Joining Together

For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too – the many – are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with another, and we become together what we could not be alone. – (Romans 12:4-5, VOICE)

 

Yesterday, as I attended the memorial service for little Eli, the four-year-old grandson of my mom’s best friend, I was not sure what to expect, other than the weight of grief as we walked into the church. What I observed, was really this verse being made tangible. There were those who were greeting people in their shock and grief as they walked in, (and wisely, the ones who handed out the program for the memorial were the cousins of Eli, so we were greeted by sweet, smiling children), family members were mingling among those waiting to go inside to be seated, friends who had gathered from near and far, an auntie and uncle who spoke from the heart and demonstrated the depth of love that the family shared for Eli, and a pastor who beautifully balanced the celebration of who Eli was and the reality of how much missing and mourning would take place. Even after the service, different people operated in their various strengths. Some were in the kitchen preparing and serving, others were greeting people as they came into the reception area, still others were engaging in sweet conversation about how Eli had touched and blessed their lives, personally. Because they were surrounded and supported, I imagine that together, the family was able to get through far more than they would have thought possible, than had they been on their own. Though it was an agonizing reason to gather, there were tender moments of laughter and smiles at the memory of the incredible life this little boy lived in his four years. May we ever remember that we are each a part of the body, and what we contribute, helps the whole become more than it would be without us. We need each other; that is the way we have been designed.

 

No matter the why, Joining Together

We are meant to join;

Together as one,

As God does anoint.

For as a body,

With so many parts;

Together there’s strength,

To encourage hearts.

Each of us alone,

Find there is a lack;

But joined together,

We rise and come back.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that just as a body has many different parts with different functions, that we too, as the body of believers do as well. Thank You that You created us this way with intention. Thank You that when we come together and support one another with the gifts that You have granted, the entire body becomes stronger. Forgive us for not rising up and joining in to offer what You have given us to contribute. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would naturally extend Your heart and hand through who You have made us to be. Show us how to love those around us well, just as You love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we join with each other to become what we cannot be alone. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Good Wherever You Go

Do good wherever you go. After a while, the good you do will come back to you. – (Ecclesiastes 11:1, ERV)

 

We don’t give to get, for doing so would result in bitter disappointment. However, what I have discovered is that when I go forth in kindness, most often, kindness is returned. This is not because I expect to be treated kindly, but I think that people cannot help but to respond gently when they are treated in the manner in which they hope to be treated. So often a kind word or a smile disarms even the hardest of hearts. In light of recent events that have gone on in our nation, it is evident that we need to do more good wherever we go. No matter how we are viewed, we must offer kindness and do whatever good we have the capacity to offer. For communities that are typically neglected, outcast, or disregarded, good needs to be extended all the more. May we rise up at the ready, and go forth doing good wherever we go.

 

In a world where hate,The Power of the Tongue

Too often abounds;

May we offer good,

Let kindness resound.

For hate begets hate,

But love, it disarms;

Kind and gentle words,

Bring an end to harm.

Let us each choose love,

It’s where hope resides;

Each act of kindness,

A positive stride.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, and that Your Son set the example of doing good wherever He went. He loved the “unlovable“, approached the “unapproachable“, and did good everywhere He went. Forgive us for our apathy when we have the capacity to do good. Teach us to trust You more, so that we rise up and do good wherever we go. Show us where we can act on Your behalf as agents of Your goodness and grace to someone in need. Help us to love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we do good wherever we go, just as You have done so much good for us and in us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Blessed are the Invited

As another year comes to a close, I again find myself at the end of Revelation. This morning, the verse that stood out to me is as follows: Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” – (Revelation 19:9) Those of us who love the Lord and walk with Him, are blessed and invited to the ultimate celebration. At the end of days, all who stand firm in faith in our Heavenly Father, will be blessed beyond what we can fathom.

 

Jesus gave us glimpses of what is yet to come throughout His ministry on earth. My Father’s house has many rooms, if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – (John 14:2-3) John further unpacks what awaits in Revelation 21:9 – 22:5. Though much unpleasantness, many trials and tribulations will come to pass between now and then, we have the promised assurance of our final outcome. Our time here is fleeting, yet our time with Christ is eternal. Let us hold fast to the promises of the truth of God’s word as we march forward into 2015.

 

Most blessed are those,IMG_0653
invited to come;
to the wedding feast,
to sup with the Son.
Those who love the Lord,
to the end of days;
steadfast in His truth,
and faithful always.
Not by our own strength,
but trusting in His;
loving as we’re loved,
doing as He says.
The Lord is so good,
and great His reward;
for all who trust Him,
and walk in accord.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite what we see around us, the outcome has already been determined and the battle, already won! Thank You that You receive us as we are when we come to You, and You claim us as Your own. Thank You that You are faithful and true, and that You grow us in understanding as we seek to know You more. Thank You that regardless of what this life holds, our eternity will be beyond blessed. Thank You that we have the blessing of Your presence in the here and now, as well as the promises of what is yet to come. Forgive us for losing sight of both. Teach us to trust You more, so that we live each day with an eternal perspective. Lead us to love as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You in the coming year. Be glorified Lord God, as we go forth operating in the gifts that You have granted us, living with an eternal perspective. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” – Revelation 21:5a