Lets face it by Levone

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									Twelve Truths About Jesus…
Let‘s face it. Christmas can often feel as if we are running a marathon. We scurry to decorate the
house. We dash from store to store to purchase just the right gifts. We rush to gather with friends
and family. We frantically sing, Joy to the World or Jingle Bells, while going over last minute lists in
our head. Weighed down by the wrapping, the mailing, and the cooking and even past memories, that
by the time Christmas arrives, often we can feel anything but Joy; yet at the same time being made
to think that we should feel a certain way. Sometimes an unexpected sense of emptiness envelops us.
Are we missing something? Could it be that we have forgotten (or did we ever know) that the real
focus of Christmas is the gift that God has given us; Jesus, His Son.

But who is this Jesus whose birth we celebrate on December 25? He is so significant to the world
that we measure time by his coming. (BC – before Christ / AD the Year of our Lord). But how well
do we really know Him?

There are many misconceptions about Jesus. Did He really exist? How do we know for sure? What
kind of man was He? Why did He die? Was He truly the Savior? Did He come to save me? Can I
know Him now?

We invite you to pause from the past weeks of preparation and for a few moments each day, hear
twelve truths about Jesus. Through the abundant Grace of our Lord, and the knowledge that this
compassionate Son loves you more than you can possibly imagine, come meet your Lord; announced
by angels, heralded by a star and born in a manger this holy night.
JESUS IS MAN – The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe / Bishop of Central Florida

"Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father
does, the Son does likewise." (John 5:19)

           Have you ever noticed the fact that the miracles of Jesus are actually replications of what God has been doing
throughout history - but on a different scale, at a different speed? Every year God sends the rains to refresh the earth and
provide life-giving moisture to plants and animals alike. The rain sinks into the soil, and the plants "drink" it up through their
roots, and send it forth through their branches to produce leaves and fruit. A vine that grew outside my home in
Pennsylvania, took a whole growing season to produce lush Concord grapes. In the fall one could harvest those grapes, crush
them, and make juice. And if one had the talent and the patience, that juice could be stored in barrels, and in a matter of
months or years, the juice would become a wonderful wine.
           God turned (rain) water into wine! But it happened so slowly that you might not have noticed it was a miracle...until
the Son of God stepped onto the stage of human history, and in an instant performed the same awesome transformation! If
we have eyes to see it we will recognize this is the work of God, and it will convince us that Jesus the man is also exactly what
he claimed to be: the very Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us. But if we reflect a bit further, we may come to recognize as
well that every time we drink a glass of wine we are in the presence of the One who walked the shores of Galilee so long ago.
           Analyze the miracles of Jesus and you will notice they are all like this: replications of what God has been doing all
along - or, in a couple of instances, prefigures of what the Kingdom will be like when it arrives in its fullness. (As when Jesus
overcame the limitations of our present age by walking on the water, or appearing in the Upper Room when the door was
locked.)
           Somehow, Jesus was so "in tune" with what the Father was doing, he could enter into it and join the Father in making
it a reality. How wonderful if we could develop our ability, our sensitivity, to what the Father is doing that we, too, could
make his desires our own.

Open my eyes to see what you are doing, Father, that I might not waste my time on lesser things, but instead enter into your
work and make it mine, for Jesus sake. Amen.



JESUS IS GOD – The Rt. Rev. Bertram N. Herlong / Bishop of Tennessee

Isaiah, the great prophet from Judah, wrote…―the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give
birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.‖

         Seven-hundred and fifty years later, Isaiah‘s prophecy was fulfilled. Matthew gives this account: ―An angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‗Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what
is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He
will save His people from their sins.‘ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‗The virgin will
be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel - which means, God with us.‘‖
          John reaffirmed the divinity of Jesus when he wrote, ―In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the
One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.‖
         Jesus was the Word, the eternal Son of Almighty God. He became the Word made flesh, Immanuel, God dwelling
with us. The evidence of His divinity is staggering. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, walked on water,
calmed the seas, multiplied the fish and bread to feed the multitudes and, as John wrote, ―did many other things as well. If
every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be
written.‖
          But did the Word become Immanuel simply to reveal the existence of God through a multitude of amazing
manifestations of His power? No, as the angel revealed to Joseph, the Word became Jesus to ―save His people from their
sins.‖ His very name is a revelation of the heart of His mission. In Hebrew, Jesus‘ name is ―Yahshua.‖ means ―salvation or
savior.‖ Jesus is the self-Existent Son of the Eternal Almighty God who became Immanuel, God with us, in order to be the
one and only source of human salvation. The Son of God became the Son of Man in order that children of men could
become children of God by grace through faith in Immanuel, the Word made flesh full of grace and truth.
Collect of the Incarnation: ―O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human
nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of Him who humbled Himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.‖



