You are currently browsing the daily archive for 11/12/2009.

Matthew 5:1-12, NIV.
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you
and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in
heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.”

I have been a follower of Jesus for most of my life. But a little while ago, read this passage as if for the first time. Don’t get me wrong – the words were familiar to me. I could have recited most of them from memory.

But words can become divorced from meaning. They can be abstracted
and used for a million mundane purposes. They can be pasted into advertisements and mission statements of multi-nationals.

They can become like veneer glued to plastic to give it the appearance of fine carpentry.

Or they can be obscured by a fog of assumptions that makes them illegible. Like wearing someone else’s thick glasses.

Perhaps some words are over venerated – locked away in glass cases – filed and categorised and cross referenced. Pinned like a lifeless butterfly.

But these words – it seems to me that every generation needs to discover them anew. They contain something so wonderful, so powerful, that they are dangerous.

Like dynamite.

Here are the words of Jesus, spoken to his friends. Given as a means to shape their engagement with the present-future Kingdom of God.
Words that turned everything upside down.

Subversive, revolutionary words.

Beautiful, hope-filled, wonderful words.

May they find their way to the middle of you…

(From Listings, by Chris Goan)

Prayer / Blessing

may you be blessed
as you continue to seek out
honesty, and truth, and peace
desiring more than passing, cheap, flippant intimacy.

may you be blessed
as you travel through seas of strangers
desperately wanting to be seen
and not merely passed by
yearning for a touch, a word, a presence.

may you be blessed
as you authentically try to respond
to the God-given wrenching of your gut
making you aware that a need is near
and someone is waiting on your touch,
your word,
your presence.

may the blessing of a love that transcends indifference
and brings reconciliation
be in your heart and in your mind and in your hands
as you travel to and fro –
constantly aware that even now you are surrounded by
love.
may you seek,
may you be completed,
and may you be blessed.
amen.

 

 

Advertisements

Meditation for the day.

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus;
And what you have heard of me through many witnesses
Entrust to faithful people
Who will be able to teach others as well.
2 Timothy 2:1-2

Today, let’s consider faithfulness as the fruit of the Spirit

Faithfulness begins with God. Why would we want to commit ourselves to an untrustworthy deity? It is the reliability of God that is the basis for our faithfulness to God. The Scriptures place great stress on the dependability of God, precisely so that we can join confidently in the covenant God opens to us. Once we have done this, we are called to be a faithful people.

But yet there is one more step in this process. The faithful people of God are to “teach others as well.” That is, we are to be witnesses to the reliability of God so that those who have not committed themselves to covenant faithfulness may come to believe. If we are not faithful, we place in their way a stumbling block over which they may fall.

On this day, then, we pray for grace to trust in God’s goodness, to keep our vows with fidelity, and to be those who instruct others in the way.

Verses from Psalm 31 (The Message)

What a stack of blessing you have piled up
for those who worship you.
Ready and waiting for all who run to you
to escape an unkind world.
You hide them safely away from the opposition.
As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces,
You silence the poisonous gossip.
Blessed God! His love is the wonder of the world!
Trapped by a siege, I panicked,
“Out of sight, out of mind,” I said.
But you heard me say it, you heart and listened.
Love God, all you saints,
God takes care of all who stay close to him.
But he pays back in full those arrogant
enough to go it alone.
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect God to get here soon.

Prayer:

God of all ages,
In every time and place you have been steadfast.
Your faithfulness endures without fail from generation to generation.
So bind to yourself the hearts of your covenant people
that all who have promised fidelity to the gospel may fulfill their vows.
Preserve your church
not only from renunciation or neglect of faith,
but also from a tepid faith that calls forth from others
contempt rather than conversation.
Make your church to be a city set upon a hill,
that our witness may be seen.
And that others may be drawn to you.
for the sake of Jesus Christ, who is faithful in all things. Amen.

(Some excerpts from: This Day, a Wesleyan Way of Prayer; Lawrence Hull Stookey)

Categories

Cynthia on Twitter

November 2009
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Advertisements