Loving Friends

embrace

Loving Friends

Thanks to Facebook and other social media, I have many friends around this planet we call Earth. Although I can rarely respond to every message I get, one of the practices I have is to pray for all those friends daily. My friends mean a lot to me; without them, I would be less human. My prayers for my friends grounds us all in the Love that God offers each day, as we awaken to the morning sun.

God enters into the pain of our world through the tears of his people; through these tears, we enrich God’s love for all who experience pain and loss in every age and land. Through prayer, God joins us eternally in our struggles, by offering a safe place for us to heal; this place is in His loving arms.

Prayers for our friends bring us closer to the Lord; the deeper we have to go with him, outwardly or inwardly, the more we are joined to our fellow beings, suffering through a land not prepared to accept His will.

In Isaiah, God reminds us, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” We establish this bond with God every time we pray for our friends.

Will you pray for me today? 

“God on High . . .

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“God on High . . .

. . . Hear my prayer” These words begin many days of meditation for me; they are also the words of a beautiful song from Les Misérables, the musical. Six words that inspire many people to continue a life that is fraught with hardships.

During this period of Lent, we are continually reminded of the Sermon on the Mount, with its messages of great promise in the Beatitudes. Today, I am inspired to meditate on “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not comforted by the presence of God in my life.

God is with me when I hear of the death of a long-time friend. His or her family and all friends mourn for the mortal loss. But we are comforted knowing that God has taken that person into His loving arms; we are comforted knowing that we will be joined together in the future.

God is with me when I realize that I have lost part of my life due to old age or illness. Being personal, this is especially difficult. When I turn around and see that a different door has opened for me to enter, I realize that door has been opened by God, giving me a new direction to walk on His path of brilliance.

“God on high, Hear my prayer.” He does; He always will. What a great thought to enter my mind every morning and every night. May God comfort you, bless you, and keep you well.

The Light We Share

god's light

The Light We Share

God is the light of the world and light of our human existence. His Word is in our hearts. His Word allows us to rejoice. Even when bitter times engulf us, we rejoice, as the world rejoices when His Will and His Word is within us. God Protects us, keeps us free in spirit, allows us to live in harmony with Him and with ourselves. 

Jesus walked the desert being tempted, but always growing closer to God. His life was one of disruption to the order of Israel’s society, as it is with our society. We cannot allow how society tries to corrupt us, leading us away from the lighted path of God. We are in our own desert, being tempted by forces seemingly beyond our control. We and will be as Jesus and resist temptations to live without God.

In this time of Lent, we may not realize an epiphany; we may not realize how God is working in our life, not working according to our expectations. But God is working within us, purifying us, as Jesus was purified in the desert. As anxious as I am, I practice meditation to learn patience. God is with me. I know this; I live this. My serenity is my gift from God; it is what helps me spread Love through my writing, the Love of God.

Every morning I awaken to the sound of God’s angel whispering in my ear: “grow, grow, you are in God’s glorious light. Being a miracle of life, I am, like all of you a part of God. We carry a little piece of God within us every day. When we recognize this, we spread God’s love to others. We reach for those who need God’s help. We bring them into the light that is universal,  the light that is meant to be shared . . . by all.

Extremes

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In a time that seems to be defined by negative extremes, I want to suggest a much more positive extreme: extreme forgiveness. The Litany of Penitence which is part of the Episcopal Ash Wednesday proper liturgy is an opportunity to seek God’s extreme forgiveness for all the wrongs we have done or in which we have been complicit.

Jesus’s holy prayer includes the words forgive my trespasses, even those we know nothing about. I have done nothing to oppress any group; however, I do have ancestors from the Massachusetts Bay Colony who may have persecuted so-called witches. I also have southern ancestors who undoubtedly owned slaves or persecuted black slaves. I may not be guilty of these deeds, but inadvertently, I have benefited from them. For these, I pray for forgiveness.

The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. My every day and my future are in the hands of God. His spirit is my soul; therefore, I can only do what is pleasing to God. When Jesus was baptized by John, a dove descended bringing good news. When we share the eucharist, we are re-baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, walking in His light.

Our hopes and prayers fall on tired, weary throats; because we see ungodly deeds all around us. This period of Lent reminds us that Jesus brought forth a new vision for our future, one of Grace. We need to share this grace with all people and creatures and living things. It is the way of God.

 

 

Blessed . . .

sermon on mount

“Blessed . . .

. . . are the Pure in Heart.”

