Scripture Reading: “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
In 1990, I was still a new Christian, and several people I knew in the church I was attending at the time gave their testimonies. One of them was a middle-aged woman that appeared to be in good health, so I was taken back when she told us about the time when her doctor told her that she had cancer. Having heard a few testimonies already over the preceding weeks, I immediately thought to myself, “Oh, oh. Here comes the ‘Lord. please take this cancer away’ statement.” But, to my shame and her credit, that’s not what she said.
Her first thought was “Lord, help me to not stop loving you.” This totally caught me off-guard and really got my attention. In this one sentence, she had told an incredible God story! This one line captured her willingness to accept that she was weak; that she was susceptible to negative thoughts towards God, to unfaithfulness, and to selfishness. It also demonstrated her faithfulness, trust, love and obedience to Him. All those sentiments expressed in that one sentence!
That was many years ago, and I honestly don’t remember much of her testimony anymore except that she said that she was cancer-free. But, I do remember the God story in her life. It had a profound effect on me at the time, and it still does today as I sometimes use this line when I prayer.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he boasts about God and talks about the thorn in his flesh and how he pleaded with God to take it away. God’s response, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” puts an end to Paul’s pleading, but, more importantly, it becomes Paul’s one sentence God story. The thorn in his flesh was not the primary focus of his life, just like the woman’s cancer was not the primary focus of her life. The primary focus of their stories was about God! His grace, His mercy, His love, and His faithfulness. And it was all expressed in one sentence.
I’ve occasionally been known to deliver a clever one-liner just for fun, but one-liners are not limited to humour. Our God stories, our testimonies, can often be summed up in just one sentence, easy enough for someone else to remember and use as encouragement and inspiration for their lives.
“Within you is a great oak. Just be the tree God made you to be.” This is the continual refrain in Max Lucado’s book, The Oak Inside the Acorn, which tells the journey of Little Acorn, who happens to fall into the back of a farmer’s truck and then into the fertile soil of an orange orchard. When Little Acorn awakes as a small tree, he begins to grow and wonders why he has no oranges. He remembers Mother Oak’s last words to him, “Within you is a great oak. Just be the tree God made you to be.” One day the young farmer comes and transplants Little Oak to his backyard. Every spring and summer, the growing sapling wonders when he will bloom with flowers like the petunias, roses and daisies around him. In his dreams he hears his mother’s words, “Within you is a great oak. Just be the tree God made you to be.” Many, many years later, Little Oak becomes Big Oak, a strong tree with branches perfect for a swing and tree house built for the farmer’s daughter. And at last Big Oak knows he has become the tree God made him to be.
What I love about this story is how it shows us that sometimes we don’t know what God is doing with us—what He is making us into—and the purpose for which we were created. In these moments of uncertainty, we wonder what is the fruit of my life? When the temptation comes to compare our life to someone else’s, we must trust that God is still growing us, taking us from the ‘seed’ and making us into the ‘tree’ we were meant to be.
I was drawn to this story as I considered how many people may be re-thinking their life purpose and calling, given the current COVID19 pandemic. Businesses are closing, many jobs have been lost, families are experiencing a new dynamic with more time together at home, and church has become less of a physical gathering experience and more of a network of relationships.
Many of us are beginning to recognize the weight of the shift happening among us as life continues with the future remaining uncertain. Things will likely not “return to normal”, rather we are experiencing a new reality we have not yet known.
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24 NIV)
What have you lost in this season? Might God use the discontinuation of this to initiate a new thing? What sprouts do you see? Where is the new life springing up?
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NRSV)
Whatever the specifics, Scripture tells us God’s big picture intention is to transform us to look more and more like Jesus. This process, often called sanctification, is a life-long journey. It especially comes about when we focus our attention on Jesus. The more we look at Him, the more we look like Him.
The first Psalm paints a metaphor for a person who meditates on the law of the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3 NIV)
Notice, the tree yields fruit “in season” and its leaf “does not wither”. When we set our hearts to know God by meditating on scripture, we can be assured that our lives will be fruitful. Is it a season for fruit? If not, don’t despair, fix your eyes on Jesus and you will not wither.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV)
Perhaps it is a season of preparation and new growth. Whatever the season, God is our source of nourishment, to grow and sustain us. If we are feeling uncertain about what good our lives are producing and what God is doing, the best thing to do is to wait with our gaze fixed on Jesus.
Remember, Jesus was raised to be a carpenter—for 30 years he grew into this profession. But when God’s timing came, he stepped out of the old thing and into the new. If you are unsure of your specific purpose, you can always borrow Jesus’. On the day he began his ministry, he quoted these words from the prophet Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.”
(Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV)
Song: “If it’s not beautiful, you’re not done with me” -Pat Barret
Yesterday’s blog talked about valuing Jesus as the priceless treasure that He is. When we come to acknowledge how valuable He really is, we can then worship Him with proper reverence.
