Devotional: 2nd Sunday of Easter

  • Rev. 1:4-8
  • John 20:19-31

This Sunday is the second Sunday of Easter. It is officially Eastertide, or Easter Season. As I read the lectionary for this weekend, I noticed this: God is all. He is three in one. He is Father, Son, and Spirit.

I am just a lowly being like doubting Thomas. When Thomas touched the side of Jesus and the wounds in his hands, he realized at once that the man he had followed for so long was God incarnate.

This might have not dawned on Thomas until that moment.

As some of you know, I’ve been following Jesus since my baptism for three years now. But it wasn’t until Maundy Thursday that I believed in Jesus as God Incarnate. I had to imagine God washing my feet to realize the humbleness God showed in Jesus. Just as the psalm says by Paul “Even though he was God, he humbled himself in the form of a slave, in obedience to God the Father.”

How can we imagine this Jesus as God incarnate? Not just as a man, but the God who humbled himself last Friday on to the cross for our sake? The God who died to draw all to himself, because he wants to get to know each and every one of us?

Because Jesus is the God Almighty, who was, who is, and is to come. But what does that mean, especially in our relationship to Him?

It means that God was there when we were children, meek, annoying, gullible, and so loved by him. Even if your childhood was less than okay, he was there. And he is here now, loving us and cheering us on. He arranges our every day Life to let us see his love, even in ways we wouldn’t expect.

Let us love God back. Let us cherish him as he will cherish us in the future, because his love never stops.

When we are old, and die, he will welcome us in his Kingdom, where all will be well. This love will never end.

So, as you feel the touch of Jesus in your life, be glad that he will ALWAYS be there. Past, present, and future.

To the glorious future ahead.

Do not doubt like me or Thomas, just believe.

Father in Heaven, who came in the form of Jesus, and is with now in God the Spirit, let us acknowledge you as Sovereign of Love in our lives. Even when we cannot love ourselves, or others refuse to love us, you have loved us, love us now, and will love us always as believers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Alleluia and Amen.

A Tiny Sermon: Welcomed Home

  • First reading
    • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 32
  • Second reading
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Gospel
    • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Whether you were baptized by immersion as a teenager, or baptized by sprinkling as a baby, we entered a new life at baptism.  Like the Israelites when they crossed the Jordan River, they tried the food of the land.  This marked a new life for them.  They were no longer a wandering people: they were home.  Likewise, when we are baptized at any age, we are no long a wandering people.  We are home.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Lost Son. After confessing his sins and realizing that home is always better than being away, he comes into the arms of His Father.  He is embraced in love, while his brother is scornful that he gets a celebration.  

When we come to the Lord for the first time, or are coming back after a long hiatus, we are welcomed into loving arms.  The Father welcomes us by embracing us in the arms of His Son, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.  As Unitarians, I know we are welcomed by the Father and the Son. 

Because Christ died on that cross for us so that we could be reconciled to God.

While my stories of family members returning to God after being atheists for so long are too personal to share, I want you to know that God welcomes you into his loving arms, always.  

We are lost, and then we are found.  We were dead, and then we were made alive in the waters of baptism.  We are home.

And when we pass away, we will enter our Eternal home as children of God in Heaven.  

Ponder on that, my friends.  We are always welcome in the arms of our Father.

Amen and Amen

Let’s be honest: I’m exploring the Trinity (for now)

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to give a little bit of a life update.

For most or all of winter, God has felt so far away from me. The Unitarian God, that is.

I’ve also felt tugged toward another faith orientation, Trinitarianism, for a while now.

While I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick with it, I’m gonna try it out. Maybe it’ll feel good on me.

Heavenly Father will always be there, but as him being a Spirit? He’s felt so far away, yet so close. I know a God is there; I can feel His presence. But a God that made me feel so isolated from the rest of Christianity – it’s not something I’ve been up to dealing with.

Again, while I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick with it, I’ve decided to give God this season to Him: I’m gonna try out the Trinity for a season or two (Spring and Summer).

Yes, a part of this is because of the isolation I’ve felt due to being Unitarian, but it is also because I feel this is season is the next step in my life. I’d hate to give away my individuality (that stems from my Unitarian faith), but I also don’t want to feel so alone anymore. It’s more than just wanting to fit in, though: It’s wanting to feel close to a Savior, Redeemer, Spirit, Father, Almighty LORD, God. I want to get closer to this Triune God, and all this different roles as Almighty Father, Redeemer and Savior, and Enabler and Spirit.

This’ll sure be a journey, that’s for sure.

P.S. I deleted my new website, The Orthodox Unitarian Faith, because I just don’t want to continue down that road.

Thanks, Leigh Todd

Amen and Amen.

1st Sunday After Christmas: Always Learning From God

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

Jesus was in the Temple, at twelve years old. He had hidden from Joseph and Mary, and taught the elders in the temple. What marvelous things this pre-teen was saying! He was so knowledgeable of a God who surpasses in creativity. This God, who is His Father, is God beyond wonders. Just like Samuel, who grew in stature and favor of the LORD, Jesus grows in favor of God as he grew.

In Colossians, we’re taught to absorb the word of Christ and forgive as Christ forgave. To love beyond measure. In essence, we’re taught to be like Christ. We are taught like Christ was taught and how he taught his elders. We can be students of our marvelous God, just as Jesus and Samuel were, and learn something special, every day. We can love like crazy, forgive like we’re insane, and sing hymns and cherish family members and church members like they are our world – because they are. We have to take care of each other, as I can imagine Christ was teaching the elders in the Temple.

Christ had access to the knowledge of God’s heart, because he spoke with him. We can have that knowledge, if we only talk to God as we would a friend, as someone has put us into his fold and loved, cherished, and valued as a child. A little over a month ago, I was asked during a sermon to read the Bible and see what God was saying to me. What did I see and hear? Love. And much much more. This Christmas season, what is God saying to you? What is our marvelous God creatively saying to you today?

Alleluia and Amen.

Thursday Testimony: God & Jesus’ Influences

IMG_20180408_102131549Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share something small.

That something small is my testimony.

I testify that God reigns in Heaven with Jesus, and that God’s Holy Spirit roams the Earth as God’s hugging arms and life-giving breath.

I testify that God is awesome, and that he is constantly surrounding us.  His presence isn’t just in Heaven with Jesus, but all around us, engulfing us with His Love.

I testify also that Jesus is our greatest Teacher.  He revealed all of God’s teachings to us 2,000 years ago, and still lives on as God’s Servant and mouthpiece.  Years after his resurrection, he visited Paul on the road to Damascus, and then visited John to give Revelation.  Jesus still visits us as our ultimate Teacher, giving us God’s advice and both of their love.

It’s awesome to be a Christian, knowing you’ve got the whole host of Heaven on your side.

Alleluia and Amen.

Love,
Leigh Todd