When I was a child
I heard God calling
and freely, I answered
For I knew that God
would want to talk
to me and I to Him
The teen years
made God more distant
for I had learned the rules
that those in charge
were supposed to speak
but God spoke again
in the darkness
in moments of fear
and I answered
in spite of the rules
in the halls of ivy
for his voice was there
in the loneliness, triumphs
and testing of my self.
his voice grew faint
during the breeding years
for children’s voices
were more easily heard.
but God was there
waiting for me
longing for the day
when my ears
would once again
God called and broke
thru the barriers
I erected to keep Her out
She spoke in words too
loud to miss
and I listened
Now God speaks
in many ways
in other’s voices, deeds and in silence
And I have learned
to hear each voice
that she uses
We so often want God to think the way we do. We are right and our view of justice should be done. We often think about an “eye for an eye” which actually tells us to not ask for more retribution than we are actually due. But God is not us and does not look at things the same ways we do.
As Isaiah says of God, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Yet I am afraid we often pull God down into “our thoughts.” We naively and erroneously think fear, anger, intimidation, threat, and punishment are going to lead people to love. Show me where that has worked. We cannot lead people to the highest level of motivation by teaching them the lowest. God always and forever models the highest—love—and our task is always to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1). From the meditation of Richard Rohr
God is love and love is always his answer.
God, give us work til our live shall end and life til our work is done.
The New Zealand Prayer Book
This is something I think about a lot. I do feel that we are here for a reason and each of us want to finish our task. Sometimes it is not possible but our lives still have meaning. We leave things behind us like ripples in a pond. God has given us life. Now it is up to us to use it well.
We read this psalm in church this morning and I almost don’t think it needs much discussion except to say that we are the society that has to have storage containers to store our extra “stuff.” Think about it.
The Folly of Trust in Riches
1 Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,[a]
there is no price one can give to God for it.
8 For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9 that one should live on forever
and never see the grave.[b]
10 When we look at the wise, they die;
fool and dolt perish together
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves[c] are their homes forever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.
13 Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
the end of those[d] who are pleased with their lot.Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend,[e]
and their form shall waste away;
Sheol shall be their home.[f]
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me.Selah
16 Do not be afraid when some become rich,
when the wealth of their houses increases.
17 For when they die they will carry nothing away;
their wealth will not go down after them.
18 Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
—for you are praised when you do well for yourself—
19 they[g] will go to the company of their ancestors,
who will never again see the light.
20 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.
Jesus came to us as an example. His life tells us how God wants us to live. He flouted all the culture of the day and showed us how to love unconditionally.
There were no “functional” families in the Bible. After all what do we mean by “functional.” Do we mean that they don’t make mistakes? I doubt it.
The Bible uses flawed characters to let us know that no one is perfect. Yet somehow, God used them to do his will. Some of them went dragging their feet but they went. We are all flawed but God can use us. If you let him!