MAY 28

DAILY DEVOTIONS

"For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."  - 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NET)

Corinth was well known in the ancient world for producing some of the finest bronze mirrors available. Paul's point in this analogy then is not that our current understanding and relationship with God is distorted, but rather that it is “indirect,” like looking in a mirror. This action is contrasted to the relationship we will enjoy with him in the future when we see him “face to face”. The word “indirectly” translates the Greek phrase ejn ainigmati indicating “in an obscure image”. This is also an allusion to Numbers 12:8 where God says he spoke to Moses “mouth to mouth" or literally "face to face" and not in dark figures of speech. It is in this context that Paul also invokes the use of the mirror analogy to explain the secrets of the Christian's progressive transformation by the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:17 when he writes, "And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit."(NET)

God's amazing love is directed outward to others, not just inward to ourselves. Divine love is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this kind of love unless God helps us set aside our own natural instincts so that we can love but not expect anything in return. Thus, the more we become like Christ, the more love we can show to others. How do you become more like Christ? Paul tells us it is by looking at our reflections in God's mirror. As we see what his perfect image is for us, we will gradually be transformed into what our Lord intended us to be when he first formed us!

Prayer:

Lord,

Thank you for your perfect mirror.

Amen.

 

Meditation For The Day:

You are made in God's image!

Brief Devotions For Busy Lives: Daily Spring Renewal Paperback

– May 23, 2017, by Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson (Author) Available from Amazon

Used with permission of the family of the late Rev. Dr. Mary B. Johnson.

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Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson, D.Min., (1942-2018)

Mary was Ordained in 1975.
She served both as a Parish Pastor and in multiple Specialized Ministry Settings.

She worked on the Clinical Staff of New England Memorial Hospital and Middleton Pastoral
Counseling Center in Massachusetts and was a Director of Green Pastures Counseling Centers in N.H.

She was a state Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor,
Nationally Board-Certified Counselor (N.C.C.), and Nationally Certified Pastoral Counselor (AAPC)
and held certification as a Clinical Member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (A.C.P.E.).

She received a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Psychology and Clinical Studies
from Andover Newton in Newton, MA.

Dr. Johnson also founded Good News Specialized Ministries, Inc.
This unique ministry provided education and Clinical Christian Counseling to thousands of people over the decades and trained numerous Clinical Counselors and Counseling Ministers while offering weekly non-denominational worship services to the community for more than 20 years.

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I had the honor and privilege of working with Pastor Arnie Johnson
when I served as the pastor for the Richmond Community United Methodist Church in Richmond, NH from 2019 - 2022.
I personally have been deeply touched by Mary's writings. Her family has graciously allowed me to share them with you. - Pastor Sharon Sargent

"I always considered my ministry at Richmond as a shared ministry. Mary had the expertise that helped me function as well as I did. I received critiques on the way home after the services. I finally realized that I may have “arrived” when one day she was pleased with my performance with no critique! That took several years! So, I would love it if you would use the picture of the two of us and mention Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson as my spouse and partner in ministry, and she continued to be until the day she died, four days before the end of my appointment at Richmond." -  Pastor Arnie Johnson

Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson is the author of eight other published books including:

"Activating The Power Of Pastoral Care: A Team Approach";

"Brief Devotions For Busy Lives: Daily Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter Renewal"(Vol.1-4);

"Flying Free: Transforming Grief and Loss into Renewal";

Following The Angel Trail: In The Steps Of Jesus";

"Love In Action: The Healing Heritage Of The Counseling Ministry Of The Church";

"Visions Of Hope: Voices Of Americana";

"Healing Streams: Journeys Of Healing".

She has also been published in the AAPC professional Journal "Journeys" and in the Keene Sentinel.