Living in the Spirit
November 1, 2017
Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south. –Psalm 107:1-3
In small groups or Bible studies, we are often encouraged to share what God has done for us. Psalm 107 implores us to do so. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, I think it is as important for us to say what the lord has done for us to ourselves as it is to share it with others. Particularly living in a world fraught with divisiveness and the questioning of formally trustworthy entities, understanding what one’s real priorities are grows more important. Our focus needs to turn more on the endurance of the steadfast love of God and how that plays out in our everyday living.
Listening to what others are saying is important also. I grow weary of hearing or reading viewpoints that are foreign to me about how we are to be as a society. I must admit I sometimes need to turn it off and retreat from the constant barrage of hate-filled rhetoric. In my heart, My guess is those with differing opinions feel the same about me. I know I need to listen to the backstory in what others are saying. From where do those ideas derive? How can we bridge the gulfs that divide us and find the common ground etched in God’s Word?
Desperate people get caught in desperate responses. Greedy people do not care who they hurt to garner wealth. How do we seek out those living lives of desperation and work alongside them to ease their suffering? How do we awaken those caught in the addiction of greed to the wealth of God’s love that overshadow all worldly riches? How do we keep the principalities and powers of the world at bay as we grow a Kingdom ruled by God’s love?
A good starting point is identifying and rejoicing in the everyday instances of God with Us.
Prayer: Lord, open doors of opportunities for us to share your steadfast love in our world today. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.
Living in the Spirit
June 28, 2017
Scripture Reading: Psalm 13
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, ‘I have prevailed’;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Futility is a dangerous state of mind. Futility results when one feels ineffective, unfruitful. The population of the futile in our country is growing. Most work and still may go to bed hungry at night. The rate of low or very low food insecurity is 16.5% of the Oklahoma population*. Many of the working poor rely on food stamps to supplement their low wages facing the denigration that accompanies paying for groceries with a food stamp card. Many service industry jobs limit hours of work by whether the employee is needed making it impossible to know what income to expect. Most such jobs offer no sick leave and certainly no leave for parents to stay home with sick children. The vast majority of child care facilities do not take sick children and could call a parent in the middle of the day to pick their child up if he or she becomes ill. Too many of those incidences can get one fired. Two many firings listed on a job application can restrict one’s employ-ability. Living from one paycheck to the next is the only option. This first verse of this hymn is their song.
Our call as followers of Christ is to pave the way for the futile to learn about God’s steadfast love. One introduction to God’s love results from the example of our steadfast love exemplified in working together to form a just society where all earn a living wage and businesses flourish because all our citizens are a part of a vibrant economy.
Prayer: Lord, makes us each doers of justice for all your children.
All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.