JESUS IS LORD! The Rev. Tom Rutherford / Rector of the Church of the Messiah, Winter Garden, FL

The angel said to the shepherds, ―I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord!‖ (Luke 2:10-11)

          Jesus is Lord! We say it. We pray it. We sing it. It‘s repeated all through the New Testament and in our liturgy. But
what does it mean to say, ―Jesus is Lord?‖ ―Lord‖ is a foreign word to us in the United States. We don‘t have ―lords,‖ like they
do in England. So how do we translate ―Lord‖ from English to American?             ―Lord‖ means ―Governor,‖ but not as in Florida
in 2003 Jeb Bush! ―Lord‖ means ―Ruler,‖ but not the kind with 12 inches! ―Lord‖ means ―the King,‖ but not Elvis! ―Lord‖
means ―the Boss,‖ but not Bruce Springsteen!
          Jesus is Boss! But not only THE Boss. Jesus is OUR Boss.
          And he‘s a Boss unlike like any we‘ve ever known, because he loves us. Our bosses at work may like us and give us a
raise or a bonus every once in a while, but Jesus loves us and gives us eternal life and a place in his family! Jesus is boss for
OUR benefit, not his. At work, we serve our bosses, because it‘s good for THEM. We serve Jesus, because it‘s good for US.
Our bosses at work reap the rewards from OUR work. With Jesus, WE reap the rewards from HIS work.
          Another way he‘s different is that even though Jesus is All-Boss all the time, with the power to order us around and
to do to us whatever he wants whenever he wants, he doesn‘t throw his weight around. He‘s Lord, but he doesn‘t Lord it over
us. Instead, he comes to us gently and humbly: like a baby in a manger. In this season of Christmas, let us join ―our voices
with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven,‖ and echo the words the shepherds heard about Jesus: ―He is
Christ the Lord!‖ OUR Lord. And Boss!

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of
lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his
most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
                                                                                               (Collect for Proper 29, BCP 236)



JESUS IS SAVIOR - The Rev. Jon Davis / Asst. Rector All Saints Episcopal Church; Winter Park, FL

There are many reasons God saves you: to bring glory to himself, to appease his justice, to demonstrate his sovereignty. But
one of the sweetest reasons God saved you is because he is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the
best thing to come down the pike in quite a while…. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet,
your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he'll
listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face
it, friend. He's crazy about you! Max Lucado / A Gentle Thunder

          We don‘t like to think of ourselves as people in need. We like to think we are strong, self sufficient, independent,
rugged individuals who can make it in this world on our own. This rugged individualism might be predominately an
―American‖ issue but I doubt that. Humanity likes to proclaim its independence; it was the desire of Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden to be like God. We would think of ourselves as the ―hero‖ coming in at the last to save the day, defeat the
enemy and free the captives.
          In reality we are the ones in need of being saved. In that ―movie‖ we are the captives, the damsel in distress tied to
the railroad tracks with the approaching train in need of saving. Humanity is flawed and it is a flaw unto death. We are
infected with a lethal virus called sin. Sin is a ―good church‖ word but can easily be understood in its root as ―missing the
mark‖. We have missed the mark of being righteous and good. We might have our noble moments but because there is
failure in us we are worthy of being condemned. Sin is that failure. If you were to mix a lethal dose of poison (sin) into a
recipe, regardless of how good the rest of the ingredients are, how pure, how wonderful to the taste, they are still infected with
the poison and the end result is a meal leading to death.
          Jesus is the antidote for that poison. He is the remedy for the virus. Jesus comes to save us from our sin, to deliver us
from ―darkness into light‖, ―sin into righteousness‖ ―death into life‖. We cannot save ourselves we are in need of the hero to
ride in on the white horse and save us from our oppressor who binds us in chains and holds us captive. Jesus is that hero! He
comes with power to break the bondage of sin, to deliver us from evil, to set us free.
          As the quote from Max Lucado above says it, there are lots of reasons why Jesus does this for us. Most of all it is
because Jesus loves us. God is love and he sent His Son to save us from our sins. That is what Christmas is about the coming
of one who is able to save and deliver us. We greet Jesus at Christmas seeing the shadow of the cross and resurrection and the
incredible price He would pay to redeem us, the shedding of His own blood and the sacrifice of His life on our behalf.

