Tag Archives: One with God

Walking Blamelessly

Epiphany
January 25, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 15

O 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 –Psalm 15:1-3

Are you as tired as I am of the unnecessarily cruel things people are saying to and about each other? We can change that. We can stop carrying the message forward. We do not need to share it on any social media site or repeat it to friends saying, “Aren’t these folks awful who are saying these things?” I doubt if most of it is true but even if it were how does it help the situation to blast it out?

I am talking about character assassination not a discourse on our opinions about public policy or how we understand Jesus’ teaching even when our opinions may differ from the people with whom we are talking.

Such information is not worthy of our attention, and it serves to distract us from paying attention to the things that do matter. When the evening news is full of “He said, she said.” instead of providing updates on world events or new legislation or a new treatment for cancer, we all lose. The evening news broadcasts the kinds of things that we want to hear.

The Psalmist today provides us a good model to follow. It might be a good test to apply to any questionable information. Would I say this if I lived in a tent with God?

Prayer: Lord, help me to follow the model you have set before me. Guide me in seeking what matters in realizing your vision of our world and what my tasks are in attaining it. 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 
reserved.

Projected Anger

Love and masksAdvent
December 15, 2015

Scripture Reading: Psalm 80:1-7

 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
   how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
   and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
   our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved. –Psalm 80:3-7

I wonder sometimes if God gets tired of me praying the same prayer over and over. I am not talking about daily prayers for loved ones or repeated prayers for persons who are ill. I am talking about the prayers for the things that I need to change in my life and just do not do it. I have never thought that they might make God angry as is described in our scripture for today. Why do you suppose that would be? Does God view my prayers as a lack of trust, perhaps?

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 7:15, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. It helps to know that I am not the only one struggling with this phenomenon, but it does not change anything.

Perhaps the problem lies in my centering my whole being on myself rather than being centered in God. The Psalmist, Paul, and I all may be projecting our own anger at ourselves onto God when all God ask of us is to still ourselves and rekindle our relationship with God rather than trying to make ourselves perfect ourselves.

Prayer: God of Grace and God of Glory, let your ever present love crowd out our ever present doubt, shame, fear, and all those other negatives that curtail our ability to love you and serve you more completely. 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 
reserved.