about me. I have a lot of favorite passages of scripture. I'll say it often before reading, or as an introduction to a passage in Bible study, 'Oh, this is my favorite'.
When I was serving a congregation, and saying it often, it always got a laugh.
The thing is, I sincerely mean it. When I really love something in the scriptures, it's my favorite. Especially if we're reading it on Sunday. What makes something my favorite? Well, it speaks to me. It instructs me, gives me hope, reminds me of God's Love and Grace and Forgiveness. It never gets old. I never get bored reading it, hearing it or preaching about it. It sings to me.
One of my favorites is a reading from Ephesians. Here it is:
Ephesians 1:17-18a New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you....
So that with the eyes of our hearts wide open and enlightened we might know what is the hope to which Jesus has called us!!!!.
This was my favorite even before the pandemic changed everything. A really cool song was written about this...I can't remember the name, but the chorus went..."Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart; I want to see you, I want to see you"
When I get scared and overwhelmed..... what I need most is for God to clear away the fear and anxiety and weight of uncertainty that keeps me from trusting that there is hope and promise in God, still and always. God has called us through God's Love, which came to human beings with skin on as Jesus; called us to trust God and to trust that God loves us and will never, ever...ever leave us alone. To open the eyes of our hearts is to clear away that which leads us to feel alone and forgotten. And it is God's Spirit...the Advocate who God promised to send after Jesus ascended...that will teach us and remind us of this. The Advocate will clean the dirty, scruffy eyeglasses on the eyes of our heart and let us see who we are and whose we are.
This is, most days, what sees me through a great deal of fear and uncertainty. And, it is my favorite.
Ok, a little story about favorites. I have three grown children. One year, they each received a Christmas gift from their parents. Sam's was a little boy elf holding this sign: Oldest child; Mom' s favorite. Kate's had a girl elf with the sign: Middle Child, Mom's favorite. And, Nora's....another girl elf with the sign that said, 'Youngest Child. Mom's favorite' And, of course,they are.
Scripture is the Living Word...in it we can find our favorite. Every one of them. Words to sustain us and encourage us and strengthen us for our journeys. If you listen to my sermon this Sunday, you’ll hear my favorite there as well. I look forward to meeting you!
Every blessing, Pastor Jan LaVake