Almighty God who sent your son Jesus Christ into this world to save sinners, grant that we by faith may take hold of this
great redemption and salvation and so be saved from death and brought into eternal life.



HE IS LOVE - The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker / Bishop of Fort Worth

―God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all who believe in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.‖ (John 3:16)

         This is one of the most popular and most memorized verses in the entire Bible. Martin Luther called it ―the Gospel in
a nutshell.‖ It reminds us that ―God is love‖ (I John 4:16) and that Jesus is God‘s love come among as a living person. In
Jesus, the Incarnate Love of God, we see what God is like. We see divine love in action - forgiving, seeking, healing.
encouraging and calling - as Jesus interacts with other people in the Gospels.
         The shortest summary of the Good News is this: ―God loves you!‖ And the living proof of that promise is the Lord
Jesus Christ. To know him is to know the liberating, empowering, life-changing love of God. The reason the Christian faith
speaks afresh to each new generation is because our need to be loved lies at the very heart of human nature. We need to be
loved - we need to share love with others - in order to find fulfillment and purpose in life.
         St. Augustine once said: ―God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.‖ Isn‘t that incredible? To
know that God loves us in spite of our faults and failures and sins is the beginning of a new way of living, that leads to
everlasting life, starting now.
         Some years ago, a saintly old priest gave me a framed quote that simply says, ―The heart of the matter is love.‖ We
keep it on the wall in our kitchen to remind us of this profound truth that is the heart of the Gospel message. God is all about
love. Jesus is all about love. Is it what you and I are all about?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love. Set my heart on fire with a love for the Lord Jesus Christ and enable me to share
his love with others in every day life. Amen.



JESUS IS SERVANT – The Rt. Rev. Stephen Jecko / Bishop of Florida

         ―But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from
there. And many followed him, and he healed them all, and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what
was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I
will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.‖ (Matthew 12:14-18)

        The current film, The Gospel of John, presents a vivid portrayal of the wedding at Cana where Jesus, reluctantly,
changed water into wine. After the deed was done, and the guests were obviously pleased, Jesus seems to be joyful. He had
acted more as the host than as a servant. The host of any party or gathering is more accurately the servant of the guests.
Guests expecting to get that old wine (injustice) as the party went on were treated to good wine – a small but significant
symbol of Jesus‘ sense of appropriate (just) service to the guests
        Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus in Blue Jeans, relates her experience as a frequent traveler who is used to varying
degrees of service. She relates (p.141f) how impressed she was at the courtesy and friendliness of the folks at the Philadelphia
Airport Marriot – ―from the clerk at the check-in desk to the bellman who helped me with my luggage to the person who
delivered room service to the person who took my messages. Finally, as I was leaving, I turned to the shuttle driver and said,
‗Why do I feel so cared about here? This place has been wonderful.‘ He smiled and said, ‗Well, Ms. Jones, the way I see it,
when you‘re here, you are my guest, and I want to do everything in my power to make sure you feel like this is your second
home. I guess everyone else who works here feels the same way.‘‖
          Jesus didn‘t seek invitations to parties, he invited us all to a heavenly banquet. He came not be served, but to serve.
He modeled true Servanthood. Perhaps the most helpful metaphor for post-modern folks to get in touch with Jesus‘
Servanthood is just that of being the host – par excellence. Matthew, quoting Isaiah, sees Jesus‘ Servanthood as enabling
justice in the world. What a novel idea! The quality of the hosting environment can make a significant impact on the lives of
the guests. Dare our churches poll their visitors about the experience encountered when visiting last Sunday? What could we
learn about hosting? …about Servanthood? What could the world learn of Jesus if his Body truly was hosting?

