I have always loved the 23rd Psalm. Especially the part about going down into the valley. God promises to be with us. It says his rod and staff will be there. God is with us in our darkest days. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are feel the loving arms of God holding you close and know that you are not alone.
It is so easy to make snap judgments about others. Today I did a mediation. My initial thoughts had we favoring one side. I always have to shove these thoughts aside and wait to hear the whole story. The whole story is the answer and we don’t often know it. We judge without understanding. Judging is not up to us. Understanding is.
Today I am sad. There is nothing wrong with being sad when things are tragic. We can be sad about a child getting cancer or a best friend in trouble. It’s what we do with the sadness that matters. First we turn to God. Sharing our sadness with God brings his love and peace. Taking the strength that God gives we can help where we can and share his love.
[ Concerning Retaliation ] “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
Christ calls us to not respond in anger. He tells us to offer them the opportunity to hurt us again. We are responsible to control our inclination to anger and reprisal. Kindness is always the way. Kindness disarms. It can cause the other person to rethink. If it does then that is a good outcome. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it. It will change something even if it is only us.
Meals are important in the ministry of Jesus. The communion we receive in church is based on a meal and brings us to join in that meal. Meals bring people together. Joining in a meal allows us to share in a very unique way. If you want to know someone better plan to have a meal with them. It will bring friendship and understanding.
What a sad life it must be….believing in nothing. Our link to the divine brings us closer to the world we live in. It helps us see the beauty in everything around us. How can you live without this?
Today in church we heard the beatitudes from the gospel of Luke. They sound different than the ones in Matthew. I was particularly struck by verse 22. We have all suffered by being excluded, ignored, insulted. Exclusion hurts. It makes us feel “less than.” We have to remember that exclusion is something that humans do. God will never exclude us for any reason. God always includes.
Luke 6:20-26 New International Version (NIV)
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
So many times we long for answers. Why is there such evil in the world? Why do people kill others? Why do children have to die of cancer? There are so many questions and few answers. Faith is trusting that God loves us and wants the best for us even thought there are no answers.
There are times when we are in so much pain, whether physical, mental or both, that we cannot even begin to pray. In spite of that God can hear our cry. He knows our pain and he is with us. Remember, “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”