Teach us to give and not count the cost. Ignatius Loyola
Each day we have time to give. This morning I was in a cafe. A woman came in and seemed a little lost. She ordered her coffee and sat down alone. She turned and look at me and I gave her a big smile. She smiled back and seemed to relax in her chair. I gave nothing that I couldn’t do without. I don’t really know if she needed that smile but I gave it anyway. It made me feel good.
We don’t always have to think about giving away costly things. We can give a smile, a helping hand, a kind word. We can afford to do this every day.
Lord, remind us to give of ourselves every day. AMEN
Holding a grudge is a stone in your heart. TV show “The Good Doctor”
I would like to think that I don’t hold grudges but I can still find myself remembering some people with anger. If I do that I am still holding a grudge. It is so easy to hold onto things that hurt us. We remember with pain. The thing is we are the ones that are still being hurt by ourselves. That remembering is a negative feeling that we have to let go. We have to work at getting the stone out of our heart.
Loving Jesus, help us to forget the hurt and remove the stone. AMEN
I don’t know if you have read about the life of Julian of Norwich. I have included the info from Wikipedia.
“Julian of Norwich (c. 8 November 1342 – c. 1416) was an English anchoress and an important Christian mystic and theologian. Her Revelations of Divine Love, written around 1395, is the first theological book in the English language known to have been written by a woman. Julian was also known as a spiritual authority …”
Her life was difficult but her faith enormous. As an anchoress she withdrew from secular life and is believed to have live in a sparse “cell.”
This is her most famous saying and I often lean on it when life seems fragile. Just repeat it over and over and said enough will help to bring peace.
The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. Albert Schweitzer
Are we ready to do what Jesus did? Are we willing to put ourselves out there and help the poor, the homeless, the disenfranchised? Can we really see the dirty, ragged man on the street? Do we turn away in disgust? Do we judge?
I think at times we do all of those things. It is not easy to live the life that Christ did. He is still the babe in the manger but soon…..very soon he will be on his journey to teach us how to live. Get ready!
Compassionate Jesus, we don’t always understand that you have given us a map for our lives. Help us to live it out.
My favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle says: “Comparisons are odious.” This works in several different ways. Do we spend time comparing ourselves to others and falling short? Do we compare to prove that we are better than. Comparisons hurt. It hurts us if we end up feeling unworthy. It hurts us in a different way if we see ourselves as better than others. In this country our founding fathers said the “all men (women also) were created equal and endowed with their creator certain inalienable rights…..etc.
Lear not to make comparisons. They hurt no matter what.
Creating God, you planned for to stay away from comparisons. You know their power to create pain. Help us to see all mankind as equal. AMEN
Religion is about fellowship and community….The task of religion is the maintenance and extension of human community. John Macmurray, The structure of Religious Experience, 1936
It is difficult, if not impossible to be a Christian in isolation. I have heard people say “I find God best outdoors alone.” That is finding God and listening for him in beauty and silence but it is not being a Christian. A Christian is called to do more than that. We are to live in compassion and love toward others. Jesus tells us to feed the sick, clothe the naked, and aid the homeless. We see His love best through the eyes of other Christians so meeting him outside and alone is good but not enough.
Loving God, you are a community with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Help us to see the importance of sharing with other Christians. AMEN
One of the greatest of human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night. Margaret Mead
We do need each other. Many of us live alone. Many of us are alone though we live with others. Society has evolved technically but has it made our loves any better? We are more stressed, more distant within our own walls. We have less real contact with others. Many of our relationships are superficial when we long for someone to touch our soul.
We are so alone! And yet…God is with us. God can reach that place that so craves communion. Turn to God.
“For I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth.”
God, filler of our emptiness, come to us now and touch our souls. Thank you for being with us in our loneliness. Help us to find our true companionship in our Christian Community with you. AMEN
“Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.”
Too often we can get caught up in quid pro quo. That is if I do something for you then you owe something in return. This leads to not wanting accept assistance from others. It seems easier to give as that doesn’t incur an obligation. We have to understand God doesn’t expect this kind of thinking. We must be able to give without any obligation for a return and even harder for most of us take without feeling obligated. We have to think like the movie “Pay It Forward.” Kindness does move on from person to person. Give kindness and accept kindness. It’s God’s plan.
Loving God, you expect us to give and give and give. Help us to also be able to accept what is given to us. AMEN
One of my favorite hymns is The Servant Song. The third verse says: I will hold the Christ-light for you in the nighttime of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear. Are we following through with this? We must hold the Christ-light for others. When they are in the darkest day they may not be able to do it for themselves. Be the Christ-light for someone else.
Gracious Lord, give us your Christ-light and help us to hold it up high. Remind us that others are in need and we can help. AMEN
Today in church we celebrated All Saints Day. Today people who were in church in Texas lost their lives. This day we hear the beatitudes. Today we heard about the peacemakers. We need to be the peacemakers. The way that the world is today peacemakers are needed more than ever before. We must seek peace. We must speak out against violence. We must speak out about Christ and our faith. This is not the time to be a silent Christian.
Loving God, your earth is under attack. Grant us the courage to speak your word. Help us to not be afraid to speak God’s word. AMEN