Relaxed Grip – Br. Luke Ditewig

John 8:51 – 59

“Are you greater than our father Abraham?” They were confused and upset. How could those who kept his word not see death? They clung to what they knew and could not hear or see something more. They clung so tightly to being Abraham’s children, that they missed really seeing Jesus.

What might you be clinging to so tightly such that it’s hard to recognize what is real? What is getting in the way between you and Jesus?

Perhaps it’s who we are or what we have: heritage, group-identity, connections. Perhaps it’s the people we love or who love us best, our meaningful relationships. Perhaps it’s comfort or privilege, standard of living, status or success. Perhaps it’s abilities, gifts, how we serve, what we do well—including for God.  

Maybe what gets in the way—why it is hard to see or hear Jesus—is not something we have. Maybe we are like Moses before the burning bush caught by what we don’t have: “I can’t talk well. I don’t know what to say.” Perhaps we are overly focused on our lack, our limits, losses, pain, and weakness, and we despair thinking Jesus is out of touch.

Listen to Jesus: “Before Abraham was, I am.”

It doesn’t matter what you have or what you lack. Before your heritage, privilege, or ability, Jesus is. Before your losses, lack, or inability, Jesus is. Before your fear, grief, confidence, or confusion, Jesus is. Jesus sees you and loves you.

Today we remember Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Though baffled at hearing that she would bear God’s son, Mary did not cling to her confusion, fear, what she had nor what she lacked. Listen. Love is calling. With a relaxed grip—like Mary—bravely say “Yes.”

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  1. Bruce H Savage on November 6, 2023 at 18:15

    I love these daily reminders of God’s love for all of us. They give be strength and courage to face and grapple with whatever the day’s challenges may be.

  2. Arlo M. on November 6, 2023 at 09:28

    I am preparing to graduate college and to begin to teach. I am often overwhelmed by my own inadequacy and my fear that I will fail, and I have been feeling a lack of clarity. Thank you for reminding me to bring my gaze back to Christ.

  3. Charlotte Townsend on November 6, 2023 at 08:17

    Thank you SO much for the reminder that God SEES me. I was told as a child that the building we worshipped in was God’s house and after the service we went back to our house so I thought He stayed in His house! I was also taught not to ask for help. It’s been a revelation and a spiritual awakening to realize and appreciate that God is ALWAYS there for me.

  4. Alexandra Bacon on November 6, 2023 at 07:10

    A beautiful reminder to start the week – thank you. It resets my compass in the right direction. My “True North” is being in relationship with Jesus, and then everything else falls into place. May I remember, this week, to have that “relaxed grip” mentioned in this beautiful reflection – and say “Yes.”

  5. Aaron Winstanley on November 6, 2023 at 03:11

    What is getting in the way between you and Jesus?

    A question we should ask ourselves more often.

  6. Richard Whitney on November 17, 2021 at 14:28

    Always good!

  7. Mary Naumann on November 17, 2021 at 11:31


  8. Bobbi on November 17, 2021 at 07:05

    I will carry this with me today and listening to it again this evening. Thank you, Br. Luke, for opening a space within me for Jesus to enter.

  9. Cathy on November 17, 2021 at 00:09

    Thank you for this thought. Really helpful today.

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