Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent's BIG Question

Lord Christ,

We still ask the question posed two millennia ago by John the Baptist:

Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another? (from Matthew 11:1-6)

It’s the latter for many. Their savior seems to be success, celebrity, money or power.

For some there’s doubt. Their savior seems to be science, and they struggle with the virgin birth, angels singing, visions and stars.

I pray that our detours and doubt are replaced with discernment, that John’s Advent query compels a confrontation of the heart…

With God’s personal intervention.
With Christ’s message of mercy and forgiveness.
With your healing power.
With the call to repentance and transformation.
With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration.
With the promise of eternal life.
With the force of Divine Love.

Jesus, you are The One. Amen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Isaiah's Fortelling

The prophet Isaiah figures prominently into Advent. 700 years before Jesus’ birth he foretold the Messiah’s coming. 

Advent Bible readings begin with his prophecy, but it wasn’t merely a prediction. The meaning and purpose of Christ’s coming are imbedded in his divination. Take a look at Isaiah 11:1-10.

Lord Christ, God in the world, God in my life,

Prepare me for Advent - for the meaning(s) of your arrival and your short visit with us.

I’m inclined toward holiday trimmings and nostalgia. That’s a blessing, but turn my heart toward Isaiah’s great insight. I hear your intentions for us, for our planet...

Respect for God and his power.
The value of Christ-like wisdom and understanding.
The holy pursuit of righteousness and faithfulness.
Justice for those in need, for the poor.
Peace among all people, all creation.

…for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gracious Provision

My morning Scripture Union Bible Study began with a reminder that God’s gracious provision has seen me through another year. Indeed!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul... (Psalm 23)

Generous Lord, thank you for the green pastures. Your gracious provision has seen us though another year.

I’m blessed to claim another verse, from Psalm 16: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places...

And even in the rapids of this life, I find pools of still water - puddles of your presence - that restore my soul. 

On this Thanksgiving Day, I offer grateful praise to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for a Trinity faith that guides and enriches my life. Amen.

God's bodacious blessing: Our family at my son's August wedding.

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Lord of All Hopefulness"

Celtic or Irish Cross
We sang this favorite hymn a couple of weeks ago in church, and happily, the Irish melody resonated in my head all day. 

The author, Jan Struther, was an agnostic who nonetheless attended church. I doubt that Wiki snippet does justice to the trajectory of her faith. 

Regardless, I’m convinced she was gifted and used by God.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

Certain hymns are comfort food for the soul – a balm of Irish ballad and poetry.

How can it be that the author struggled with faith and depression? Her words are a blessing to me. She had a keen awareness of your interest in our daily lives.

To be hopeful as the day begins.
To have an eagerness about our work.
To live in a home filled with kindness.
To experience a gentle conclusion to each day.

Understanding the Holy Spirit's power, she takes it up a notch…

Bliss during the day.
Strength for our work.
Love in our homes.
Peace at the day’s end.

Lord Christ, may it be so this week! Amen.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hypocrisy & Humility

In churches using the Lectionary, this passage from Luke (18:9-14) was read across much of Christendom today. Jesus’ parable is only six verses, but it seized my attention.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Merciful Lord,

It dawned on me during today’s sermon that I’m the Pharisee – trusting in my own righteousness and regarding others with contempt.

Maybe I’m an even bigger hypocrite. At least the Pharisee prayed aloud. There’s something to be said for his transparency. My prayer is quiet, under my breath:

God, I thank you that I’m not like those other people: insensitive, impatient, prideful, aggressive, manipulative, or even like (insert the name of my most recent adversary.)

Let the tax collector be my model. As the Old Testament puts it, I should smote upon my breast:

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The ground is level beneath your cross, Lord Christ. There’s no pecking order. We are all broken, all flawed…yet so self-righteous. One more time:

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Holy Spirit, transform this self-righteous sinner into a righteous follower of Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Personal Holiness

I have been confronted by the idea of personal holiness in my recent Scripture Union reading, but isn’t holy a word we reserve for God? It connotes sacredness. So, how can I even think of my own holiness? Because holy means set aside or different, dedicated to God. And there’s the challenge: How can I improve my dedication to God in EVERY aspect of life?

Almighty God, Creator and Shepherd,

I once thought that only ministers and missionaries could give you their full allegiance.

And devotion was expressed only at church.

Now I know, Lord Christ, that you reach out to everyone, everyone is called…

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in… (Revelation 3:20, NIV)

It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from - if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open…he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone. (Acts 10:34-36, The Message)

Indeed, that is the Good News, but it prompts serious questions.

How do I express total devotion to you? (Something far more comprehensive than Sunday worship or the occasional service project.) What does total devotion look like as a husband, a father, at work, in my community? How do I bring the Kingdom to bear on those relationships and responsibilities?

It’s a methodical process of improving behavior, committed service and concern for others. With the Spirit’s help…

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30, KJV)

With greater humility and selflessness, may ALL aspects of my life be consecrated to God. Amen.

Challenging quotations from Scripture Union’s Encounter with God:

The will of God deals with our motives as well as our actions; it focuses more on the little decisions we make every day than about the big decisions we make for the future.
Jerry Sittser

The call to follow Jesus is a call to radical difference – a call to live in alignment with the character and values of a holy, just and merciful God. Steve Bradbury

The Kingdom of God is the reign and rule of God in our minds and hearts, our relationships and responsibilities, and the issues of righteousness and justice in society. Lloyd John Ogilvie

The principle of guidance is not complicated; it is simplicity itself. It is that your life is always at the disposal of the Lord in order that he may work out his plans. Alan Redpath

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I need a Sabbath!

We focus on the Sabbath as a day for church. In the Jewish tradition it’s a day to remember God’s goodness and deliverance from slavery. Christian’s amend Jesus’ resurrection and our deliverance from death.

That’s certainly the “big picture” interpretation, but I had lost sight of the Fourth Commandment and the Hebrew meaning of shabbat - to cease or desist, the cessation of work. That's the root of Sabbath, a consistent Biblical theme.

God rested in in the creation story. Moses gave us the Sabbath commandment. Jesus withdrew regularly for prayer and solitude. He went so far as to point out that the Sabbath was made for man - God’s plan for weekly rest and refreshment.

The Sabbath is more than a go-to-church day. It’s a time to put work and responsibility on hold, a give-it-to-God day.

I was struggling with this as my recent vacation began. I had pledged not to read my email for five days. The new term for this is digital detox, and I was having difficulty placing work and responsibility on hold. On the 31st Sabbath of the year, my Bible study presented Psalm 31. It’s a King David war prayer, but I was at war with myself. It seemed to apply:

O Lord!

Deadlines. Always deadlines. And decisions. And strategy. Uncertainty. Risk. I need a Sabbath.

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
(Psalm 31, v3)

Tension. Crucial conversations. Crucial confrontations. Egos. Arrogance. (Yes, it's a two-way street.) I need a Sabbath.

Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

I feel like a circus juggler about to drop a ball. Make that a fiery torch. Am I taking myself too seriously? I need a Sabbath.

Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. (v5)

I’m stepping away, Father. Leaving it in your hands. For your blessing of rest and refreshment. A Sabbath.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ephphatha! Be Opened!

For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Jesus' healing miracles in Mark. (Mark 7:31-37, specifically.)

For the first time, I sensed the depth, the layers, the relevance of the story.

Is it just a Bible tale...or a penetrating story?

The Bible (when read and applied daily) is much more than a book. It is God in real life, God in real time.

Lord Christ,

You healed a deaf and mute man with the command Be Opened!

I take that literally. It was a healing miracle of ear and tongue.
I believe it!

...but Bible stories are for real life, in real time.

Is that command aimed at me?

Be Opened!  ...to your miracles of body, mind and heart.

...but there is even more to the story: It was a very personal encounter of ear and tongue and spit and touch.

Be Opened!  ...to intimacy with God.

Be Opened!  ...to his healing touch.

Be Opened!  ...to his voice.

Be Opened!  ...to his power.

Ephphatha! Amen.

Artwork credit

Monday, July 8, 2013


Ramadan has begun - a month of fasting and spiritual reflection for Muslims. That prompts a thought about religious pluralism in the U.S.

Today, we have a diversity of faiths, suspicion of faith(s), hostility toward faith and a lack thereof. That's how I would describe pluralism. I wish that definition included a greater respect for faith.

America is now characterized as a post-Christian nation. Many lament this, but it’s probably the natural result of globalization. I believe an informed, inquiring tolerance is the appropriate reaction. Be prepared to explain your faith. Take an interest in what others believe. Show respect for their views.

