians, The New Interpreters Bible.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, we rarely give the spiritual gifts much thought, and, when we do, we easily dismiss them as irrelevant to our lives and congregations. Stir in us a desire to discern our own giftedness for the sake of your church. And may all gifts be tested, motivated, and guided by the most excellent gift of love. Amen