         Lord, you were a guest in our world and we did not host you very well. Forgive us. As we anticipate once again the
celebration of your entrance into this world, teach us to be good hosts, that we may serve the world in your Name. Amen.




JESUS IS OUR HOPE - The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez / Retired Bishop of Texas

         Jesus Christ , our Lord and Savior, is our hope for this life and the life to come! Jesus is our hope. He is our Risen
Lord, meaning that He is alive, today! And you and I, each one of us, can know him, right now. We can have a close
personal relationship with him in our daily lives, right now! We can entrust our lives to Jesus, and know that we are firmly in
God's hands, and know that Jesus is our hope.
         But that is not all. The Resurrection of Jesus proves that there is life beyond the grave. Death for you and me, and
for our loved ones, is not the end! We can shout it to the rooftops, "I know that Jesus, my Redeemer, lives and that He shall
stand at the Last Day (whether that be the end of time, or the end of my life) but He shall stand on the face of the earth, and
though this body of ours be worn out, or destroyed, yet shall we see God, whom we shall see for ourselves, and our eyes shall
behold, and not as strangers, but as his beloved." (Job: 19-25) Yes, Jesus is our hope, and His promise to us is ever, "Because I
live, you shall live also‖. (John 14:19) It is well expressed in that Gospel hymn composed by Bill Gaither, "Because He lives, I
can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone." But that still is not the whole story. In Jesus, we can have a personal
relationship with Him all of the days of our life, and "Because He lives", -- we can face tomorrow, or any other circumstance
that confronts us in this troubled world, because Jesus is our glory and our hope. And, come what may, we can live with Him
forever, throughout all eternity. That is true, and very important. But Jesus is not only our Lord and Savior who gives us
security for this lifetime, and hope for a new life beyond the grave..
         Jesus is the beginning of God's New World, a world reborn and transformed. He is the beginning of history begun
anew, the human race marching in a changed direction, with people like you and me, and countless more, becoming new
creatures, a part of God's new creation , God's Kingdom, with Jesus, the Lord of glory, reigning supreme, bringing in this
revolutionary new world, in which all humanity is intended to be a part!. Jesus is God's declaration that the Kingdoms of this
world shall become the Kingdom of our God, and He shall reign forever and ever. (Rev.11:15) Jesus inaugurated His
Kingdom, and it shall be in the future, and is right now! Jesus is our hope!
         Some years ago, driving down a back country highway in East Texas, I turned on my radio to a country music
station. Only this one was a Gospel country station, and I was fascinated by what I heard. The singer sang, " Oh, I read the
back of the Book, and we won!" "Yes, I read of the back of the Book and we won!" "Oh, I read the back of the Book, I read
the back of the Book, and we won!" Frankly, the tune wasn't much, and the lyrics were a bit monotonous, but the theology
was superb, and it conveyed a profound message of hope. Read the back of the Book and see! We won! Jesus is our hope!

Almighty God, fill our hearts and minds this day with abundant faith and joy, knowing that your Blessed Son, Jesus, is our
hope for this life, and the life to come. Amen
JESUS IS THE HEALER – The Rev. David Wilson / Rector All Saints Episcopal Church Winter Park, Florida

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and
by his bruises we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5)

         In Matthew‘s Gospel we read, ―Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good
news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.‖ (Mt. 4:23) One day this verse jumped
out at me during a Bible study, and it became clear that Jesus came to preach, teach and heal, and we are called to enter into
the same kind of ministry in the world today. The Church has done a great deal of preaching and teaching down through the
years, but very few churches have taken the healing ministry seriously.
         Jesus is the healer, and he wants us to draw on his power to bring healing to the people who are sick and suffering in
this broken world. This is a ministry that can involve every believing Christian because the needs are so great in the
communities where we live our lives. It is interesting to note that most physicians testify to the fact that patients with faith
and a covering with prayer seem to heal faster and tend to exude greater confidence in the healing process. Indeed, a
community of faith with a strong pastoral arm and an active healing ministry will attract members because people are drawn
to the love that pervades such a church.
         The story of Jesus healing the man born blind is a wonderful example of the freedom that comes to a person who is
healed supernaturally. Jesus spat on the ground and made mud with saliva and spread the mud on the man‘s eyes, saying to
him, ―Go wash in the pool of Siloam,‖ which means ―sent‖. The man went right to the pool and came back to Jesus and he
was able to see. When interrogated by the Pharisees as to who had healed him, he simply said, ―Why do you want to know,
do you want to be one of his disciples?‖ This kind of freedom is very attractive, and when anyone experiences a true blessing
from Jesus, the joy of being healed is quickly transmitted from person to person like good news that knows no bounds.

