Today’s Passages (all 1 link):  Isaiah 28:16 and John 1:1-18

Well folks, today is my last blog post for First Pres-Joliet.  The past several years of this blog have been a real joy both in writing and seeing the growth of others along the way.

Today’s topic may simply be coincidental, but, I think it provides the foundation (no pun intended) for a final blog post.  In today’s volatile culture, pretty much anything you say is interpreted by the biases and filters of others.  To some extent, even blogging about the church etc, can bring the same responses.  So, while there may be a small amount of angst with the idea of retirement on June 1 simply because it is something new and “never done before”, I am confident that this unknown rests on my one sure conviction…my foundation in Jesus.

As I watch so much anger and hatred towards others, I think about the words of Isaiah: a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: “One who trusts will not panic.”  I often wonder what might happen if we humans were not so demanding of our own way or if we truly tried to live out what it means to love our neighbor – those we like and those we don’t.  What might happen if there is a possibility that there may be another opinion other than our own?  And then, the words of John’s gospel ring out, “He (Jesus) came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.”  

Devotional Thought:  Claiming to be a Christian – a follower of Jesus – requires more than lip service.  Claiming to be a disciple of Jesus means that we are to stand for that which is right not by beating people over the heads through our words or, worse, through violence.  For example, this past weekend the PurdueCrew gathered for the Indy 500 – 34 races for this group of individuals with a wide variety of opinions.  What started as roommates at Purdue in 1977 for some of us has blossomed into a lifelong friendship of 16 people who gather together as often as 3 times every year.  There are different religious beliefs – some of us are Presbyterians, some Methodists, Roman Catholic and Lutheran…we have opposing political opinions and differing thoughts on tough issues like abortion and LBGTQ – just to name a few.  Why even this last weekend there was a difference of opinion on how to play Euchre and what kind of beer or pizza we liked!!  But…as we all left to return to our homes we were not filled with what divided us but the foundation of our lifelong friendships – all of us knowing that if any one of us were in need, we would respond.

Friends, claiming to be a disciple of Jesus means living out his example to the best of our individual abilities even when the going gets tough or when we are divided because of differing opinions.  Why? Because we are supposed to trust in our one sure foundation and not panic.  That one sure foundation is Jesus!

It has been a privilege to write for each of you…more importantly, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ for his Church gathered here on earth.  I pray God’s blessings on each of you…that you will be blessed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit today and always!!  Amen.