Living in the Spirit
July 2, 2017
Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:40-42
‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
I jut received an alert on my telephone that Oklahoma City is under an excessive heat warning, one of the first of what might be a long hot summer. Such alerts come when the combined temperature and humidity is expected to reach a level that could prove life threatening if one is in it too long without adequate water. These conditions are especially dangerous for the elderly, who do not feel the heat as much as younger people, and for the homeless who must seek both shelter and water to survive. I suspect the people of Galilee and Judea were well acquainted with the problem in the first century sans air-conditioning and electric fans. Many were dependent on others willing to share life-essential water.
Love, too, is life-essential. Jesus encourages us to share our love in very ordinary ways without question and without judgment. Children absorb everything happening around them. Our attitudes and actions toward them plant seeds of hope or fear or love or lost self-esteem. It does take a village to raise a child.
Prayer: Lord, help us to love each other as you love us and particularly help us be good role models for the children we encounter along the way. 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
May 19, 2016
Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. –Romans 5:1-2
It was a loud thundering storm that awakened me; it was dealing with how to handle a divisive issue that left me tossing and turning as the rain first came in torrents and then more gently tapping on the roof. I hate situations where decisions must be made that, in the final analysis, identifies someone as right and someone as wrong. Life events are rarely that black and white. I know how Jacob felt when he wrestled with God. He had to be purged of his vanity as well as his guilt. He had stolen his brother’s birthright, ran away to save his own skin, and met his match in a father-in-law who could be just as conniving as Jacob was. Finally besting that same father-in-law, Jacob was ready to go back and face his brother. The real battle was with God resulting in Jacob’s cleansing before reconciliation could occur. As he moved toward his brother not knowing what he would face, his brother met him with open arms. Perhaps Esau had wrestled with God, too.
The peace of God is necessary in our quest for justice for everyone. The peace of God starts first with our cleansing through the living water Jesus brought us, springing from an eternal source that will never go dry. It is the same water that can wash our souls clean while continually hydrating our wholeness. Certainly some cleansing may feel like we have been caught in a ferocious storm. As the storm abates we can experience the gentleness of God’s love like life restoring rain quenches the burnt earth.
In the early hours of the morning, I did finally drift back to sleep. When I awoke the rain had stop and a bird was singing joyously outside my window. A new day had dawned and the peace of God was with me.
Prayer: Lord, as you prepare us for reconciliation with others forgive us for our omissions and commissions that are a part of torn relationships and grant us wisdom that all involved may move forward in your truth together. 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 American. Used by permission. All rights