Some bemoan tolerance, but it is an act of grace. The alternative is choosing sides and estrangement. What’s Christian about that? (Maybe we are post-Christian because the Christians drifted off-message?)

Re-reading Acts 4:1-21 recently, I had an attitude adjustment. The passage contains a strong statement about the primacy of Christianity, but the Apostles were not theological scolds. They were very much engaged with the people of their own multicultural world - with a positive message, a healing touch (literally) and a contagious enthusiasm for their work.

Lord Christ,

I affirm the exclusive claim you have on my soul, on my life, with the words of St. Peter:

Salvation is found in on one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

I worry that some of my brothers have turned that passage into a threat, dispatching non-believers to hell. That’s not a compelling witness!

Now I understand that Peter spoke those words - to a doubting, hostile audience - as an invitation. He had just healed a crippled man and defended his faith with passion. He wasn’t looking for a scrum; he was excited about your teaching and your power!

Help me, Holy Spirit, to follow Peter’s example - to live courageously for my faith, to share it with enthusiasm, to see the opportunities for healing, to be a living invitation to Christianity.

In the name of Jesus - my Lord, my Savior. Amen.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013


This prayer is a riff on my Scripture Union Bible study. Steve Bradbury is writing on Mark 4:21-34, where Jesus famously states “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you - and even more.” 

Genuine Christian learning is only possible for committed disciples with a passion to live as Jesus wants them to live. Real theology, therefore, is lived theology, resulting from obedience and the constant exercise of faith. We don't set the terms of engagement: Jesus does. We're called to listen and act, and keep on listening and acting. We're invited to follow him even when we have only an inkling of where we're going. 

Bradbury is a former chair of the Micah Challenge, a global voice for people living in poverty.

Creating, Healing LORD, 

Where did this yearning come from? 
The idealism. Is it naive? 

That society would be just and fair. 
That all babies would be healthy. 
No more pain and tears.
No wearing out. No death. 

It's our spiritual heritage:

…my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
 for they will be a people blessed by the Lord… (from Isaiah 65:17-25)

Is this what we call our Christian hope? 
Has it been planted within by the Holy Spirit?

...but is it realistic? Wishful thinking? It’s so against the grainActually, it's your guarantee, Lord Christ! 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (from Revelation 21:1-5)

Thanks be to God! For a spirit of hope. For the promise of yearnings fulfilled.

It demands engagement. It's a call to service. Give me a hard shove, Holy Spirit, to act on these ideals! Amen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Praying for Drew

My son has a college buddy, Drew Harrod, who is in a battle with cancer. That's not a cancer cliché. It is a raging battle. And this is the second occurrence in the third decade of his young life. 

I pray for Drew daily, and we follow his blog. It is difficult to read, often written in a stream of consciousness as he struggles with pain, fatigue and anxiety.

Remarkably, he uses this an an opportunity to share his rock-solid faith. His cross-bearing is real. His faith is resolute. It's a raw and powerful witness. I wince, but I'm inspired. 

Merciful and Gracious God,

How does one choose between another crushing course of chemotherapy and a risky, radical, day long surgery?

Where is your tender touch, Father, in the often hapless, callous health system?

How does one endure the pain day after day...after day?

Where is the energy to fight...
For you wife?
For your baby?

It's found in Faith. It's found in the Spirit.

I have seen it in Drew Harrod. Inexplicable. Nonetheless genuine. Real.

Lord Christ, this young man will soon be in the hands of a surgical team, and I pray he is in your unseen but very tight embrace. I pray that - in your good time - he will hear the Great Physician say...

Rise and go; your faith has made you well. (Luke 17:19

May your Spirit be upon Drew, his doctors, his family and friends. Amen.

Artwork credit
Drew on YouTube
Drew's blog (log-in required)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dropped Calls

We are celebrating Pentecost - the birth of the Church - when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles…and upon us!

Jesus explains the Spirit in John 14:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth…he abides with you, and he will be with you…and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

From the Pentecost account in Acts 2:

And suddenly from heaven their came a sound like the rush of a violent wind…

God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

St. Paul’s interpretation from Romans 18:

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God…

You have received a spirit of adoption.

