What Love Looks Like

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66

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57 That evening a man named Joseph came. He was a rich man from Arimathea who had become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He came to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission to take it. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had carved out of the rock. After he rolled a large stone at the door of the tomb, he went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting in front of the tomb (Matthew 27:57-61, Common English Bible).

Late one night I was up and had the television on. I hadn’t been paying that much attention but the host said one of the founding members of the rock group Pink Floyd would be on next. I am not a fan of that genre of rock music in general and Pink Floyd in particular. I started to turn it off and go back to what I was working on but for some reason, I didn’t and I started listening to Roger Waters song. When he finished I had yet another reason that I didn’t like his music. Read his lyrics:

If I had been God
I would have rearranged the veins in the face to make them more
Resistant to alcohol and less prone to aging
If I had been God
I would have sired many sons and I would not have suffered
The Romans to kill even one of them
If I had been God
With my staff and my rod
If I had been given the nod
I believe I could have done a better job.
It seems clear to me that Mr. Waters has no real idea the love that God has for the human creature. For we who are Trinitarian Christians, there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three persons make God but there is only one God. To follow that to its logical conclusion, that would mean that God died on the cross. God died so we could have life, life everlasting. I am not even going to go into his words, “If I had been given the nod, I believe I could have done a better job. That is pretty arrogant.  And, while I am not going there with this post, I reserve the right to talk about it in the future.
In today’s reading, we see love. We see the love God has for us, but we also see the love one man had for God. Even today, the family or friends of a capital felon probably aren’t treated very well when they go to visit. In Jesus’ day, it would have been much worse.
Joseph of Arimethia did something almost unthinkable. This man had the courage to go to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. He wanted to make sure Jesus was treated with dignity and respect. He didn’t want Jesus’ body thrown out like it were trash. He didn’t want Jesus’ body to be buried in a common grave. Had Jesus been buried in a common grave, how would anyone have known he had risen. What Joseph did was brave. What Joseph did, someone had to do. In these actions, Joseph showed his love for Jesus, just as on the cross Jesus showed his love for Joseph, and for us.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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