Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. ————–Mark Twain
“Love your neighbor as yourself. Turn the other cheek. Follow me.” These are passages from the Bible that I do understand. There are many more. The trouble is that they call me to be a better person. Who they ask me to be seems impossible. How can I learn to be the Christian you want me to be?
Lord help me! I do understand these words you have given me, but I don’t seem to be able to follow through. Help! AMEN
A faith of convenience is a hollow faith ——Father Mulcahy in MASH
Christianity did not begin as a belief of convenience. In fact, it was very inconvenient as the early Christians were persecuted and killed. Now that it is an “accepted” religion we take it for granted. We can conveniently choose to go to church or not. the number of Christians is declining in our country but increasing in the places that Christians are persecuted. Maybe we are too comfortable.
Patient God, move us out of our comfort zone and help us to not take you for granted. AMEN
“Science is a belief —a belief in only what you can see and touch —I believe in more.” from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy
For quite a while science has been king. People believe in science. It can be proved. Yet, there are things that cannot be proved. Things that we just have to accept or reject. I also choose to believe in more. I believe in love. I believe in miracles. I believe in God.
None of these can be proved but I choose to believe. Do you?
Gracious God, I cannot prove your existence and yet I choose to believe in you. Help us to get up each day and make that choice. AMEN
Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence. —–Henri Nouwen
Prayer is important. Prayer is not something we do lightly. We need to pray. We need to thank God for everything that he has given us. We need to praise him and tell him so. We should never think of prayer as just an opportunity to ask for things that we want. This is too often what we do. As Nouwen tells us prayer is the breath of life. Remember that.
Amazing God, let our prayers be as incense that rises to you. AMEN
…when you pray, you are not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that’s always in progress. —–Anne Lamott
God is always with us. God is always aware of us. When we choose to stop and enter into prayer with God it is nothing new to Him. He has been waiting for us to continue the conversation and may be hopeful that we might even listen for Him to speak.
Infinite God, thank you for always being with us. Help us to stop, look, and listen for you. AMEN
Faith is not the acceptance of centuries-old traditions but an attitude which grows from within. —Henri Nouwen
We need to learn about our traditions. The stories of those who have gone before us and struggled with the same questions are important. But that is not all we need. We have to take the next step and spend time with God to let Him infuse the soul. Time with God is critical to our growth and faith.
Intimate God, you are with us always. Help us to stop and just BE with you. AMEN
Lent is a time to take stock. A time to look inside ourselves. Each of us may find a different way to observe this time. Some will give up something that is meaningful to them such as sweets or something electronic. Others might take something on such as reading a spiritual book, being kinder, visiting someone you have neglected. Whatever you choose doing something makes the time meaningful and helps to make Easter a joyous occasion.
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. —–G. K. Chesterton
We are told to love God with out whole heart or whole soul and our whole mind. We are not told to prove that God exists. We are just told to love Him. Can we let go of all our trying to understand all of this and just love?
God of love, help us learn to just love you with all that we are. AMEN
“There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.” —William P. Merrill
To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out can touch my soul. I can be move to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.
Thank you god, for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. AMEN
We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things. Henry Ward Beecher
We weren’t promised a rose garden. We were promised that God would never leave us. Having a life free of problems may not be the thing that make us beautiful in God’s eyes. The Bible reminds us that pottery is put into the flame to make it beautiful. In times of trial turn to God and come out of the trial refined by him.
Ever present God, go with us into the flame and bring us out more beautiful for you. AMEN