Wednesday, May 13, 2009

that your joy may be complete (john 15)

I am strong.
At least I think I am strong.
I like to be in control,
I like to be at the center of things.

But at times I am aware that I am not so strong.
At times I sense that I am not in control.
At times I know that I am centered not in God,
but in self.

When the illusion of my strength is made plain,
I know that I am weak,
and I must live by faith.
When the illusion of my control is apparent,
I know that I am uncertain,
and I must live by hope.
When the illusion that I am at the center of all things
is before me,
I know that I am filled with pride,
and I must live by love.

God is my strength, I am reminded.
When my own efforts reach their end, God's work begins.
When the wine has been poured out, the miracle occurs.
When I can see no farther, my blindness is cured,
and now I see, and there is grace.

Jesus says, "I am the vine, and you are the branches,
and apart from me you can do nothing."

When I am disoriented or estranged, isolated or bored,
an experience of connection leads me to assurance and safety,
an experience of life ushers in joy and new creation,
an experience of growth integrates God and self and others into a whole.

There is a wholeness about a vine connected to the branches.
There is a wholeness about a life in which the Spirit dwells.
There is a wholeness in One Person, who is the way, the truth and the life.

As I move toward a life that is as connected to Jesus Christ
as branches are to the vine,
I will be nourished with a cup and a loaf,
I will be sustained with a power and a presence,
and I will discover once again,
that the "joy of the Lord is my strength."


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