02 March 2021Just a thought
A Famous Prayer
O Christ, the Master Carpenter,
who at the last through wood and nails purchased our whole salvation;
wield well your tools in the workshop of your world,
so that we who come rough-hewn to your work bench
may be fashioned to a truer beauty by your hand. Amen.
- The Iona Community
01 March 2021Just a thought
Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-12)
Jesus offers us an attractive picture of God: a loving parent, eager to give his children all that they need. Think for a few moments about this image of a loving God. How true is this image to your own experience of God? When you have asked, searched, and knocked, has God’s response always been positive? You might recall both times when it has, but also times when God hasn’t seemed to respond to your requests. Perhaps you are searching and knocking even harder during this difficult time.
Sometimes even a good parent won’t give what they’re asked for. Might that fact add something to the deeper understanding or prayer that we are seeking here?
Read this passage again in the context of your own experience of giving, or not giving, to those who ask you for things. Why not respond now to Jesus as he suggests, asking for whatever you most need in your own life at the present time?
- Adapted from Pray As You Go.
27 February 2021Just a thought
I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with God’s work.
- Brooks Atkinson
26 February 2021Just a thought
Fear knocked at the door, faith answered, and no one was there.
— Old Irish Proverb
25 February 2021Just a thought
Other prophets, other messiahs, came and went in Jesus’ day. Routinely, they died violently at the hands of the pagan enemy. Their movements either died with them, sometimes literally, or transformed themselves into a new movement around a new leader. Jesus’ movement did neither. Within days of his execution, it found a new lease of life; within weeks it was announcing that he was indeed the messiah; within a year or two it was proclaiming him to pagans as their rightful Lord. How can a historian explain this astonishing transformation?
― Marcus J. Borg, The Meaning of Jesus
24 February 2021Just a thought
The Christian life is but a constant re-beginning, a return to grace every day, sometimes even every hour, through Him who, after each failure, pardons so that all things should be made new.
- Robert Schutz
23 February 2021Just a thought
Lord, teach us to see our world as your love would make it,
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Let our wrestling with your truth bear fruit in this world and bring your kingdom closer. Amen.
- From the Common Daily Prayer of Dominican Peace Action.
22 February 2021Just a thought
Lent is the time when Christians follow the long pilgrimage to Easter. In winter, and in the midst of the pandemic we long for spring and signs of new life. Lent can be a spiritual springtime, a new beginning; a season where we return to the Lord, our first love, as we read in this passage from the prophet Joel:
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain-offering and a drink-offering. (Joel 2: 12-14:)
“Return to me with all your heart”, says the Lord. How do you find yourself responding to this invitation? How do you hear the call to return to God “With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning”? Do you experience the Lord as “gracious and merciful”? Is that how you normally think of God? Does a particular moment of grace and mercy stand out to you from your journey with God?
20 February 2021Just a thought
God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.
- Dwight L. Moody
19 February 2021Just a thought
May the long time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you guide your way on.
— Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band
18 February 2021Just a thought
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
- Martin Luther
17 February 2021Just a thought
Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison