Devotions based on Juliet Benner’s book, Contemplative Vision

Our hearts can only be transformed through the grace and love of God. God is always offering us His love but we have to receive it and allow it to change us. That means being willing to give up our self-centered ways and let Him be the center of our lives. God takes the initiative, calls us by name, and invites us into the fellowship of the Trinity. The author shares comments on Caravaggio’s painting of “The Calling of Matthew”. In the picture Matthew’s finger is pointing to himself as if he was questioning his worthiness to be chosen by Jesus to follow Him. Haven’t we also questioned that in our lives? How can God love and choose me? Jesus hand is outstretched extending the invitation just as He does to all of us. Matthew is being offered a chance to find a new identity as one who is loved by Christ. Jesus never coerces but offers love and life without any questions asked.  As Matthew responded his life was changed and completely turned around for he was loved and accepted just as he was. He chose to fix his eyes on Jesus rather than his earthly treasure. Just like Matthew, Jesus comes to us in the midst of our ordinary activities and pierces our darkness and calls us to Him. May we hear His voice calling us and leave all to follow Him.  A poem by Kathy Hughes called “Love with No Edges” may have been what Matthew must have experienced in is call.

“Love given free of charge,

no strings attached, no puppets.

Acceptance as is,

no judgment, no prosecution.

Love with no edges,

a wide open plain.

No accusations

to knock me down.

Just love warmly leading into the sun

to freedom, laughter and life.”