We are children of God…heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…

Great & Generous God,

Scripture tells us your Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. There’s no mention of rationing. It came powerfully, and I should be awash in the Spirit.

…but you reach out to me only to get a dropped call. I’m out-of-network, off the grid. Then I grumble that you seem distant, that you don’t speak clearly or answer promptly.

That’s on me. Your signal is strong. We create the interference with our stuff - our wounds and anxieties, compulsions, comfort-seeking and material aspirations, something as simple as gossip, or just plain busyness. All of it blocks your presence.

Lord Christ, Scripture says your Spirit envelops us, that you have adopted us, that we are offered peace.

It’s a call I must answer! Amen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spiritual Infrastructure

Lord God,

We are trained to view sin as something we said or did...or something we failed to do. Sins of commission and omission. 

Are we missing the bigger issue? What about our spiritual infrastructure, the true condition of our hearts?

Do I have a small faith? Am I clinging to my insecurities, fears and prejudices?

Is my vision too narrow? Are my views set in concrete? Am I overly partial to my particular brand of religion?

Do I seem blind to your guiding hand, insensitive to your call? Is dedication to my job an excuse for selfishness? Am I missing opportunities to sincerely engage with the people around me. 

Holy Spirit, take control of my habits and reflexive responses. I'm striving for fewer retractions and omissions. I want the things I say and do to be worthy of a Christ follower. Make me useful to the Kingdom, supporting and cooperating with your work in the world. Amen.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Feed my sheep. Follow me.

Lord Christ,

Maybe the Bible should be stamped with a warning: Scripture may be hazardous to your politics.

I was reading a newspaper article on the expansion of Medicaid benefits. Our Governor and legislature are opposed to extending the health care program to several hundred thousand people on the cusp of poverty. It was a tough decision, I thought, but a boost for fiscal sanity.

Then, I heard your words to Peter: …do you truly love me…feed my lambs.

But I’m a limited government guy.

Again: …do you truly love me…take care of my sheep.

But taxes are bordering on oppressive.

A third time: …do you love me…feed my sheep…follow me!

Peter denied you three times, and he received another chance. Have I been denying you? Am I being shown another path?

My love for you must be expressed in concern and care for others - in love for others. Lead me along that path, Holy Spirit. Amen.

Love always involves responsibility, and it always involves sacrifice. We do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face his task and take up his Cross. (William Barclay)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Now the Green Blade Riseth...

This French carol is a favorite Easter hymn. 

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain, Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain; Love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green. 

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain, He that for three days in the grave had lain. Quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen: Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green. 

In the botanical realm resurrection is routine. Every spring the plant kingdom returns to life. Seeds sprout. Bulbs flower. Shrubs bloom. Barren limbs are renewed with greenery. 

Our Almighty and Eternal God, who presides so creatively over springtime, can certainly bend the rules of zoology. If your intellect struggles with this miracle, may the great blessing of Easter settle upon your soul! 

~  ~  ~  ~

Betrayal, humiliation and torture. 
The Father seems distant. 

Yet we witness the Son's determination and sense of purpose. 
The Father is not so far off. 

And there are witnesses to a resurrection! 
The Father is in control. 

Believe and be transformed! God has established a New Covenant with humanity through Jesus Christ.  

From the Son... 
We witness a message of sacrificial love. 
We receive courage in our times of weakness. 
We are forgiven our lapses and misdeeds. 
We have the promise of eternal life and a restored creation. 

The Father, the Son, their Spirit...are very, very close! Amen.

Now the Green Blade Riseth: words | music

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I need a Savior. I need Easter.

It has been over two weeks since a prayer was posted here. Of course, I've been praying, but I haven't had what you might characterize as a complete thought. It's not unusual for our prayers veer off course, right?

I've been stalled in the Old Testament, but I finally recognized the (obvious) bridge to the New Testament. It's a relief to have clarity...just in time for Holy Week. 

God Almighty, 

I've been frustrated with my Bible study during Lent. A survey of Joshua has left me in the wilderness on many mornings. 

I enjoy reading about Joshua's conquests. His humble leadership and total reliance on you inspire me, but I struggle with your wartime slaughter. And what about Achan? (Joshua 7) Even though he confessed his wrongs, he was stoned to death, and his family was set afire to appease you. Those Old Testament accounts of your searing holiness are punishing. 

