Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?
Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen
““I screamed at God for all the starving children, and then I realized that all of the starving children were God screaming at me.”
This reminds me of the old story about the man who heard about a flood on the radio and said God would take care of him. The water rose and he ended up on the roof of his house. A boat came by and offered to save him but he declined saying God would save him. A helicopter came and tried to help him from the roof. Again he refused saying god would provide.
The man drowned and when he reached heaven he demanded from God “why didn’t you save me?” God replied: “I sent a news report, a boat and a helicopter. What are you doing here?”
We expect our answers from God to be extraordinary and ignore the things in front of us.
Prayer: God of wisdom, forgive us when we are blind and don’t see the messages you send. Amen
Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and Lent is here. We have always heard about giving up things for lent but it is also time to take something on. Make a decision to add something that helps others. Each day I like to choose something in my home that can help someone else…… things that can be given away to charity. I put them aside to be donated at the end of Lent.
Today I am sad. There is nothing wrong with being sad when things are tragic. We can be sad about a child getting cancer or a best friend in trouble. It’s what we do with the sadness that matters. First we turn to God. Sharing our sadness with God brings his love and peace. Taking the strength that God gives we can help where we can and share his love.
Meals are important in the ministry of Jesus. The communion we receive in church is based on a meal and brings us to join in that meal. Meals bring people together. Joining in a meal allows us to share in a very unique way. If you want to know someone better plan to have a meal with them. It will bring friendship and understanding.
I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
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.
Tonight I want to share the prayer I shared on my other blog https://worrylessjourney.com/2018/12/09/what-has-been-done-has-been-done/
It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.
it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
In your name we pray.
Psalm 8: 1-2
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
We read these words but do we follow them? How often do we tell about the thing the Lord has done for us? I have mentioned before that a friend calls God’s intervention in our lives “the arangels at work.” I try to remember to share how that happens in my life but usually only with those who understand it. I need to share more with others. They may scoff and tell me it’s “coincidence” but that’s fine. Maybe they will see my belief as “something more.”
Tell about God’s marvelous works. He continues to work today. Sing his praises!
Amazing God, thank you for your work in our lives. Remind us to share it with others. AMEN
The road that Christ followed is not an easy one. The disciples thought they could when asking him to sit at his right and left hand. They later found it was not easy. To choose this path is scary and difficult but it is the right one.
All knowing God, you sent your son to show us what to do. Help us to tread that difficult path. AMEN
It is so easy to follow the crowd. Our society encourages us to conform. People who don’t follow the group are considered odd. Certainly if we follow Jesus and the things that he did we will be considered odd. After all helping the poor, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless are not high priorities for society as a whole. Yet we are called to do as Jesus did.
God, you want us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Help us to follow his path in spite of societies ideas. AMEN