I will not be afraid!

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

    a very present[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

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God is present. He is always with us. We can take refuge in Him. We have nothing to fear no matter what happens. Don’t be afraid but depend on God.

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

Children of God

(Julian of Norwich)She says that Christ is the one who connects us to the “great root” of our being. . . . [1] “God is our mother as truly as God is our father,” she says. [2] We come from the Womb of the Eternal. We are not simply made by God; we are made “of God.” [3] So we encounter the energy of God in our true depths. And we will know the One from whom we have come only to the extent that we know ourselves. God is the “ground” of life. [4] So it is to the very essence of our being that we look for God. . . . (from Richard Rohr )

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I had to read this several times to see it’s power. Being “of God” is a revelation. We are born out of God and so contain God within us as much as we contain the parts of our human parents. We have to search our deepest depths and find the roots of God in us. Not an easy task. It requires deep reflection in silence.

What would they learn?

When visitors come to a worship service in my own religious tradition, a great deal depends on how warmly they are welcomed and whether they feel included or excluded by what they hear during the whole time they are with us. We may have exactly one shot at communicating who we are to people who know nothing about us–or who think they already know a lot about us–but who, in either case, will remember us as the embodiment of out entire tradition, the prime exemplars of our faith.

Barbara Brown Taylor in “Holy Envy”

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I had a friend who said “you may be the best Christian someone knows.” That is a scary thought. What do the people around us learn about Christianity from how we behave. Do we live up to what we say?

Do each daily task for God

It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”
Thomas Merton

for God

There is a wonderful little book called Practicing the Presence of God  by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence did ordinary, everyday tasks such as washing dishes and planting vegetables. Yet everything he did was dedicated to God. Each task was done for the glory of God. He made each task holy. How different life would be if we could all do this.

Prayer: Glorious God, help us to understand that the simplest task is done for you. Remind us that everything we do each day is holy. Amen

 

 

Loving arms

I have always loved the 23rd Psalm. Especially the part about going down into the valley. God promises to be with us. It says his rod and staff will be there. God is with us in our darkest days. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are feel the loving arms of God holding you close and know that you are not alone.

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God chooses

 Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created  the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 

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I have always love this image. The idea of God choosing to create a world is…I can’t find a word wonderful enough. The Spirit of moving. Notice that in this version Spirit is capitalized. The Spirit is a facet of God. God is not one thing but many things. A God way beyond our understanding. Know that this is God. Infinite and unknowable until He chooses to become a man.

You don’t have to know the result

I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I am sure that Christ had no plan to be the most important person the world has ever known. His plan was to teach us about his father and how to live our lives. Each of us has a choice each day to live as Christ taught us. What is right is always the thing to do. We don’t know what the impact of that choice will be. It doesn’t matter.

The whole thing

Since this is Advent what are we looking forward to….the birth of a baby….not just an ordinary baby but the most amazing gift from God…Himself. He was willing to come to earth and live among us. For me this is amazing. Who would give up heaven? This is as incredible as the resurrection. Some theologians are Resurrection Theologians. They feel that the resurrection is the most important part of Christ’s coming. Some are Incarnational Theologians. They see God coming to earth as the most important. I see it as a whole thing. His coming to earth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection are a whole. In my mind you can’t separate it out. It is indivisible.

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Stop and remember!

In churches that follow that sort of pattern it is now Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin “coming.”  The dictionary says it is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.”

When we are planning for the arrival of someone or something important we usually spend time getting ready. If it is something good we are awaiting we anticipate it with excitement. In this case it is the arrival of a baby.

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Waiting for a baby can be exhilarating and exhausting. We buy things for the baby, get a room ready, attend parties and get presents. We count the days.

These are all things we do in this season. However the season has run off the rails. We have forgotten why we are doing all of this. Stop and remember why we are waiting!