A radical?

Jesus, I found, bore little resemblance to the Mister Rogers figure I had met in Sunday school, and was remarkable unlike the person I had studied in Bible college. For one thing, he was far less tame. ————-Philip Yancey in “The Jesus I Never Knew”

Someone once said to my husband “Jesus was a conservative.” My husband replied “he was so conservative he got himself crucified.” I really don’t know the story of anyone less conservative than Jesus. He ate with tax collectors, touched women (taboo) and didn’t follow anyone’s rules. I am sure he wishes we could learn to be as open and loving as he was.

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Radical Jesus, you followed only the image of God’s kingdom and want us to help bring it to fruition. Help us to see that. AMEN

No Exceptions

Religious liberty includes freedom to change one’ religion or belief without consequent social, economic and political disabilities. Implicit in this right is the right freely to maintain one’s belief or disbelief without external coercion or disability. ——–World Council of Churches

We are all so divided. Not just into totally different religions but into divisions within religions. So often we cast stones at those of other faiths or other denominations. Jesus called us to love one another. He did not include the word “if.”

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Matthew 22:36-40 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

 

Choose love

Jesus chose love rather than power. –————Suzanne Boyd

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.–   John Dalberg-Acton

I think that the quote above makes if perfectly clear why Jesus made the choice he did. It did not please some of his disciples. They had a different plan. Jesus makes it clear with his ministry that his is the right choice. Power is an idol. Don’t make the mistake of choosing it.

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Heavenly father, remind us that love is the only choice. AMEN

Hope

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not  oust them.-———————Vincent McNabb

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Hope is one of the most precious things that God has given us. We need hope to get up each day. We use it to start a new project or a new job. We have hope. Thank God for it.

God of compassion, thank you for the gift of hope. AMEN

Forget rules

The truth is a person not a set of rules.————–unknown

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The truth is a person and that person is Jesus. Jesus is not a set of rules. We humans have tried to turn our faith, our belief, our Christianity into a set of rules. A set of do’s and don’ts. Jesus said love one another. Love God and your neighbor. That’s all it takes. If we could just do those things life would be amazing.

Extraordinary God, help us to see the truth and follow it. AMEN

The path to peace

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. ———-A.J. Muste

The people who have taught us the truth of this statement come to mind quite easily. Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. It is obvious that they understood this. All of them changed the world in amazing ways by following the path of peace. It should be obvious to us that walking the path of peace changes things for the better. We should do the same.

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Loving God, your son showed us the path of peace. Others followed his example. Help us to do so too. AMEN

Life is limited

Death gives life its fullest reality. ——————Anthony Dalla Villa, Eulogy for Andy Warhol, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, April 1,1987

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Death reminds us that our time in this life is limited. Knowing that there is an end pulls us to live each day to the fullest. God created life and a universe around us. Don’t forget to stop, look, and appreciate each moment.

Amazing God, you created everything. Help us to see that every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things can be idols

Why is life sped up so? Why are thing so terribly unbearably precious that you can’t enjoy them but can only wait breathless in dread of their going? ——Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I sometimes think that things have become more important than God. Things have become our idol. If we aren’t concerned about the things we have we are longing for the things we don’t have. TV is telling us every day that there is something else we must have.

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We have to learn to enjoy what we have now. We have to appreciate the life we have and give thanks.

Giving God, you have given us so much. Help us to know that it is enough and be thankful. AMEN

Light and Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”          …………………Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we are in the dark….with no light at all we feel disoriented. We need light coming from somewhere to give us balance and perception. We need the light. We need it to survive. Without light plants will not grow. The earth would be barren.

Just as much as we need light we need love. We need someone to hold up the mirror of love and show us our goodness. Without that we are barren.

God is willing to hold that mirror for us and let his light shine through us. Love and light give us life.

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Amazing God, your grace has given us what we need to live as you call us to. Help us to remember that. AMEN

Understand and DO

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. ————–Mark Twain

“Love your neighbor as yourself. Turn the other cheek. Follow me.” These are passages from the Bible that I do understand. There are many more. The trouble is that they call me to be a better person. Who they ask me to be seems impossible. How can I learn to be the Christian you want me to be?

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Lord help me! I do understand these words you have given me, but I don’t seem to be able to follow through. Help! AMEN