Claudia May, PhD
Spiritual Director, Author, Storyteller, Educator
|Posted on March 26, 2015 at 2:50 PM||comments (4)|
9 He left that place and entered their synagogue; 10 a man was there with a withered hand, and they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored, as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him (Mattthew 12:9-14 NRSV).
God’s healing touch is not limited to time, confined by space and location, ruled by doctrines, diminished by criticism, or dictated by the free will of humans. No one or thing can hinder God’s desire to heal us, love us, forgive us. His hand will not be withered by our choices. His love and might will never wither. Let us give thanks to the God who does not need anyone’s approval, strength or power to do what only he can do and accomplish in and through us.
|Posted on March 25, 2015 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”
Mark 8:22–26, NRSV
Good friends, invaluable friends, and friends worth more than their weight in gold are the kind of friends who point us to Jesus and not to themselves for the answers and healing we seek. These are the friends who will beg Jesus to help us.
A blind man did not approach Jesus alone. People surrounded him as they brought him to Jesus. He did not have to speak for himself. The people accompanying him “begged [Jesus] to touch him” (Mark 8:22). Jesus did not say a word. He simply “took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village” (v23). Jesus took the blind man’s hand, and, as he did so, the blind man did not resist his touch. The blind man did not speak. He did not try to cure himself. He simply followed Jesus who touched him by holding his hand.
Jesus led the blind man “out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him” (v23), he did not tell the man what he should see; he simply asked him, “Can you see anything?” (v23). In turn, the man did not pretend to see something that he did not see. He did not try to impress Jesus. No. Instead, he said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking” (v24). Jesus did not admonish the man for telling the truth, nor did he consider himself a failure for not healing him of his blindness or wrestle with self-doubt. No. Instead, “Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and [the blind man] looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (v25). The blind man still had to work to see — anything. He had to focus his sight on his surroundings. He had to adjust to his new vision. The restoration of his sight was complete because he saw everything, and I mean, “everything clearly” (v25). The people who “look[ed] like trees, walking” failed to occupy his sight (v24).
Jesus did not ask for praise. He did not congratulate himself for a job well done; he simply asked the man who was once blind to go home, and he instructed him to “not even go into the village” (v26). The man who was once blind did not say a word. And Jesus did not have to hold the man's hand anymore.
Precious Lord, Heavenly Papa, Beloved Jesus, help us to see you, ourselves and one another, and help us to see our surroundings through the lens of your love, and through your healing power. Help us to cultivate relationships and build alliances that place you at the center of our lives. And thank you Heavenly Papa for sending those who point us to you for wisdom, strength, love, and wisdom. Amen.
|Posted on March 23, 2015 at 8:45 AM||comments (2)|
Recently, I said to Jesus, “I would rather sit with people like me such as prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, and sinners than with the righteous who believe they are without sin — in this, you are my shepherd, and you are my example.” Then Jesus said, “Claudia, did I ever turn away a Pharisee or a Sadducee or Scribes or other authority figures when they followed me or tried to talk to me? Did I ever refuse an invitation to dine or converse with those who disagreed with me? Did I ever turn my back on someone who thought they were without sin?”
Drop the microphone. The sound system squeals as the microphone hits the floor.
And I say, "Nuff’ said Jesus. Nuff’ said."
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him"
(Matthew 21: 28-32).
|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
Can anyone exhaust knowing Jesus?
He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Whatever the sin, I cannot throw the first stone at anyone because by doing so I would be throwing stones at myself.
7 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s[a] eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor,‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
Precious Lord, help us to hear your voice above all others.
While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
Precious Lord, Heavenly Papa, teach us how to love you, ourselves, and one another.
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
We learn how to "love one another" (John 13:34) by observing how Jesus loved God, himself, and others. We learn how to love by experiencing how Jesus loves us. Even Jesus needed the love of God. Jesus' heavenly Papa taught him how to love. By receiving and experiencing God's love Jesus could love others.
Let us be a teachable people and learn how God the Father loved his beloved son, Jesus, and us. If we are to know how Jesus loved we must spend time pondering the biblical stories that detail the life of Jesus. We must spend time with him. We must talk to Jesus, share our heart with him, and listen to him. As we abide in Jesus, and as he abides in us, God's love will influence all that we do and say.
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
|Posted on March 17, 2015 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
Being available to God fosters a liberated life.
But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing (James 1:25).