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Things are Not Always as They Appear

I love the poem that is part of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book, The Fellowship of the Ring:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

It certainly speaks to the life and work of Jesus. Over and over again, Jesus challenged people to look deeper into their lives and the world to find the Kingdom of God at work. He said, “blessed are those who have eyes to see…” Even after he healed a man who was disabled for 38 years, he challenged that man to look more deeply into the healing Jesus gave him. Jesus showed him that it was not just a physical healing that he needed; more importantly, he needed a spiritual healing, a change of heart. Of course, even as he headed toward his ugly death by crucifixion, Jesus encouraged his followers to look more deeply and they would see new life coming again (“…I will raise this temple in 3 days…”) Sure enough, on the third day after his death, Jesus rose up to new life.

Look around in your life: what looks broken? What is lost? What needs healing? Where is there despair? What seems impossible? Where is there lack of forgiveness and love? What seems hopeless? Jesus is the creator, sustainer, and giver of life. How is He at work in these situations to bring new life? “From the ashes a fire shall be woken…renewed shall be blade that was broken…”

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