...but then, I clearly recognize my need for a Savior, my need for Easter. I'm just like the ancient Hebrews and their neighbors. I have my own "foreign gods" like materialism and pride. Just like them, I have serious shortcomings with loyalty and commitment. I need Jesus. I need Easter. 

At Easter, our sin does not provoke divine wrath. 

At Easter, confession brings restoration and reconciliation. 

At Easter, death is replaced with eternal life. 

Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Amen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

...on JOY

The priest wondered aloud if many people of faith could define Christian joy. That got me to thinking…and praying:

I sense the beneficent presence of the Creator of the Universe (in my sometimes small, less than benevolent life.)

I flirt with contentment and hope - that my needs will be met, that the glass is half-full, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I have an ethereal assurance - of life after death, of a restored planet, of God’s company.

I have joy! Amen.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cast thy burden upon the Lord

Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders - he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. (Psalm 55:22)

Kind Father, I cherish that verse. The Message seems to best capture the intent of “cast your cares on the Lord” and St. Peter distills the invitation:

Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. (1 Peter 5:7)

…but I can’t seem to internalize this scripture. We are in a constant tug of war. I gratefully pile my troubles upon your broad shoulders - for a little while - and then I retrieve them. Why is that?

Maybe I’m not the good people noted in the Psalm, merely a part-time Christian. And I fall into that enticing trap of self-sufficiency, my strength rather than yours. And I make decisions without listening for your guidance, asking you to bless a path already chosen.

Lord Christ, I’m a slow learner. Explain it to me once more - that part from the Sermon on the Mount about the carefree birds of the air and lilies of the field:

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen - don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:30-34)

Lose the guilt. Loosen my grip. Listen to the Spirit. Live by faith. That’s the cure for worry. Amen. 

Artwork credit

Friday, February 8, 2013

Guard Your Heart

As Valentine's Day nears it's appropriate to pray for your heart - not medically or romantically - but spiritually. In scripture, our heart is the muscle of faith. Elaine Storkey, writing for Scripture Union, explains that the heart is our source of wisdom:

The heart is where we gain understanding and where we make our response to God. That is why the psalmist asks God to search his heart (Psa. 139:23). We are asked to guard our heart (Prov. 4:23), to apply our heart to understanding (Prov. 2:2), to keep God's precepts in our heart (Psa. 119:69), and to love God with all our heart (Matt. 22:37). In the Bible, wisdom and understanding do not begin in the mind but in the heart.

Let's pray for hearts that beat for Christ, pure and strong:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart…
(Matthew 22:37)

Your words, Jesus. You want my heart, but other people and pursuits seem to claim my allegiance.

St. Paul prays for me across the millennia: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18)

King David pleads on my behalf: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

King Solomon makes an appeal: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

Protect my heart, Lord Christ, that I may claim my inheritance of hope and power. Amen.

Artwork credit

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Reign of God

...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

What are we doing at church? ...or as the church? What’s the BIG PICTURE response to that question?

I have an answer after listening to an inspiring sermon by The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis on a Day1 podcast (and reflecting upon Psalm 36.) She is the Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in NYC.

In church we are rehearsing, practicing, preparing and/or training for the Kingdom to come, for that day when everything is done according to God’s will, when this planet is as perfect as we imagine heaven to be.

In truth, that level of perfection is beyond my imagining, but I’m committed to continue the rehearsal. As we practice, prepare and train, we bring the Kingdom closer…for ourselves and those we serve.

Lord Christ,

If I were a bit more extroverted, I would stand outside my church and proclaim this invitation:

Come in! Join us as we practice for the reign of God.

Experience our inspiring liturgy and music. One day everyone will praise you.

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)

Support our urban outreach programs. One day no one will live on the streets. No hunger. No mental illness. People will have housing and work.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. (v6)

Volunteer with our GED project. One day everyone will have a strong educational foundation to propel their dreams.

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. (v7) 

Share in our service to migrant farm workers. One day hard working people will be lifted from poverty.

They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. (v8)

Assist our ministry to children and youth. One day all children will know you.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. (v9-10)

Jesus, we are rehearsing for your reign. In worship, service and stewardship, we attempt to make it so - to make your Kingdom a reality for more of our brothers and sisters. Our greatest hope is in and for your return. Until then, we will continue to practice - the practice of Christianity. Amen.

 Graphic credit