Help

I sought my soul but my soul I could not see. I sought my God but my God eluded me. I sought my brother —and I found all three.            London Church News Service

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God has called us to be our brother’s keeper. We can’t be busy trying to find our belief instead of doings God’s work. Jesus worked to help others. We should too.

Please God

Psalm 19:7-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true
    and righteous altogether.

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This is a remarkable passage. It tells us what we will be like if we please God. If we follow God’s law our soul will be revived. We will be filled with joy when we please God. Following his commandments lights us up. Fearing God is being like glass…transparent with nothing to make us cloudy.

We can be beautiful inside and out. We only have to please God. It is possible….just look carefully at the life of Jesus Christ and try to follow Him each day.

Come Holy Spirit

Psalm 42: 1-2

1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,..
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?

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Someone has said that we have a God-sized hole in us…that we cannot rest until it is filled. It’s as if, at some time, God was part of us and now is not. We are always searching for something. ….longing for something that we can’t quite grasp. I think it’s what makes us so restless and unsettled. We always seem to want more….more stuff, more money, more peace. We are never satisfied.

It’s because we are looking for the wrong thing. No other piece can fit the hole where God belongs. As long as the hole is empty we are unsatisfied.

Seek God. Look where god can be found….in the Bible, in the stories of Christ, in prayer, in church, in other people.

Prayer: O God, the blank spot within me can only be filled with you. I have a longing that nothing else can assuage. Come Holy Spirit and fill my soul with the living God. AMEN

Jesus didn’t seek power

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There are so many who seek power. We see it in politics, religion, business, everywhere. Seeking power through religion has led us down some dark paths. Until we can focus on Christ’s message there will still be those who use religion for their own reasons. Only by following the walk of Christ…act like Christ, nothing will ever change.

Be careful

Religion tends to prefer and protect the status quo or the supposedly wonderful past, yet what we now see is that religion often simply preserves its own power and privilege. God does not need our protecting. We often worship old things as substitutes for eternal things.

Richard Rohr

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We have to be careful to remember what is really important. We can easily substitute “the way we have always done it” for God Himself. We can’t make idols of things that make us feel comfortable. Jesus spent a lot of time making people uncomfortable.

Stories

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Have you noticed that Jesus rarely answered questions. Most of the time he told stories. We call them parables. He was one of the best storytellers of all time. His stories always had a moral and always left us thinking about the meaning. Stories stick with people better than anything else. It is hard to forget about the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan. If we grew up Christian just the mention of these stories brings up images. Go to the New Testament. Pick out and read the stories.

It’s not fashionable

Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them. –Mother Teresa

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This is so true! Most of us would prefer to avoid the homeless or those begging on our streets. We see them as “less than” us. It’s as if we are concerned about becoming contaminated by them. We have to begin to look through Jesus’ eyes and see them as children of God just like us. Then we will be willing to talk with them.

Maundy Thursday

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”         Matthew 20:28

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It is so difficult to believe that someone would give his life for me. I don’t feel worthy of such a sacrifice. Think about it. You are standing on a street corner and a car comes up over the curb. The person next to you pushes you out of the way and is killed instead of you. Knowing this I would have to live my life differently.

That is why, knowing Christ’s sacrifice, I need to look carefully at how I am living my life.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for sacrificing your life for me. I am unworthy of your love. Bring my life closer to your example. Amen

 

 

 

Faith of convenience

A faith of convenience is a hollow faith.  ~M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy, “A Holy Mess,” 1982

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Christianity did not begin as a belief of convenience. In fact, it was very inconvenient as the early Christians were persecuted and killed. Now that it is an “accepted religion” we take it for granted. It is convenient to go to church on Sundays. It is also convenient that we can choose to not go. It is interesting to know that Christianity is growing the most in places where Christians are persecuted. Maybe we are too comfortable.

Prayer: Patient God, move us out of our comfort zone and help us to not take you for granted. Amen

 

Hymn: “You have come down to the lakeshore”: Jesus is calling us

Today I want to share another hymn that is special to me. The words speak to me when I sing it. Truly God is calling each of us to follow. He wants us abandon our selfish ways and follow him. He want us abandon the things that are holding us back. Come, he says, I am waiting.

This is a favorite version as it uses the Spanish (and English) and is played in that style. It doesn’t have all the verses but is beautiful.

Lyrics:
You have come down to the lakeshore
Seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy,
But only asking for me to follow.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You know full well what I have, Lord;
Neither treasure nor weapons for conquest,
Just these my fishnets and will for working.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You need my hands, my exhaustion,
Working love for the rest of the weary,
A love that’s willing to go on loving.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You who have fished other waters;
You, the longing of souls that are yearning;
O loving Friend, you have come to call me.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.