O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your
power to possess me, body mind, and spirit, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



IMAGE OF THE FATHER – The Rev. Danielle Morris / Executive Director – Walking the Mourners Path

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn‘t be a great moral teacher. He‘d be either a
lunatic—on a level with a man who says he‘s a poached egg—or else he‘d be the devil of hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. C. S. LEWIS (1898–1963)

         So Jesus said, ―I when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be, and
that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.‖ ( John 8: 28)

         Who is this Jesus, born, as a human child in a humble manger, yet heralded by angels, worshiped by shepherds and
venerated by wise men? I am reminded of a man who lay dying. He had been angry with God for over 30 years. His death
was filled with trepidation, fear and foreboding. We prayed together. He asked God to forgive him and Jesus did.
 Immediately there was a miraculous change in the man. The pain that had racked his body left him. The fear that trapped his
soul was replaced with joy and anticipation for the eternal life he would soon enter. He died peacefully two hours later,
surrounded by those who loved him, and released to Him who loves him most.
         A self-declared sage in our culture Oprah Winfrey once said, ―When someone shows you who they are, believe
them.‖ As the image of the Father, Jesus shows us who God is. He is: Wonderful; Counselor; Almighty God; Loving;
 Merciful; Forgiving. We who are sinners are deserving of punishment. However, out of God‘s enormous love for us, he
sent His only Son to come to earth to bear our sins. Jesus willingly took our sin upon himself. By doing so, Jesus was
condemned to a torturous death on our behalf so that we may live. Here‘s the most amazing thing: He would do it all
again!

‖Lord, God., come into my life in a way I have never known before. Let me see who you are and let me grow closer to you.‖
JESUS IS THE WAY - The Rev. Cary Grubbs / Griffin, Georgia

―Jesus said… ‗I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.‘ ‖ (John 14: 6 RSV)

          Jesus did not say, ―I will show you the way‖ or ―I know the way,‖ but he said, ―I AM the way…‖ Consider where you
are if you have no ‗way‘: you‘re lost. (Resist the temptation to limit Jesus to that eternal lost-ness about which evangelists
are prone to warn the world.) When my father would sometimes get turned around driving he would say, ―I‘m a lost ball in
high weeds.‖ There are times when we all feel like that—lost: no vision, no harbor, no direction in life, no way out and no
way home. Jesus provides direction, purpose and meaning to life. That‘s why Jesus links the ―way,‖ the ―truth,‖ and the ―life.‖
The Jesus WAY is the true way to real life.
          I was lost once on a mountain in north Georgia. It was a cold November and autumn leaves covered the tiny path I
followed to the summit. When I tried to retrace my steps I discovered that the little path which seemed so clear on the way
up looked like any one of a dozen little leaf covered pathways most of which were not really paths at all but false trails leading
nowhere. After four hours I finally made it back to the road, my cabin, and my worried wife. I was cut and bruised, cold and
bone-tired after hacking my way through about 4 miles of thorns and underbrush. Understand—our cabin was less than a
quarter of a mile from the ridge but I couldn‘t find it. I took every wrong path, was cold, alone and, frankly, afraid. The way
back was long and hard.
          For many of us that is the story of our lives, or at least part of our lives. We take every wrong road, make every
wrong turn and wind up cold and alone like a ―lost ball in high weeds.‖ The good news is that there is a way home--it is Jesus
Himself. He is the WAY through all the pain, disappointment, rejection and loss that the world can throw at us. The sad part
is that so many of us choose to take the long, hard way when Jesus is already so close. Search for the Jesus WAY: He can be
found!

