Aloha Friday Message – February 4, 2011 – A Gift Beyond Compare

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Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! Here we are already done with the month of January! It seems to fly by so fast and the faster it goes the more intense it gets. We have huge storms rolling across the Globe and unprecedented weather everywhere. We have wars and protests from Afghanistan to Egypt to Iraq. We have persecution and terror in Mexico, Colombia, Sudan and it seems like the World is unraveling moment by moment. It is arduous just to watch the news, and how much more wearying for those who are the news. Is there no peace to be had at all?

Hmmm. Check this out. This was the chosen verse for today:

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

This is another quotation from The Final Discourse (see www.aloha-friday.org/archives/1635) and something we easily forget when the weight of the world is on us. This long passage, part of the account of The Last Supper, is a summary of everything Jesus wanted his Apostles to know, and therefore a summary of what we need to know to live as his disciples. Some of the main themes in this section of the Gospel of John are found in 14:27-29; 16:1-4; and 16:9-11.

He encourages his disciples – and us – to take courage, not to worry, “be not afraid,” despite the inevitable persecution, difficulties, and even martyrdom he knew they would face. He assured them that they would not be alone, that no matter how bad it got, no matter how horrible it seemed, he would not abandon them. AND Jesus will never abandon us in our struggles. Christ has taken the victory for us; he has defeated the Accuser and the Accuser’s greatest “weapon,” Death.

I want to take a look at a couple of those themes mentioned previously.

14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. 28 You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.

JOHN 14:27
The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives culminates in total and everlasting Peace. Worldly peace, which is often thought of as the absence of conflict, the end of wars, is not a lasting peace because it is of the World. Jesus’ peace is more than “Shalom.” It is quietude in every set of circumstances we encounter in life. Christ’s Peace holds no room for fear of the present or the future and no room for regrets of the past. When our lives are hammered by the World and its ruler the Accuser we can allow the Holy Spirit to saturate and surround us with Christ’s peace (see Philippians 4:6, 7 for more on experiencing God’s Peace as well as Colossians 3:15).

JOHN 14:28
Jesus willingly submitted to God the Father who was “pleased to crush him and cause him to suffer.” (Isaiah 53:10 http://bible.cc/isaiah/53-10.htm) In this passage, he tells the Apostles he is going back to the Father, back to The Source, back to the Originator of Salvation so they can enjoy the bounteous blessing available only in the Messiah. For him, this is the ultimate Joy which makes enduring his ultimate Passion, Suffering, and Death endurable. God the Father sent Jesus the son; God the Father taught Jesus the Son; God the Father made Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In carrying out God’s plan for salvation, Jesus also endured many of the same physical limitations as would any human man (Philippians 2:6). Was he not afraid? Was he not in pain? Was he not in anguish over what was about to happen? Of course he was, but he also looked beyond as only God can; not in linear time, but in eternal time. I want so much to share with you something Fr. Ramelo Somera told us last Sunday:

“Jesus did not have a ‘World View.’ He had an ‘Eternal View’ a view that looks beyond time and place and sees everything it time and space as one, whole experience.” (At least that’s how I wrote it down in my notes, Fr. Ramel.) “Ah-HA,” said I. That’s a deal-changer. No wonder he has overcome the World. What if we perceive only trials and sorrows and the course of our lives? Jesus has seen the victory and the joy that is ours when we accept the Gift. He didn’t say, “I’m giving you World Peace.” In fact, he said instead, “You’re going to have a tough time of it.” What he did say was, “I’m giving you (like now) Peace – in me. Be in me and you have Peace – my very own Peace.” Beloved, that beats the daylights out of any peace I could give you or the World could give you. Is World Peace impossible then? Only if it is not his Peace, which unites the World in the joyous victory of God’s Salvation.

You want World Peace, you say? Where is, and more importantly Who is, yourPeace?

JOHN 14:27-29
Everything the Accuser can marshal against us can make us reel with confusion, pain, and even doubt. But Jesus’ gift – his very own Peace – is the Peace of God moving through our hearts and lives to resist, combat, and defeat these hostile forces. We can rely on being victorious and sharing that unsurpassable Peace. That Peace, his personal Peace, is ours if we are willing to accept it from him. Honor the Giver by accepting the Gift, Beloved! Am I “preaching to the choir?” Maybe. Maybe not. Do you feel Peace right this very moment? Or do you feel stressed, or angry, or afraid, or sad, or confused, or perhaps all of these at once? Check around you. Try to figure out where you laid down that Gift of Peace and then walked away from it.

I tell you, I do that so often, you’d think God would be tired of me whining about not being able to find it. But instead, he sends Jesus who taps me on the shoulder (if I’m lucky – sometimes he might need to give me a good swift kick in the head!), and he says, “Hey little brother, I think you dropped this; it looks like it belongs to you.” And there it is again. His Peace is right there in my hands and in my heart and in my spirit. Even if I can hold onto it for only a fleeting moment, it is a moment in him which is a moment in eternity. “Oh, what a foretaste of Glory Divine!” Goosebumps!!

I love you. Make it a great day. In him, you’ve got the World whipped. If you pray, don’t worry. If you worry, ya gotta pray. That’s how it works. There’s a wonderful Present waiting for you. Live in the Present in the present and you will know the Present for eternity.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved
Chick

Share-A-Prayer

Prayer for Every Living Soul (https://www.aloha-friday.org/archives/742)
Jesus, lover of mankind, You came to Earth centuries ago to be the way, the truth, and the life, and yet countless men and women, boys and girls, do not know You, do not love You as well as they could, and many are indifferent or opposed to You. In this state of being, Lord, they might not consciously offer You their lives today. There are millions more, Lord, who do know You, do love You, but do not know about, do not care about, or have forgotten about making a daily offering, so Lord, on behalf of all of these souls I offer You the best of their day today so that You might be loved and honored in some way by them, too. Lord Jesus Christ, be merciful to them all as miserable sinners, forgive them their sins, and bring them to everlasting life. Amen.

From FBF CB: Prayers need to go out for a FB friend’s daughter Audrin King and her family. Her two year old daughter was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. If you see this post, even if you don’t know her, God knows…

And for all our other friends, family, MBN members, and loved ones everywhere who are facing a similar situation, we ask for your prayers and good will as they confront this ordeal. Special prayers of thanks and praise as well for those who have “turned the corner,” and are entering or sustaining remission or cure.

Beloved, please pray for those who have known the peril and heartbreak of betrayal be it by loved-ones, family members, people at work or school or church, or in any relationship built on trust. Pray that God will nurture in them an irresistible affinity for him so that God’s Peace can restore what has been broken and heal what has been wounded.

Remember also our brothers and sisters all around the world who are experiencing historically terrible weather events on virtually every continent on this Earth. So-o-o-o much suffering! So much need to foster that Peace which surpasses all understanding. And so much necessity to let that Peace blossom into generosity at home and abroad.

And I close with a memorial statement from Todd Headquarters in Aurora, Colorado. Zeta Lorraine Lamke Todd, wife of Charles II and mother of Charles III, Kenneth, Daniel, David, Merilee, and John passed away at Cherry Creek Nursing Center after a very long hospitalization and a very short stint of hospice care. On behalf of the family, we thank you for your prayers over the past few months (ZL in the prayer requests), and we appreciate your statements of condolences and concern. All is well, though, and Mom is at last with her beloved husband (Dad died 13 years ago on his 81st birthday) and daughter. http://newcomerdenver.com/obituary.asp?src=value&obitid=45827&name=Zeta+Todd&city=Denver&st=CO

May Eternal Light shine upon them, and may they and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in Peace. AMEN.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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