No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
Remember the old hymn that says “if you cannot bear the cross then you cannot wear the crown.” The Christian life is not easy. Sometimes it seems that way to us since we are at the end of an age when to be a Christian was the easy path. Everyone else (who mattered was Christian. Anyone who wanted to get with the in crowd went to church. You were accepted if you were Christian. Not so any more. The number of Christians is declining and we don’t have to go to church to be socially acceptable. It may even be becoming a detriment. What will you do then?
Prayer: Lord Jesus we have been complacent for too long. Help us to see that being Christian requires sacrifice. The cross is for us not the crown. Amen
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
God’s desires for us have always been there. Here they are in David’s words.We are so blind that we don’t see the truth. We don’t see how to live a life of love. Finally he sent us an example whose life we are to emulate. Do we get it yet?
Lord, open the eyes of our hearts. AMEN
Psalm 12: 1-2
1 Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
2 They utter lies to each other;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
With all the political agenda going on in the US this Psalm speaks the truth. Even those who claim to be godly are throwing mud at their opponents. It is not possible to believe everything they are saying. Instead of telling the good about themselves they concentrate on spouting evil about others. This is not the way of the godly. We truly need help to bring back civility and truth to our nation.
All knowing God, you see how far we can stray from your path. Help us to change the climate of hate and abuse into that of love and kindness. AMEN
Life is always changing. There are good times and there are bad. If every day were the same we would be bored. We need the rain to help us appreciate the sun. That is part of God’s plan.
Infinite God, you know us so much better than we know ourselves. Help us to appreciate all that live brings.
Anybody can observe the Sabbath but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week. ————-Alice Walker
Our society has almost done away with the Sabbath. God called it a day of rest. God realized that we would need time to rest our bodies and our souls. Today we think that we can’t stop. We have too much to do. Guilt comes over us if we stop. This is arrogance. This is thinking that we are so important that the world can’t do without us for a few hours.
We must take time to rest our souls and bodies. I promise..we are not that important.
Patient God, you watch us struggle to keep up 24/7. You know we need the rest. Help us to see that too. AMEN
There must be more to life than having everything. ————-Maurice Sendak
There are many ways to look at having everything but for our culture it usually means having money and or fame. We make idols of the rich and famous. We see them as happy and complete.
If you read about most of them their lives are not what we think. The money and the fame don’t make up for what they are really missing…. a relationship with God. Only God can fill that space inside of us that feels to empty.
Infinite God, you are what fills and completes us. Help us to draw closer to you each day. AMEN
There we no functional families in scripture. ———-an insight
We think that there is so much that we have to do or be before we can be of any use to God. Absolutely not true. If you just look at the people God used in scripture you can see that they were not who you would expect. David–an adulterer, Joseph’s family sold him into slavery, Rahab was a prostitute. There are many other examples. God knows we cannot be perfect. He chooses who he wants to do his work.
Quirky God, you seem to pick the most unlikely people to do your work. Help us to see that we don’t have to be perfect but just follow you. AMEN
Our feelings and moods change from day to day. Today we may feel that God is close and our faith is strong. Tomorrow God may feel distant and we question. Sometimes our faith is challenged by something painful and we may back away from God. But God never changes and is always there waiting.
Present God, thank you for putting up with our moods and feelings. Thank you for always being present no matter what we feel. Help us to see your presence. AMEN
If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one in pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again,
I shall not live in Vain.
We often wonder “why are we here?” What is the point of this life? I think that this poem tells us why. We are here to love God’s world and everything in it.
Miraculous God, help us to cherish everything in this world. AMEN