Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs but how to remain human in the skyscrapers. Abraham J. Heschel
Do we only worship in designated worship spaces? Do we take out God our into the streets. Christ did not call us to stay in church. He called us to care for the sick and needy. Most of the time they are not in our churches. Do we take our care outside the walls?
The other day I saw a man on the side of the road. He was bent over and was holding a small sign. The traffic was moving and I didn’t have time to read the sign or to give him the package I keep in my car to give to those in need. I have regretted this since that day. I should have stopped and held up traffic and handed him that pack.
We have a responsibility to each other. We are a community. The things that I do affect others. I am responsible for helping others. God has reminded us of this so many time that we ought to get it by now.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Our past has taught us so many lessons. God expects us to use them to move forward. The hurts we carry open us to more understanding. Use them to help others.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share the pains we have experienced so that others can feel our openness and our love. AMEN
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha
The light of a candle is not the only thing that can be shared. Love is never diminished by being shared. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This is what Christ is all about. Love , love , love….if only we could stop all the anger and violence and just concentrate on loving each other the world would change.
Gracious God, do you despair of our every getting the message? Please help us to forget all the complex issues and just understand the message. Love is the way. AMEN
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
I Corinthians 13: 4-7
We hear this so often at weddings that I don’t think we really pay attention to it any more. But these are words to live by. How many times am I arrogant or rude or boastful? How many times do I insist on my own way? I need to wake up and smell the coffee. These words apply directly to me!
Prayer: Forgiving God, I am guilty of letting these words slide right by me. Help me to take them to heart and live by them. Amen
Your talent is Gods gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Leo Buscaglia
Some people have obvious talents. They can sing or write books or act in plays. Most of us don’t even realize we have talents. The things we can do seem so ordinary. Who would care if I could teach a class …so many others can too…or compute someone’s taxes or paint their house for them? I’m just an average Joe. But God cares. No matter if you think you can’t do anything for his glory he knows that you can. Every skill can be used for the glory of God.
Prayer: Lord, help is to see and use the things we can do for the glory of God. AMEN
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.