Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The arm of God

Today’s Reading: John 12:37-38(NIV)

37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Good morning!

Do you ever wonder what God’s arm might look like?

I’m learning a great deal in the World Religions cluster I am taking this quarter. There are many fascinating religious traditions to explore; yet, it is the non-religious traditions that totally have me puzzled. One such belief system teaches that every facet of life can and should be proven with tangible, physical evidence. Therefore, if the existence of a holy God cannot be proven with pure fact, then it raises enough doubt in the minds of some human beings to question whether God exists at all. “I don’t know; therefore, it is not possible” is a philosophy embraced by many highly intelligent, well-educated people. There seems to be a clear disconnect between faith and reason. This is not a new way of thinking. According to Isaiah, this mindset has existed for thousands of years.

On the other hand, I cannot imagine my life without the love of God in it, especially given the world I live in today. I see walking, talking miracles all around me. Every morning when I awake, I realize I’ve been given a brand new day to enjoy. I see His beauty in nature and I know the arm of God alive and well in the world. I experience God’s love through my children and grandchildren. They are proof positive of His amazing grace.

Isaiah said, “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Jesus, Almighty God in human flesh, reveals the arm of God in every aspect of His earthly life. People witnessed unimaginable physical and emotional healing; they saw dead people raised to life again. They heard His teaching, and observed the impact He made upon the lives of family members and friends; yet, many walked away unconvinced, refusing to believe.

It is His holy connection that draws us together in love. We extend the arm of God when we choose to make a lasting difference in the life of another human heart. We build homes for the homeless, feed hungry children and provide medical care for the sick and infirm. Can you imagine what the arms of Jesus Christ must have looked like as He stretched them out on a crossbeam of splintered wood? Jesus surrendered His earthly life to offer new life for a sin-sick humanity. When Jesus conquered sin and death, His earthly body was “high, and lifted up,” nailed to a Roman cross of shame. It was at that moment when the arm of God literally embraced the world.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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