Turn the other cheek

“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi

This is an oft quoted piece from the Bible found in Exodus and in Matthew 5 after the beatitudes. The meaning is different that what we usually think. It is about retaliation but calls for only an eye to be taken for an eye. No more. In Matthew Jesus tells us what we really need to do.

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Matthew 5: 38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Loving Lord, you call us to let go of our anger and put revenge aside. Help us to do so. 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

Whose path?

I profess to aim at perfection but in practice I like the way of perfection to be mapped out by me and not by God.-——————Pope John XXIII

This is so very true. I want to make my own plans and set my own path. It will be my idea of perfection. God has other plans. He sees the way clearly that we need to go. If only we would follow his path instead of ours.

Psalms119-105

Infinite God, I am sure you get tired of us wanting to be in charge of everything. Help us to listen for your voice and follow your path. AMEN

Questions and answers

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. ———-Dr. Seuss

Sometimes we want to intellectualize our faith. We continue to ask question that have no logical answers. Questions that can’t be proved or disproved. We need to sit in silence and listen for God. God could answer all those questions but he knows we don’t need to know. We just need to trust in him.

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All knowing God, we always want to be able to prove things and have understandable answers. Help us to trust that you know best. AMEN

Walk humbly

Micah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

This is such a wonderful verse and sounds so simple. What could be easier? Actually the question should be what could be harder? Are we always kind? I doubt it. Do we walk humbly? For us this is counter-culture. We need to keep this verse in front of us and read it every morning.

walk humbly

O Lord, our God, you ask so little and yet to us it seems to be too much. Help us to write this verse on our hearts. AMEN

God is everywhere!

Many Christians say they believe in the Presence in the Eucharist, but they don’t get that it is everywhere—which is the whole point! They don’t seem to know how to recognize the Presence of God when they leave the church, when they meet people who are of a different religion or race or sexual orientation or nationality. ——-Richard Rohr

boundless god

God is everywhere. He is in you and me. He is in the trees and the grass. He is in my beloved dogs. God is everywhere! Why is it so hard for us to get that?

Infinite God, you created all things and are present in them all. Help us to understand. AMEN

Listen

Why are we the last ones to see what God wants? —————Suzanne Boyd

We go to church. We supposedly read the Bible. We take classes about God. We talk to other Christians but how often do we spend time listening? We have been told that God speaks in silence and yet silence is something most of us don’t like. We watch TV, listen to music, read electronic media but we don’t just sit in silence and wait for God. That is why we are the last to hear God speak.

silence-mind

Patient God, you speak to us again and again and yet we seldom stop to hear. Help us to learn to stop and listen for your voice. AMEN

Rest in God

seek God 3We spend so much time in prayer asking God for things but take little time so listen for answers. We must seek to be with God. To rest in silence and meditation and wait for him. God waits for us…we just have to let him find us. In God’s presence is peace.

Patient God, you wait for us to come to you and we doing asking for things. Help us to learn to just rest in you presence. AMEN

He maketh me

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.………….Psalm 23

god rested

Have you ever thought about the word “maketh” in this part of the Psalm? God didn’t just ask us to rest. He makes us rest. The trouble is we don’t take this seriously. There is always something to be done. Things pull at us 24/7. But God “maketh me to lie down.” God demands that we take time to stop, rest and be at peace. Keep that in mind.

Caring God, you know that we cannot race through every day and still hear your voice. We must lie down in green pastures. AMEN