Only love

There are so many divisions that separate people. We will join a cause…one that seems just to us and forget that we are to love the people on the other side. Injustice calls us to take sides but we can’t forget that on the other side are people that Jesus accepted and loved.

With so many divisions, many of them violent, it is not only hard to not take sides but also to see the other side as being human like us.

Jesus has mad it clear that there is no other choice. He does not ask us to forget about injustice. He calls for us to end violence and hatred but at the same time forgive and love those who we would easily chose to hate.

Love is the only thing that can conquer hate.

Hope is always there

Psalm 33: 20-22
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

Hope is a word to cling too. So many of us are in a time of trial but there is hope. It is out there drawing us in....reminding us to hold on....its voice heard calling. The Lord forgets not our names. We have each been called and our name is known and always remembered.

Don’t let go. Hold on. Hope is there just waiting.

See

When I think too much of myself, Turn my thoughts toward someone else. Anonymous, twentieth century Japan

I have been using prayers from the book Woman Prayers by Mary Ford-Grabowsky. There are some wonderful prayers in this book. This one jumped out at me today. I have so often been concentrated on myself and my problems and not thought enough about others. It is an easy trap to fall into.

Turning our thoughts to others will add perspective to our own life. Look around you at those whose needs are great. See those whose pain may be hidden. See those who are afraid to ask for help.

See others and take the focus from yourself.

John 13:34-35 
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The Holy Spirit

John 14:26
But the Advocate, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

We don’t talk very often about the Holy Spirit but it’s tasks are very important. It dwells within us and quides us every day. The Hebrew scriptures attribute 6 characteristics to the spirit.

In the Hebrew Masoretic text the “Spirit of the Lord” is described with six characteristics (wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord), and then the last characteristic (fear of the Lord) is mentioned a second time. (yes Wikipedia but accurate)

This hymn teaches us so well

We carry the Holy Spirit with us all the time. It is there to guide our ways and hold us when times are hard. It is an advocate…one who speaks for us and with us. It is a gift from God.

Silence

Today I realized that I haven’t written in quite a while and need to get back to posting. I have been thinking about this quote.

Pause
To know the guidance of God’s Spirit, you need to be still and silent. In the cadence of your day, create some enclosures of silence where you pause and breathe and are really present to God’s presence.

-Br. Curtis Almquist
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

It is important to take that time to rest in silence with God. Don’t expect for something to always come to you. It doesn’t matter. Just sitting silent and turning toward God is enough. Some people like to use the name “Jesus” over and over to focus their thoughts. Sometimes music helps. The music from the Taize community is particularly helpful. Here is one that could be used. Watch the beautiful scenes or close your eyes and just move into the song.

Loving God

safe in the arms

Once again I am thinking about the prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. There is one phrase that has had me thinking for quite a while. I suspect that I will keep on thinking about it.

“Loving God in whom is heaven”

What a unique way to see heaven. Not as streets lined with gold or some other image that we might conjure up….but God himself/herself. In God is heaven. Being drawn into God to become part of all creation. I love that idea.

I am sure there are other ways to interpret this phrase but that is the one I am pondering now.

True wisdom

I feel so blessed because I have had God in my life since I was old enough to talk about it. My grandmother was an example of how to follow Christ. She rested for a short while every day after lunch and read her Bible. She prayed every morning and every night. She loved and cared for other people. She and my grandfather lived with us and I learned so much from her. Her wisdom was such a gift.

wisdom 2

This excerpt from Proverbs 3 sums up her life

The True Wealth

13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
    and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
    and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called happy.

Hard Times

answered-prayers-400x

We can have hard times in our lives. I’m sure this is one of them for many of us. When this happens we rely on the strength we can count on. The strength God supplies for us. One version of The Lord’s Prayer in the New Zealand Prayer Book makes it very clear that God is there for us. This is just an excerpt.

 

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever.    Amen.

I use that prayer at at night along my personal prayers. Right now the line  From trials too great to endure, spare us speaks to clearly to me. God knows there are hard times and is there for us every second. Just call on God.