Christianity cannot be bound by ethnicity or nationality. This puts it in essential conflict with any group that wants to domesticate the message for its own “patriotic” purposes–Richard Rohr
Rohr’s quote may go against the grain with some. If you follow through with this thought it would also include denominations who feel that if you don’t agree with their ideas you are on the outside. Christianity must be inclusive. It takes in everyone. Remember we are all wrong about God. Our thoughts are too finite. We can only grasp God with our limited minds. To think otherwise is foolish. I certainly don’t presume to know the mind of God. Do you?
We are not quick to ask for help. Somehow it makes us think that we are “less-than.” We feel as if we owe something to someone and we struggle to pay it back. We don’t want to be “beholding.” We are so wrong. Asking others for help does not show weakness it shows strength. Everyone needs someone else at sometime in their life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and especially don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. You can pay back what you received by “paying it forward.” That is what God calls us to do.
We keep searching for God. we spend most of the time wanting him to be in the spectacular. We forget that God is always present and can be found in the ordinary. He can be seen in the dinner we cook for our family, in the beds we make, the work we do and the times we play. He is present. Celebrate that!
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.
Psalm 22: 1-22
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
This Psalm is used during lent. It is a cry for help. We also cry out to God for help and we don’t always see an answer. It is one of the difficult things that Christians deal with. Why would a God who loves us so leave us to suffer? It seems that either God is not there or not answering. I wish that I had a perfect answer to this problem. I don’t but I do trust that God loves us and wants the best for us. The best may not be what we expected.
I heard about a minister who was dying with a very painful disease. Everyone was praying for him to be spared. It did not happen. What did happen is that the pain stopped and the last days of his life were blessed to be pain free. For this he thanked and praised God.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not what we asked but it always is the answer of our loving God.
God of mercy, we know you hear our prayers and love us beyond measure. Help us to not expect to know all the answers. AMEN
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
God’s desires for us have always been there. Here they are in David’s words.We are so blind that we don’t see the truth. We don’t see how to live a life of love. Finally he sent us an example whose life we are to emulate. Do we get it yet?
Lord, open the eyes of our hearts. AMEN
My daily meditation will be on the Psalms for a while. I hope you find this meaningful.
Psalm 1 verse 1 from the NRSV
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
I was struck by the word “scoffers.” How often do we put down the ideas of others without really considering them. Sometimes we are not rejecting the ideas but the people themselves. We do not even hear them out or consider what they would mean. Think about this attitude and hear others out.
Gracious Lord, help us to listen with open mind and heart and not scoff but HEAR. AMEN
Sometimes it’s really hard to see the truth. Our bodies are temporary but out souls are eternal. We need to remember that.
Lord God, continue to remind us who we are and whose we are. AMEN