December 6, 2017
Scripture Reading: Psalm 65:1-2, 8-13
Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. –Psalm 65:1-2, 8
I believe that each person has a unique relationship with God and that we cluster together to serve God based on our similarities. I jokingly say, but it is true, I was born to be in a congregationally governed congregation because of my independent spirit. I have friends who are much at home in hierarchically governed churches. Some understand the Bible from a more literal sense; others glean more from its allegorical views. Is there no wonder there are more than 900 denominations? Is God not able to love each and all and to be present when any two or more gather together in God’s name (Matthew 18:20)? How else would it be possible for God to welcome all flesh that comes to God? All are called to love God and to love one another demonstrating that love can take many forms.
What about our Abrahamic relatives in faith? The Psalmist talks about all flesh coming to God not a select few. We share much good with our Jewish and Islamic cousins in faith. I was deeply disturbed by the recent release of a Twitter post of a man designated as a Muslim slamming a statue of Mary to the ground breaking it. While such an act offends Christians, it also offends Muslim. Did you know Islam venerates both Mary and Jesus? The Quran* mentions Mary more than the Bible. Whoever produced the Twitter video did not do their homework.
When all people work first toward the things upon which they can agree, we will all take a step closer to the love God envisions. When we center on our differences, our link to God suffers.
Prayer: God of Might and Miracles, make us whole, make us one. 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.
April 5, 2017
Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ –Psalm 118:1-2
The Psalms often start with the good news, for bad news happens and we need to be reminded whose we are and whose loving presence sustains us through everything. This is a good place to start as we march steadily toward the excitement of Palm Sunday followed by the realities of Holy Week.
I wrote a poem many years ago, that I really liked but somehow lost to never get back. I guess it was meant for me to experience at that time and place in my life. It was about how water by God’s design seems programmed to flow into and through larger and larger streams until it reaches an ocean. Our task as people of God is similar. We are called to be singular of purpose constantly moving toward Love and loving. Many things slow our loving, even stop it for a while, or reroute our path toward ultimate loving. Humans build dams to harness the power of flowing water, but we have learned water held too long stagnant loses its usefulness. So too, unshared love is not love at all.
Soak in God’s steadfast love this week. Turmoil and tragedy awaits just over the horizon. Let us remind ourselves that as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be* God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. –Hebrews 13:8
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the constancy of your love. Strengthen us to your service. Amen.
*Taken from the Gloria Patri see at http://www.hymnary.org/text/glory_be_to_the_father_and_to_the_son
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.