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July 15, 2024 10:22 pm

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“Places of Divine Beauty”–a devotion by Pastor Ralph J. Mineo

A fellow pastor told of attending a retreat at a beautiful estate. After the morning sessions, the pastor wanted to be alone for a while and went for a walk. Walking along a well-marked trail, the pastor saw a smaller path and wondered where it went. As it turned out, that path led to an awesome place, with a beautiful view of a river, a gorge, cliffs, waterfalls, and mountains beyond. The pastor reported: “It was well worth taking that path!”

That trip can be seen as a “living parable.” We don’t know the end result of some the paths we take in life. The unknown can even be quite risky. Some of the paths we take in life dwindle to nothing. But as disciples of Jesus, when we follow him, when we’re led by his Holy Spirit, the paths we take are always well worth the risk! The paths to which God’s Holy Spirit leads us always bring us to a place of divine beauty.

Mineo waterfall

God calls us to risk following Jesus. Jesus spoke about the risk this way: “Take up your cross and follow me.” With Christ, we’re called to venture out, to try something new we’ve never tried before, to BE disciples, servants, his presence in the world!

The hard part of all this is to trust God to lead us, guide us, and to bring us to glorious places. We might experience fear, danger, loss, anxiety, disorientation along the way. But the promise is that God will always lead us into the beauty of God’s grace and love.

Such beauty, such divine glory, isn’t meant to be exclusively a private experience. We aren’t supposed to go to divine places alone and keep them to ourselves. When we experience the beauty of the divine, disciples are called to invite others, to travel with them, to enjoy the things of God in community, in fellowship.

So, we pray: God of divine beauty, show us the right paths to take, following Jesus. Protect us from every danger and sin. Bring us to places of your divine, amazing, beautiful grace. Empower us to travel with the companions you send into our lives. In the end, bring us all to the place of your eternal heavenly glory where we will live with you forever and ever. Amen.

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