While meditating on this sixth Beatitude, I think of all the wonderful people I have met, either in person or on-line. When I see all of my friends around the world that put God in the forefront of their lives, I am thrilled beyond measure.

There are too many people who say that all is lost in the world. I cannot believe that. There are too many good people, doing good things around the world that help create a positive future for those they come in contact with. I always say that I cannot change the world. But I can change my little sphere of the world. The words I write and share on my Meditations blog and on Facebook with all my new friends around the world who look for more spiritual support in their lives pass to others in their spheres the good news that we are blessed. I call this the ripple effect.

This was started over 2000 years ago on a hillside in Judea; I have been inspired by those thoughtful homilies on Sunday mornings. I am also spiritually raised by those great thinkers and writers that have long since died, but their words are here for us to cherish.

During this period of Lent, let us all meditate on what it means to be part of the human family. We are all created by the miracle of life. Without God’s miracle, we would not be. God created me; God created you. That’s why I can say that I love you, even if I have never met you.

May the Grace of God be with you this Lenten season.

“Glory . . .

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. . . to God in the Highest.” We glory and praise God as Love, Life, and all Creation. Yet . . . we fear God in His majesty! We are all in His presence and are unable to imagine his appearance. He is just to magnificent for us to picture Him. We need Jesus to put a face to God; and, we all see Him in a different face . . . black, white, brown, and whatever color a person happens to be. This is because Jesus is universal. By picturing Jesus, it is easier to pray to God.

I read and study the Bible; I find only two people who have actually seen God: Moses and Jesus. Jesus was both all human and all God; there is no way we can be like Him. Moses, however, was only human, as we all are. This pure human, Moses, faced God in all his majesty; he glowed from being in God’s presence.

Moses was the only pure human to face God. Why? Why only Moses?

Why can’t we? Moses wasn’t any more devout or no more holy than you or me. God chose Moses to lead Israel from Egypt, chose Moses as His first prophet to bring God’s word to Israel.

Why hasn’t God chosen you or me to go to the mountaintop, to face God and deliver his word to others? As a Christian, I believe that God chooses us to deliver His word and His Grace to others. By following Jesus, I am one of His disciples who He sent into the world to spread his message of love and hope to the world, not just those of Israel or Judea, but to all people all over the world.

As a writer of God’s eternal Love and his community of grace for all mankind and womankind, I believe that God has chosen me to bring this good news to all who read my words. For this reason, I believe that I can go to the mountaintop. But I don’t need to: God shows me his face very day. I see God in the person sitting next to me in the pew on Sunday mornings. I see God in my children and grandchildren: the sixteen-year-old looking at colleges and the 10-day-old looking up at the face of his mother and father. I see the face of God in these people.

I also see the face of God in the people I meet on the street, or in the stores, or in the myriad service meetings I have each week. These are also God’s children doing his work and spreading his glory all around.

I see God in the faces of wealth. The is a family now living on the far distant coast show has supported our feeding minister every year by grant us thousands of dollars, even though they were not members of our church. Winners of the lottery, they wanted to share their good luck with others less fortunate. This is God in our lives. Many wealthy people do many things to enrich the lives of those not as fortunate; this is God in our lives.

However, I also see the face of God in the man or woman begging on the side of the road, looking for help to feed their families. Many times, they are immigrants that society has turned its back on. This man or woman often blesses us with God’s grace when we reach out to help them with our few coins or dollars. Can you feel god in their words? I can! My meager generosity is rewarded by a gift I cannot imagine, the gift of God’s grace.

Being a prayer minister in church, I feel the glow of God’s presence with each prayer we offer in His name.

I may not have the shining face of Moses when I see God, but I am filled with His aura, His promise of Grace and Love.

God’s Love of Everything

earth love

God’s Love of Everything

Paul writes in Romans: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God . . .

All creation; not just humans. God’s Love is permanent and forever for everything he has created; we should duplicate this love. We say we love God, but we do not love all of his creation. Our abuse of this planet is criminal. We are all to blame.

Richard Rohr writes: “Perhaps the primary example of Christians’ lack of attention to the Christ Mystery can be seen in the way we continue to pollute and ravage planet Earth, the very thing we all stand on and live from. Science now appears to love and respect physicality more than most religion does! No wonder that science and business have taken over as the major explainers of meaning for most people today (even many who still go to church).

Perhaps it is time we return to what is important for the preservation of God’s creations. We just celebrated the arrival of a new grandson. Will he be able to enjoy God’s creation, as my generation has? Will he be able to reverse the damages my generation has done to Earth? I pray so.