Stars and Rock – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Genesis 15:1-6
Luke 6:43-49

When will it happen? How much longer? What’s coming? Part of our trouble is waiting, not seeing answers or provisions as we expect.

God promised Abram a son. Years had passed. Still nothing. God comes again in a vision and says: “Don’t be afraid.” Abram says: “What? You haven’t given me a son! I’m still childless. So my heir will have to be Eliezer, a slave born in my house.” How do you hear and see the tone? Perhaps angry, blowing up and shaking his fist. Perhaps dejected and slumping with head down.

God’s response is accepting and gracious: No. My promise is true. It’s ok you’re upset. Look up and count the stars. You will receive that much. Every day, look up and remember I am with you. I will provide.

Abram believed God. Here “believed” has the connotation of ongoing, not a one-time thing.[i] Abram continued to believe. While angry or dejected, while questioning with shaking fist or slumping head, Abram believed. While waiting for years, Abram believed. Belief and trust include doubt and struggle. They are not blindly ignoring the hard. Like Abram, believing and trusting God is an ongoing reliance and assured confidence in the midst of struggle. Trust does not deny struggle but indeed names the pain with continued expectation. Read More

Solid Rock – Br. Luke Ditewig

Luke 6:43-49

In the Holy Land, there is much solid rock, whether exposed, under a couple inches or under ten or more feet of soil. To build, one digs down however far it takes to use the foundation of solid rock. People build in the summer when it is dry not raining, yet it is hot. It is very hard work to break through the clay and dig down to solid rock. One may be tempted to skip the harder part, yet a sure foundation is essential to survive the winter floods.[i]

Jesus said, “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them.” Hearing and doing Jesus’ words take great effort, like digging down through hard clay under hot sun. This parable ends Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain in Luke and another version ends the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew.[ii] Jesus ends with a call for necessary, risky, costly action.

What are you hearing from Jesus? What’s the invitation? Take heart. Though not easy, the effort required is wise, good, and will save amid storms that have, are, and will come. Read More

Friends of Christ – Br. Lucas Hall

"Br.Luke 6:43-49

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” It is easy to hear this question harshly. It is easy for me to imagine Jesus asking this, vexed, frustrated, indignant, angry, at his wit’s end. And that’s a challenge. If Jesus really came into the world to save sinners,1 to show the utmost patience and mercy,2 to be our most steadfast friend and companion3…where are those qualities in this question?

Perhaps it might be helpful to engage in some self-reflection. How do I feel when I’ve experienced conflict with friends? When I’ve hurt a loved one, I may get defensive. I may conjure up offenses, real or imagined, that that friend has committed against me. I may feel the need to deflect responsibility, or engage in a perverse game of score-keeping; somehow, in these moments when I finish tallying the friendship score, I always seem to come out ahead. These feelings and behaviors, though, do not get at the heart of the issue. What really worries me when I’ve hurt a loved one is that I’ve created an irreparable breach, an eternally broken communion. It is a profoundly uncomfortable experience; I feel lonely, claustrophobic, anxious, and weary. Read More