Today’s Reading: John 21:4 (NIV)
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
I love the early mornings, when I first stumble out of bed and tiptoe down the dark hallway to the study where I write. Now that daylight savings time has begun, the near morning haze begins as early as 5ish, and if I strain my eyes, I can see clearly outside my front picture window. What I always hear, even in the dark stillness of the night is the melodious chirping of the birds celebrating a brand new day. It is as if they cannot get on with the task at hand without first chirping their songs of praise to the Lord. They seem to have no problem recognizing and adoring their creator. Why do we?
The weather is warming up just enough now when early morning walks are actually quite enjoyable. Apart from the seasonal allergies that seem to make my nose run, I especially enjoy all the new spring bulbs sprouting through the cold, hard earth. It is amazing that something so tiny and tender can push through the hard crust of a frozen ground and then open into brilliant splendor as the sun emerges each day. They push through in praise and glory, adding significant beauty to the earth’s splendor. Only the Father could have created something so incredibly magnificent. Have you seen it?
How often does the Lord speak to us and we simply don’t realize it is Him?
I hear God speak through the mouths of precious children: the little ones who are starving, the contrary who are spoiled rotten, and the curious ones who long to learn and grow every day. Tiny hands reaching out from their beds early in the morning crying, “Mama, come get me! I’m awake! I’m awake!” Are we really awake to the gift of new life given each new day, or are we sleeping through a precious and holy moment? God speaks in the urgent messages of our clergy, delivered by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit of their lives. Voices resound with Christ’s words to go preach, teach, baptize and reach. Where have all the preachers gone? Why are our Christian schools and seminaries struggling to find students who long to learn and speak God’s Word to the world? Have we somehow grown deaf to the Lord’s early morning call? When was the last time you sat in church and your heart burned with an unquenchable fire to hear more?
Jesus calls us in the early morning. We can learn something of great value from the birds, the babies and the preachers in our lives. Wake up and give praise to God on high! Push past the slumbering sleep of your stagnant soul and recognize the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is. Calling from the shore, He speaks. Will you recognize Him when He calls out to you today?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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