Thursday, March 12, 2015

God is so Good

The scriptures for today are about God who is good - and it includes the covenant with Noah, Psalm 107 ("O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good) and Ephesians 1: 3-6 ("who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.")

As I read these texts I found myself drawn again to The Message because that language is so often clearer to me.  Where in the NRSV the Psalmist writes: "Let the "redeemed" of the Lord say so" Peterson translates it as "all of you set free by God."

When I was in the Wellstreams program a new idea for me was that another word for God was "freedom." God rescues us and sets us free.  And that is what I need always.

And I have come to believe that the spiritual journey is one of growing in our freedom.  The freedom from sin is the obvious one.  We do not have to be weighed down with guilt or shame.  But it is more than that.  We can talk about freedom from addictions and those things that bind us.  And then there is freedom from fear and maybe most importantly - freedom from self.  From being caught up in ourselves - how we appear, look, act.  The ways in which we are inhibited and kept from really experiencing joy and peace.

I love the way Peterson translates Ephesians 1: 3-6:
" How blessed is God!  He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ and takes us to the high places of blessing in him.
Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.  Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) he wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son."

And so, this morning I ponder the gift of God - this love and freedom that is being offered to us.  And I recognize that too often I fail to receive it and live in it.  My prayer for myself today is that I may listen for this voice of love and freedom and relax and rest in this love and grow in the freedom that God offers me.

Here is a Psalm I wrote that speaks to this.

Margot’s Psalm

My enemies are always present and speaking
    With seeming authority
    And perfectionist advice
    And  anxious certainty
    They speak words of NO
    Don’t….Wait…..Not Yet
    You can’t ….. You shouldn’t,,,,,,,Your time is over
    There is nothing new to see    To find      To be
    You need to be Practical
My enemies warn me about losing control
    Be careful!  You could fail
        Or  look like a fool
    Watch out! You could start a fire
Or release a flood
My enemies come with strings attached
    Strings of propriety, normalcy, reasonableness, sensibility, self protection
    And they tell me “This is for your own good.”
        “This will protect you.”
        “This will keep you safe.”
And I think I am safe and also becoming dry ….and bored….and isolated….and lifeless.

And then I hear your voice
    I hear you in early morning hours as you speak your words of love
        You come in the noonday sun and show me visions of grandeur
            You appear in the night and plant your dreams of possibility
You speak softly and persistently your words of YES
    I love you and I have always loved you.
        You are my beloved
I am l awakening  your soul
        I am igniting  your spirit within you
I am  filling your life with my light.
        You can trust me with your life
You speak and the strings start to fall away
    I breathe in the peace you have for me
I move with freedom and dance with joy
    I sing the songs you want me to sing
    I see the mountains you want us to move.

I listen for your voice today
You speak and the voice of the enemy is silenced
You speak and world is new and life is a gift
You speak and I am free.

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