God expects

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.       Galileo Galilei

god expects

For a long time religion and science were at odds. At some times they still are. Some people find the theory of evolution and God’s creating everything to be in conflict. There is the fear that we will uncover some fact that makes God irrelevant. But I think God gave us not only our brains but also our curiosity about the world around us. I don’t think he is concerned about what we will discover.

Prayer: Amazing God, help us to use our minds and our curiosity to bring about your kingdom on earth. Amen

 

Use this prayer

This is the prayer we used today at Ash Wednesday Service. It is a prayer we all should use.

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Most holy and merciful God,
we confess to you and to one another,
and before the whole company of heaven,
that we have sinned by our fault,
by our own fault,
by our own most grievous fault,
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, O God.
We have shut our ears to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our past unfaithfulness, the pride, envy, hypocrisy, and apathy that have infected our lives, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to share the faith that is in us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our neglect of human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us.
Hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.

Love

Today being all about love the most important description of it comes from 1 Corinthians 13. Nothing says it better.

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13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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.

Can we know everything?

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

mind-of-god

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?

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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A Psalm for living

Psalm 15

Lord, who may abide in your tent?
    Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
    and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
    and do no evil to their friends,
    nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
    but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
    and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

saying

This is a Psalm to live by. It we follow this path we will not only show others how to live we will be fulfilled ourselves.We need little explanation to understand that this is the way Jesus calls us to live. A Psalm for living.

Loving God, help us to follow you path and live in your ways. AMEN

The love of God

I may have shared this before but I absolutely love this from Romans. It gives me hope that no matter what God will be there for me and you.

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Romans 8:37-39 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen and Amen