Even though I am a Christian I believe that there are things to learn from other faiths. My understanding is the Jewish faith concentrates on what you do with your life, Muslims stop their day to pray multiple times, Buddhists spend time in contemplation.

world religions

These are all things that I can admire and use in my own faith.

Be generous

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver                           2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

generous

We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?

Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen

 

 

Join in a meal

broke bread

 

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.

Inclusion

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.

DiversityAndInclusion

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.

Can you serve and be served?

Today I have been thinking about “The Servant Song.” It so clearly sums up what Christ has called us to do. It is seldom that we have to not only be servants but to let others serve us. Sometimes is it harder to be served. Take the words of this song to heart.
serve
(it didn’t want to pull the video today.use link)
The Servant Song
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too
We are pilgrims on the journey
We are travellers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load
I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too
Songwriters: David Haas

Ask for help

 

askingforhelpWe are not quick to ask for help. Somehow it makes us think that we are “less-than.” We feel as if we owe something to someone and we struggle to pay it back. We don’t want to be “beholding.” We are so wrong. Asking others for help does not show weakness it shows strength. Everyone needs someone else at sometime in their life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and especially don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. You can pay back what you received by “paying it forward.” That is what God calls us to do.

A little bit more!

dr seuss1

Some people have never heard of Advent. They may not be Christian or espouse any God at all but in this season there is a difference in the air. In the time building up to Christmas there is more focus on the needy and homeless. Collections are made for children, food is collected, the Salvation Army and others receive more help. We are more generous and there is a spirit of compassion abounding. It seems that advent calls for generosity and kindness.Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanakkuh or only the commercial aspects this season changes people The spirit of the holidays is around us and yes, it is something more.

Caring God, help us to carry this spirit into the new year. AMEN

God will hold you up!

This song has been around for a while and is one of my favorites. It is by Michael Joncas.

This video cites the singer but not the writer.

God is always there to hold us up. 

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, “My Refuge
My Rock in Whom I trust.”

Refrain
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His Hand

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Under his wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield

For to His angels He’s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone

Refrain
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His Hand

The table

The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. ————-Laurie Colwin

We gather around our tables with our friends and families. This is the place we feel at home. It is a place of comfort.

As Christians our table, our place of comfort is at the communion table. It is where our Christian family meets and feeds on the word of God and the wine and bread. It is our home.

communion-table

Loving God, you provide our spiritual home among other Christians. Remind us to meet at the table and feast. AMEN