Lived Faith

Friday, May 22, 2020

“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord, O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens; listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel; and whose power is in the skies. Awesome is God in his sanctuary, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be to God!” [Psalm 68:32-35]

On March 17, 2020 I started with Psalm 1 and have continued to read a psalm a day as a way to keep time during this pandemic lock-down.  What I have noticed as I have read a psalm a day now for 66 days is the almost universal movement Continue reading Lived Faith

God’s Vision

Thursday, May 21, 2020
“Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in parched lands.” [Psalm 68:5-6]
 
The words of the psalmist form a prevalent theme throughout the scriptures. Repeatedly we are told that God cares for the least of these; for orphans and widows and strangers.  Yet, as a society we struggle to live this vision where the most vulnerable are cared for. I am sure you all may know about Liberty Lane, Continue reading God’s Vision

Restore Us

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
“So when [the apostles and Jesus] had come together, the apostles asked Jesus, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ Jesus replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.’” [Acts 1:6-7]
 
As we navigate through this pandemic, I am sure that many have prayed, “God restore us to what was before the virus.” Or as one meme I saw said, “Since 2020 has a virus, let’s just reboot and start it over.” The disciples were asking about when the glory days of Israel would be restored. I imagine they wanted Roman oppression to end yesterday and to have a new king installed immediately with glory.  Yet, Jesus reminds the apostles Continue reading Restore Us

Broader Than Ours

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

“Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that God may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because God cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert.” [1 Peter 5:6-8a]

Are you holding onto your anxiety? I certainly know when I am, as it wakes me up in the middle of the night and makes it hard for me to fall back to sleep. I have had more than a couple of interrupted nights since the stay-at-orders went into effect.  I would awake with my mind racing a bit too fast as well as Continue reading Broader Than Ours

Fiery Ordeals

Monday, May 18, 2020

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you.” [1 Peter 4:12]

Peter is writing to the exiles of the Dispersion and they are experiencing persecution at the hands of power.  “Do not be surprised,” says Peter. Yet, we are constantly surprised when things don’t go as we planned. In the early days of our stay-at-home orders, it became clear that my Lenten Plans would need adjusting. I remember choosing passages Continue reading Fiery Ordeals

Come Alive!

Sunday, May 17, 2020
“I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.” [John 14:18-20 The Message]
 
What causes you to come alive?  I know that seeing my new granddaughter, Lindsey causes me to come alive.  I can’t get enough of her cute little smile or even her adorable squeals. I come alive as I see her parents pour love into her. Being in God’s natural world makes me come alive, too. Of course, Continue reading Come Alive!

By My Works

Saturday, May 16, 2020
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!” [John 14:15-17 The Message]

“If you love me, show it by doing.” Notice that the way of Christ is a way of life, a way of doing what Jesus taught us to do.  What is amazing about the Christian Church is that we get so caught up in our beliefs that we forget about the importance of our lived faith. I know as a candidate for ministry, I had to craft a statement of belief.  The process tests one’s orthodoxy or right belief. Yet, as I think back on the process I wasn’t necessarily tested Continue reading By My Works

A Spacious Place

Friday, May 15, 2020
“Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried… yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.” [Psalm 66:8-10, 12c]
 
I imagine we all long for this spacious place mentioned by the psalmist. A place with no restrictions.  A place where there is freedom to hug and to hold and to congregate. This Psalm is recited on Easter Sunday in the Greek Church, as it describes for them a resurrection, a restoration, a regeneration of God’s people. In this process though, Continue reading A Spacious Place

Make Noise!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

“Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to God glorious praise. Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you. All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your name.’” [Psalm 66:1-4]

 Noise! Every Sunday evening at 7:00 P.M. through May 31st we are asked by our city to make noise to show our appreciation for frontline workers, especially for those who are putting their own lives at risk by caring for COVID-19 patients. The psalmist instructs us to make a joyful noise as well!  Of course, this noise Continue reading Make Noise!

God at Work

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things… For in him we live and move and have our being’.” [Acts 17:24-25, 28a]
 
It has never been clearer to me that God does not live in shrines made by human hands. God is not waiting for us to show up back in the sanctuary, as if that is the only place God can engage us.  We know this is not so, but often we forget.  Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a book entitled, “Leaving Church,” and in it she reminds us of this truth. She has questions for the church Continue reading God at Work