“The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have.
We spend so much time thinking about the future. We make numerous plans and live in them. If only we could learn to live each day and have an awareness of it. So much slips by us. The joys of each day are not noticed. God gives us each day. If only we could pay attention and be grateful.
Compassionate God, forgive us for our failure to give thanks for what we have and help us to be more aware each day of the gifts we have. AMEN
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
–Marian Wright Edelman, activist
Too often we want to make the big splash….do something that changes the world. Waiting for that big thing to come along we just sit. The sad thing is that when we just sit nothing is done at all. God calls us to do something. He starts with love God and love our neighbor. Small things do matter. I can’t change the world alone but how can I tell what one small kind action can do. We need to do what we can. Start with love.
Amazing God, you have given us the secret for change. Help us to recognize it. AMEN
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
The light of a candle is not the only thing that can be shared. Love is never diminished by being shared. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This is what Christ is all about. Love , love , love….if only we could stop all the anger and violence and just concentrate on loving each other. The world would change.
Gracious God, do you despair of us ever getting the message? Please help us to forget all the complex issues and just understand the message. Love is the way. AMEN
Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!
From Auntie Mame
This is so true. I wonder how often we stop to savor just being alive. Are we thankful for what we have instead of longing for what we don’t have.? Most of us in this county are so blessed compared to those living in third world countries. My husband and I live in Panama for a while (many years ago) and it made me decide that everyone in this country should have to live in a place of horrible poverty and need for a least a year.
Take time to be aware of your blessings. Thank God always.
Loving God, forgive us for our lack of vision. We do not see the good around us as often as we should. Help us to see our blessings and give thanks. AMEN
Finally breather, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
For some reason this reminds me of the tune “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” Thinking on negative things makes us negative. It creates a mindset. If we are constantly dwelling on the bad things that can happen or on how everything seems to be going from bad to worse then that is how we feel. God calls us to be joyful in all things. As another song say “put on a happy face” It may not make the bad things go away but it just may make you feel better.
Trustworthy God, we know so little and try to understand way beyond out capabilities. Help us to leave things to you and just say as said by Hildegard of Bingen “all will be well, and all will be well, and all things will be well.”
Did you think you would make plans and God would follow them obediently?
From the movie The Best of Men
We tend to want God to follow our plans. We want every prayer answered ….just the way we decided it would be. If someone dies when we expected God to heal them we lose our faith. God should not allow injustice or pain. We wonder why there is so much tragedy and where is God in all of this? Frequently this is the sticking point with agnostics or atheists. What kind of a God is this? Why believe in someone who lets things go on like this and just watches.
Unfortunately for us God doesn’t explain any of this to us. I have the feeling that even if he did we wouldn’t really understand. It can’t be explained by science or any other way we would recognize. God does answer prayer however. Sometimes the answer makes no sense. Sometimes it’s what we needed and not what we asked for. The most important answer that God gives us is himself. He comes to us in the midst of all the chaos and nothing can make him leave.
Prayer: Intimate God, help us to seek you first and foremost. Then everything else will fall into place.
Any man who thinks he can describe love understands nothing about it.
From the book The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.
Love is intangible. We know it is real because we have felt it. We can see it in the actions of those who love us. However, it is not like science…it cannot be proved. Yet somehow we know that it exists. We believe in it. The Bible says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39,For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is one of my favorite passages. I believe this.
Unimaginably loving God. Thank you for choosing to love us. Let us never forget your love. AMEN
Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of my favorite scenes in a movie is in the Indiana Jones film The Last Crusade. He is in a cave and needs to cross a deep chasm that has no bridge. He steps out onto space and discovers that there actually is an invisible bridge. He literally steps out in faith. There are many, many times in our lives when we can’t see the next step. Too often we are afraid to step into the abyss. Faith is the thing that can move us forward. Faith is not a noun but a verb. It is active not passive. It requires action.
Faithful God, we ask you to guide us as we take those fearful steps in out lives and be with us as we do. Remind us that you are always there. AMEN
“Suffering is a journey deeper into the heart of life.”
From the movie The Human Experience
How shallow we can be if we have had very little problems in our lives. We just float through each day wondering why other people seem to struggle so. Compassion for those suffering is hard to grasp since we have nothing to measure it against. Travail in life is not what we would choose. But the fire of its pain brings the beauty of understanding and love for those who suffer.
Compassionate God, you sent you son to suffer and in so doing chose to experience our pain, sorrow, and grief. Help us to use what we have learned in our own trials to ease the path of others. AMEN
“In chapel we need not choose our thoughts. The words are aligned for us to cling to.” From the TV show Call The Midwife
I am sure that some people wonder why each Sunday the liturgy is s important to us. They question the fact that each week we follow the familiar path and the familiar words. I guess they can’t see that that is the joy of it. The words provide comfort. A sense of coming home to the well loved. In that place we can rest and let go of the worries and the stresses and just let the words take us to God.
Caring God, we thank you for the comfort we receive from the words we use in each service. Help us to lean into them and clear our minds of those things that trouble us. AMEN