Friday, March 3, 2017

I thank God for you

One of the texts for today is Romans 1: 8-17 which starts with Paul writing to the people of Rome:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world

What this reminds me is that faith is often "caught" and not "taught."  It is in seeing a relationship with God acted out in the lives of others that encourages us.  

As I write this I think about my friend Mary Wood who - right now - is at a refugee camp in Thailand.  She has been going there for years and developed relationships with the people to the degree that they truly are family.  I am grateful to facebook and her pictures and descriptions of life in the refugee camp that is so foreign to me and clearly so familiar for Mary.  She is teaching theology and leading worship and loving people.  She is living and sharing her faith.  I thank God for her and her witness.

I usually start the day watching CBS news and feel overwhelmed at times by the greed and the duplicity and the rancor of those who are in leadership in our country.  It is when I think of people like Mary that I remember there is another way of life than seeking power and money.  She  encourages  (gives me courage!) me in my faith.  

The text for today ends like this (from the Message)

It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”

We live in "right standing" before God when we put our trust - not in ourselves or our possessions - but in God.  And that is when we find the abundant life.  Mary is an example for me.

So, my mantra for today is

"When I trust God I really live"

May it be so.

Here is a prayer by Ted Loder which speaks of the adventure of faith



by Ted Loder

O God,
Let something essential happen to me.
Something more than interesting,
or entertaining,
or thoughtful.
O God,
Let something essential happen to me,
something awesome
something real.
Speak to my condition, Lord,
and change me inside where it matters,
a change that will burn and tremble and heal
and explode me into tears
or laughter
or love that throbs or screams
or keeps a terrible, cleansing silence
and dares the dangerous deeds.
Let something happen to me
which is my real self, God

O God,
Let something exciting and passionate happen in me now.
Strip me of my illusions of self sufficiency,
of my proud sophistications,
of my inflated assumptions of knowledge
and leave me shivering as Adam or Eve
before the miracle of the natural-
the miracle of this earth.
That nurtures me as a mother
and delights me as a lover.
The miracle of my body
that breathes and moves,
hungers and digests,
sees and hears;
that is creased and wrinkled and sexual
shrinks in hurt
and swells in pleasure;
that works by the most amazing messages,
of what and where and how.
Coded and curled in every cell
and that dares to speak the confronting word.

O God
Let something essential and joyful happen in me now.
Something like the blooming of hope and faith.
Like a grateful heart,
like a surge of awareness
of how precious each moment is
That now, not next time,
now is the occasion
to take off my shoes,
to see every bush afire,
to leap and whirl with neighbor,
to gulp the air as sweet wine
until I've drunk enough
to dare to speak the tender word:
"Thank you"
"I love you"
"You're beautiful"
"Let's live together forever now"
and "I'm a fool for Christ's sake."

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