Lord Jesus, save us from all our misdirection. Be our WAY in all that we do and say and think. AMEN



JESUS IS TRUTH - The Rev. Jon Davis / Asst. Rector All Saints Episcopal Church; Winter Park, FL

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately
important." C.S. Lewis

          In a day of relativism where people are living by their own design, we hear Jesus boldly proclaim, ―I am the Truth‖
(John 14:6). What an amazing statement: Jesus, the ultimate truth! If something is absolutely true it is so for all time. There
have been truths that were believed to be absolute and after discovery were found to be false. For centuries the earth was
believed to be at the center of the universe. Copernicus came along and disproved that thought. He challenged the status quo
and he was right. Other discoveries have rattled the world in similar ways. Yet there is a truth that remains unshaken.
          Much of the world we live in seems to be adrift. We are in a sea tossed about by the waves with nothing to hold us
on course. Is there something we can believe and hold onto in this journey through life? Yes. Just as the early mariners
depended on the stars for navigation, there is a ―fixed‖ point, a North Star, by which we can navigate this life. There is a truth
that stands outside of our existence just as the stars hang in the sky and are a guide; there is a truth that will never fail. That
truth is Jesus, heralded by a Christmas star as the messiah, the deliverer, God‘s own Son, sent to save us from our sins. He is
the truth on which you can build a life, safe and secure on the rock rather than on sinking sand.
          When people fail me, when I am disappointed in leaders of nations, when I am fearful of the economy, when I am
anxious over a friend or family member, when there is the threat of illness or danger, when I am betrayed, lost, terrified,
alarmed, dejected, disoriented, confused there is one who is able to speak to me about the ultimate reality, the ultimate truth
and that is of great comfort. Jesus speaks His word and not only is it truth, He himself is truth. In the midst of this life I can
take hold of Jesus Christ and know he will not fail me. I need to construct my life upon Him who ―is the same, yesterday,
today and forever‖. (Hebrews 13:8)

My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on
Jesus' name. When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale My anchor
holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.
JESUS IS LIFE - The Rev. Karen Egerton / Asst. Rector All Saints Episcopal Church; Winter Park, FL

―I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.‖ (John 10:10b)

          Often in our day to day existence someone does something to help us out and we respond to their help by saying,
―Thanks, you‘re a real life-saver!‖ We so easily acknowledge that what they did, whether large or small, impacted our lives.
Why then is it so difficult for us to believe that Jesus actually brings life to our lives? What is our response when we hear Jesus
say to us, ―I came that ___________ (insert your own name here) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than you
ever dreamed of.‖ (Adapted from Eugene Peterson‘s The Message) Why do we routinely grasp the insignificant and so often
miss the truly significant? Why are we willing to settle for so much less than what Jesus offers us?
          You and I are given, at this very moment, the offer of abundant life. Think of an abundance of anything…whatever
it is…the image is of something that is so plentiful that it spills over; it is uncontainable. That is what Jesus has for us, right at
this very moment: an abundance of life. He offers a life that is full and exciting and centered. He offers an experience that is
life-giving in all the deepest places of our soul. He offers eternal life that begins at this very moment in time. He calls us to a
life of adventures, challenges, joys, trials and sorrows and He promises that at every moment He will be pouring His life into
us through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Do you want this? Are you willing to reach out and grasp the most
life-giving offer ever made?
          A simple Samaritan woman said ―yes.‖ Jesus encountered her at a well. He offered her living water; He told her that
she could have within her a well that would keep her life refreshed and empowered. It became a life-changing, life-defining,
life-giving moment for her. (John 4:7-26) Phillip brought Nathaniel to Jesus and Nathaniel knew immediately that he had
encountered the Son of God. Nathaniel understood that he was known much more intimately than ever before: ―Where did
you get to know me?‖ he asked. And Nathaniel said ―yes‖ to Jesus. (John 1:47-51)
          What do you say? As you stand, like the Samaritan woman, by the well or, like Nathaniel, encounter Jesus and
recognize that He knows everything about your life? The life-giver offers each of us Himself; His very life. He comes that we,
you and I, might experience life as it was meant to be lived--abundantly, extravagantly. May each of us say ―yes!‖ and move
into that new life.

Lord, we thank you that you come to offer us life. Give us hearts and minds so to embrace your offer that we come with
open hearts, minds, and hands to receive your gift of abundant life. Amen

								
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