Who Do You See?

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” – (Matthew 16:15)

 

Though this was a question presented to the disciples by Jesus, it aligns with where my mind still lingers after Sunday’s message. During the sermon, Surprised by Hope – The Ascension, my pastor posed a very poignant question, as he had us participate in the following exercise. Close your eyes. Picture Jesus. What do you see? Do you see a baby lying in a manger? A boy, learning and growing in the temple? Perhaps a teen, learning carpentry? Or do you see Jesus as He began His ministry, touching the untouchables, healing the hurting, and teaching all who would hear? Perhaps an image of Christ on the cross comes to mind? An empty tomb? Maybe you imagine Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after He had risen. Though all of the aforementioned images are part of who Jesus is, none portray Jesus now. For after He had commissioned the disciples to go out into all the earth, He ascended into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is on His throne, and is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, where He is worshipped continually, and has reclaimed all power and authority that belong to Him. He holds all in His hands, and there is NOTHING that He cannot overcome. How we picture Jesus, impacts how we think He can move.

 

Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter six, verses one through nine, was given a glimpse of God seated on the throne. He became very aware of his own sinfulness, and as a result, asked for forgiveness. As he was forgiven, he was then commissioned to be the mouthpiece to a sinful people that surrounded him.

 

Today, we have access to both the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts are continually being drawn unto Him. It is up to us to accept all that He has done with a repentant heart, and then go forth as He calls. May we hold fast to the truth of who He is, and allow Him to update the image we hold in our heart.

 

When I close my eyes,Who Do You See

whom does my heart see?

An infant in hay,

looking up at me?

Or perhaps a boy,

seeking all that’s true;

a young man growing,

preparing for new?

Could it be the man,

who went out to touch;

He healed hurting hearts,

as He loved so much?

Is it the Savior,

hanging on the cross;

or the empty grave,

that dealt death its loss?

Do I see the One,

who walked through the wall;

showed His nail-scarred hands,

to answer a call?

What I ought to see,

is Christ on His throne;

all power is His,

and I’m called His own.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You, personally. Thank You Jesus, for dying, rising, and ascending to take Your rightful place. Thank You that as You are seated on Your throne, You intercede on our behalf. Thank You that Your ascension affirms all blessings and promises that were previously made, for You are good and faithful. Thank You that You sent Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and that You are preparing a place for us. Forgive us for our warped view of You, and help us to begin to picture You properly. Teach us to embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and help us to go forth in love, just as You have loved us. May many come to know You as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as they allow You to come rule and reign in their lives too. Be magnified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

 

 

 

 

His Help Sustains

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.” – (Psalm 54:4)

 

As I read this morning’s passages, this verse in Psalm 54, commanded my attention. Though they were David’s words in reference to his own struggles with Saul and his insanity that was constantly trying to kill him, (among other challenges), I could not help but relate it to Jesus and what He must have been going through on this day, so many years ago. He knew the horrors He would willingly have to endure to make the way for mankind to become reconciled back to right relationship with the Father. Jesus also knew that He would be betrayed and abandoned by His dearest friends in His greatest hour of need. After time in the upper room with the disciples, Jesus knew He needed to go to the garden to pray, to commune with God, His help and the One who sustained Him when all others were unable to so much as stay awake and keep watch.

 

People are flawed, and cannot nor should not be our ultimate source of help and hope. Yes, God gives us amazing people in our lives to help, encourage, lift up, and walk beside – but ultimately, our help comes from Him. He is the One who sustains us, and the Lord is our help and our hope. Because of what He willingly went through all those years ago, first in the garden, then before Pilot and Herod and the rest, what He endured on both the ground and while He hung on that cross – was all for us – for you and me, individually, so that we could come to Him and trust Him to be our help and our hope. If not even death can defeat Christ, how can we not trust Him to be our help in all things?

 

Surely You are,His Help Sustains

my help and my strength;

sustaining One,

Who goes to great lengths.

You bore my sin,

and all of my shame;

so I might know,

the hope in Your Name.

O Lord, my God,

again I’m amazed;

at Your great love,

I give You all praise.

I place my trust,

in Your mighty hands;

Your will be done,

by Your grace, I stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and the One who sustains us. Thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to have access to You and know You as our personal Savior. Thank You that You are not God out there, but You are God right here, dwelling in the hearts of all who believe. Forgive us for not turning to You when troubles come, or for attempting to take on trials in our own strength. Thank You that You love us so much that You provide Your help and strength, and often, You provide people too. Help us to be available to those around us, so that You may use us to encourage and build up the body. May we love others as You love us, and may many come to know You as their help and their hope this Easter weekend. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

– Acts 2:28

 

 

 

The Bread and the Cup

The Bread and the CupFinal day of freedom,

prior to the great test;

time spent with disciples,

the ones who knew Him best.

Together they gathered,

in the large upper room;

to share a final meal,

His demise would come soon.

Jesus in His great love,

broke bread and lifted up;

said, “eat and remember,

as you gather to sup.”

In the very same way,

after bread took the cup,

“My blood poured out for you,

a new covenant trust.”

They could not truly grasp,

all that Christ was saying;

His heart heavy with grief,

for what He’d been praying.

Despite the great sorrow,

He did willingly choose;

to lay down His own life,

so ours we wouldn’t lose.

As we gather, recall,

the price we could not pay;

for the bread and the cup,

all our sin washed away.

(Responding to Luke 22:19-20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to live. Thank You Jesus, for giving Your life for mine, though I deserve it not. Please forgive us for all that we do that is not pleasing to You, and help us to remember with grateful hearts, the greatest gift we have ever been given – eternal life in You. Teach us to embrace Your grace all the more, so that we may live boldly for You, loving as You love, and allowing Your light to shine brightly through us. May many come to know the glorious gift of Your sacrifice, and may they receive all that You have to offer. Let us honor You with all that we say and do, and may our love be a pleasing offering unto You. Amen.

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

Purposeful Passover

On this sacred day

Leonardo da Vinci'sThe Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s
The Last Supper

many years ago,

Jesus told His men,

“find a room, now go.”

Preparations made,

the table was set,

for Passover feast,

they still knew not yet.

As each one arrived,

Jesus washed their feet.

Is this how a king,

comes to claim His seat?

While eating the meal,

He stopped and soon said,

“One will betray me,

who shares in this bread.”

Sorrow surrounded,

with “surely not I’s.”

Anguish awaited,

the one who denied.

Christ then took the bread,

gave thanks, handing each,

saying, “remember,

whenever you eat.”

He then took the cup,

and in the same way,

gave thanks and shared it,

“remember today.”

The bread – my body,

my blood is the cup,

both broken and shed,

to save and lift you up.

(Responding after rereading each of the accounts of the Last Supper from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son so that we have a way to come into a personal relationship with You.  Thank You that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are able to come together as a body and remember with thanksgiving as we commemorate the Last Supper, each time we take communion.  Forgive us for not recognizing the significance of the moment as we partake, and help us to move forward with a fresh understanding of just how significant was Your sacrifice, and what a privilege we have to be a part of Your body – able to stop and remember all that You have done for us because of Your great love.  May our lives be lived in such a way, that Your love is evident in all that we do and say.  May many come to know You, by our love.  Amen.

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