Today we give thanks to You Lord Jesus Christ for You are our Savior, our Redeemer and our Friend. Breathe life back into the dry desert of our hearts for You are the great I Am. You live in this moment and so should we. Stop us from holding on to what happened or what might happen. Instead focus our thoughts on the here and now so that we can truly be Your hands and feet in this world. We are all children of God living in His household. To keep all of God’s gifts for ourselves and to ignore the other members of God’s family does not bless the world it curses it. So Lord, reveal Your truth to us today in Your Word for our lives so that we can fully participate in the glory of Your resurrection rather than just observing it. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours because as long as there are still people being unjustly persecuted, who are hungry, or who are sick then the ministry that Christ started is not over. And even though we think that it would be so much easier to ignore the problems of others we must remember that the others could be our grandparents, parents, children, us or even be Jesus. Let us remember that in the darkest times of our lives “it is not the shouts of our enemies that hurt us the most but it is the silence of our friends” (Martin Luther King Jr). How will the next generation know how to follow Jesus? It’s simple: By watching us. By learning from the example that we leave for them in this life. Did we hate or did we love? Did we stand up for the forgotten or did we look the other way? “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.” (Verna Dozier, The Dream of God, 1991) And You, Lord, have told us “Do not fear, for unto us, in the city of David, a Savior was born” (Luke 2:11) who changed the world and changed our hearts. So as we receive Christ today at this altar let us remember that He also goes with us into the world that He loves. And remember that there are those who are so hungry that they can only receive God in the form of bread. So let us give to the One and to the many.
Monthly Archives: August 2013
Almighty God, we are all scattered here ready to receive Your Word for our lives today. Clear away all of the distractions and bend our ear to listen for Your Spirit. Break into the excesses of our lives so that we can stop playing games and start living the life that You would have us live. We have much to learn Lord, so we ask that You cultivate, tend and nurture our minds so that we can be emptied of the garbage that prevents us from learning from Your Word. Stop us from succumbing to fake affections and idle conversations so that we can recognize that we are all barren in some ways. We are barren because of whatever life has thrown at us and we are thirsting for acceptance and love. And You give us all that we need. You accept us. You love us. And because You love us, we should love each other. But we cannot love each other unless we love and respect ourselves. So grow our faith in You and reveal Your truth so that we can understand that God does not make mistakes. We are all sent to this earth for a purpose. Our faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit allows us to have hope. Hope allows us to live knowing that no matter what happens God is in our side. So when the thorns of doubt creep into our lives and attempt to convince us that we are a mistake and that God is an afterthought. Let us remember, “for God so loved the world that He sent His only Son” to show us and to show the world what God has always known. We are loved. We are redeemed. And we are cherished by the One who has and will always love us. It’s His truth that marches on.
Loving God, we thank You for being exactly who You say You are and doing exactly what You said You would do. You have created us in Your image and have redeemed us by the grace and loving sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ. You are real. Your love is real so we need You to make our love real to. Make our love real when we pretend and hide behind the right words with no accountability or follow through because if we have real love for Almighty God, then we must have real love for one another. We cannot love God, whom we have not seen, and hate those who we do see. And as we desperately accept Your forgiveness, let us also forgive others by letting go of who was right or who was wrong because whatever we believe about Almighty God needs to be demonstrated in the relationship that we have with one another. Right beliefs should cause right actions. Right religion will manifest itself only from right relationships with the Creator and with each other. So Lord, give us the strength and the faith to stand up. To stand up for love. To stand up for the elderly. To stand up for the poor. To stand up for the sick. And to stand up for the broken hearted. Help us to stand up for our brothers and sisters in this very room whom the world has forgotten. Help us to stand up for the cause and ministry of Jesus Christ so that our light will shine so that we can glorify our Father in heaven. Shine in our lives Lord “so that we can see that to follow You is less about avoiding sin and more about courageously and actively doing God’s will” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) so that we can do what the world will not do for us: Love God, love ourselves and love our neighbor.
Almighty God, thank You for the gift of this life: A gift that we take for granted at times. Empty our minds of selfishness and arrogance so that we can receive Your Word for our lives today. Stop us from placing people into teams of either us or them, the righteous or the Samaritans, the good or the bad. We are so quick to relish in the notion that we are in fellowship because we are believers but we also forget that we are in fellowship because we are also sinners. We forget that our neighbor is anyone beside ourselves because we think too much with our eyes and we are easily fooled. We fail to realize that to love our neighbor as ourselves is to be free. Free from hate, free from guilt, and free from the past. You, Lord, humbled Yourself and stepped into our shoes, into our humanity, to give us the opportunity to reach the full potential of our human condition. So bring our faith back to life in the gift that You have given us: The gift that we are all made new in Christ Jesus. And make the distinction definitive and clear that this is a gift from Almighty God and not a reward that we have earned. As we stand on this side of the resurrection we see that there are no perfect people but there is a perfect God. So let us be still and know that You are Lord of all and that You are with us in the good and in the broken seasons of our lives. Take hold of our lives Lord and make a new legacy where we can stand together united as one family in God’s household where we are all advocates for those whom the world doesn’t love. No matter what doors are locked shut to us in this life there is nothing that can separate us from the everlasting and unyielding love of Almighty God. Send us forth as You sent Your Son so that we can love the One and love the many.