Good? Friday

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.               1 Peter 2:24

Good-Friday

I can’t imagine what it must have been like. The fear and disbelief of the disciples. The grief of the mother of Jesus. The pain he felt. The effort of dragging the cross. It is all beyond my experience. I don’t know where I would have been in that scene. Would I have believed in him or been part of the angry mob? Where would you be?

 

I do know that things have been different ever since.

 

God does laugh

 

“To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs.” Anon

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Have you met Christians ready to pummel you with their God? Or the one for whom anything to do with God is a totally serious business. They never laugh when they are talking about him To them, God is a wrathful, angry God. One from only the Old Testament. Jesus taught us about another God. The God who wants us to have a cheerful face.  The New Testament God is the one I follow. Christ didn’t have a grumpy face.  He went to parties. He drank wine. His face was full of love.

 

 

Prayer: Intimate God, let us show a cheerful face to others that we might draw them to you. Help us to teach them about Jesus. Amen

 

 

 

 

Prayer: Thank you loving God for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. Amen

 

Just love!

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.   

~G.K. Chesterton

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We are told to love the Lord Our God with all our souls are all our hearts and all our minds. We are not told to prove that God exists. We are just told to love Him. Can we turn loose of all our trying to understand all of this and just love?

Prayer: God of love, help us learn to just love you with all that we are. Amen

Hope

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
– Carl Sandburg

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The world seems to be getting worse and worse. I don’t know if it really is more evil or just that we learn about it so much quicker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that there is any hope for mankind. Yet good things still happen and babies are born. I guess God hasn’t given up on us yet.

 

Prayer: Thank you loving God for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. Amen

 

Music touches the soul

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.       William P. Merrill

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To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out in praise can touch my soul. I can be moved to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.

Prayer: Thank you God for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. Amen

 

Hope

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

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I am one of the worst for worrying about things. I cross every bridge before I get to it. When something is really wrong fear can rule my world. We shouldn’t expect all our fears to disappear. This is the real world. But  by leaning on God’s grace can I begin to hold fear in check and rely on hope.

 

Prayer: God, our father and mother, we turn to you as to a loving parent. Help us to remember that you love us and want only the best for us.  Help us to bind up fear and put it away. Amen

 

 

Take something on

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.

Lent-2015 - christchurchcolumbia_org

Kindness wins

Matthew 5:38-40 

[ Concerning Retaliation ] “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheekturn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
Christ calls us to not respond in anger. He tells us to offer them the opportunity to hurt us again. We are responsible to control our inclination to anger and reprisal. Kindness is always the way. Kindness disarms. It can cause the other person to rethink. If it does then that is a good outcome. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it. It will change something even if it is only us.
'It threw him off when I turned the other cheek. So then I hit him.'

Inclusion

Today in church we heard the beatitudes from the gospel of Luke. They sound different than the ones in Matthew. I was particularly struck by verse 22. We have all suffered by being excluded, ignored, insulted. Exclusion hurts. It makes us feel “less than.” We have to remember that exclusion is something that humans do. God will never exclude us for any reason. God always includes.

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Luke 6:20-26 New International Version (NIV)

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.