Psalm 72 contains a description of an exalted King and of the blessings of his reign. His Kingdom will be universal, eternal, securing perfect peace. And through this King, all nations will be blessed and bring Him praise. The psalmist (Solomon) prophetically saw a glimpse of when this King would be born, even as he described the nature of His Kingdom when it is fully consummated: “The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring Him gifts. All kings will bow before Him, and all nations will serve Him” (Psalm 72: 10-11).
Kings from the most uncivilized, the most distant, and the most opulent nations will pay homage to the King of kings. The prophet Isaiah saw a glimpse of this event, too, when he wrote of the Messiah, “All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance” (Isaiah 60:3).
Matthew wrote his gospel with a focus on helping the Jewish readers to see Jesus as the King they had been waiting and longing for. Matthew alone recorded the story of the kings who came to worship the infant Jesus:
Some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him.”…….. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. …….. They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2: 1-2, 9, 11)
Matthew did not give us a lot of detail about the men themselves. He was more interested in telling us that Gentiles came to worship the Jewish Messiah and that they gave Him kingly gifts. He wanted us to see that Jesus is the King the psalmist and Isaiah saw.
The apostle John helps us to see that these kings who came to Bethlehem were but a glimpse of all who will one day bow before Jesus in the new Jerusalem: “The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory” (Revelation 21: 24).
Let us worship Jesus with a reverence that acknowledges He is the King of kings. Let us open up our treasure chests and give him the gifts of our trust, devotion, time, love and obedience.
Prayer – King of kings, you are worthy of my most reverent worship and worthy of my most costly gifts. Therefore I bow low before you in anticipation of the day when every knee will bow and acknowledge you as King.
From the beginning of time, humans have had difficulty discerning what is beautiful and valuable from what is worthless. Over and over again we have traded what is good and glorious and given by God to bless us for what is destructive and diminishing and intended to trouble us. The psalmist described how God’s people did this in the desert when “they traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull” (Psalm 106: 20).
The people of Jesus’ day had the same problem. The Son of God stood before them and they did not recognize how beautiful and valuable He was. Standing in a boat at the water’s edge, Jesus told a story about two people who recognized an object’s true value.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! (Matthew 13: 44-46)
Though most who heard this parable had a hard time understanding its meaning, Jesus was telling them the He is a priceless treasure, a valuable pearl. It is worth trading everything you own to have him.
It is only as the Spirit of God works in us that we can see the true value of things, and most importantly, the truly magnificent value of Christ. This is what the psalmist was saying when he wrote, “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God then live a good life in the homes of the wicked” (Psalm 84: 10). The writer of this psalm saw it as a good trade to give up the stuff of this world for a relationship with God. Paul also recognized the value of Christ and so was willing to trade anything and everything to have him. “Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it as nothing, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him” (Philippians 3: 8-9).
Recently, we have come to see the fragility and insufficiency of the treasures of this world. But Jesus is a priceless treasure that will never pass away. Let us value Him more then anything.
Prayer – Jesus, priceless Treasure, how my value system needs an overhaul. I so often value the things of this world that are worthless and passing away. I devalue what is worthwhile, priceless and eternal. Only your Spirit can give me a heart and eyes to see your beauty and worth. Help me to value you as the magnificent treasure that you are.
All quotations, except the first, are taken from Esther de Waal, The Celtic way of prayer. (1994)
May the road rise to greet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your shoulder…
And may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
And may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Many of you will be familiar with the prayer just quoted. It has become a lovely “good-bye and may God be with you” ending to a meeting or conversation.
Esther de Waal says that many Celtic “journey” prayers also refer to the journey inward to deeply know God who dwells within. Earlier this week Lory Persaud shared a practice of 2-way journaling that speaks to this journey to know and to hear God. Those of you who practice “contemplative prayer” can also identify with the concept that as we listen to God, we also know ourselves more honestly and more compassionately.
Here’s a prayer that seems to touch on both kinds of journey: the journey for the day’s work and the journey to know God. The first part speaks of the relationship of the earth to me – my feet on the path. The second part ends with the eye which speaks of the vision and the attitude of my heart, my life.
Bless to me oh God
The earth beneath my foot
Bless to me oh God
The path whereon I go
Bless to me oh God
the thing of my desire;
Thou evermore of evermore
Bless thou to me my rest.
Bless Thou to me the thing
Whereon is set my mind
Bless to me the thing
Whereon is set my love;
Bless Thou to me the thing
Whereon is set my hope
O Thou King of kings
Bless Thou to me mine eye.
I am reminded of the song that sparked this meditation for me and the search for other prayers that incorporates the physicality of this life on earth and creation all around us: St. Patrick’s Prayer.
*For my shield this day
A mighty power:
The Holy Trinity!
In the making of all
This day I call to me;
God’s strength to direct me,
God’s power to sustain me.
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s vision to light me,
God’s ear to my hearing,
God’s word to my speaking,
God’s hand to uphold me,
God’s pathway before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s legions to save me:
From snares of the demons,
from evil enticements,
from failings of nature,
from one man or many
that seek to destroy me,
anear or afar.
*See attachment for copy of full prayer
These prayers are especially meaningful for people who are more deeply connected to this physical world: I think of a friend who seems to draw from life by her walks in the outdoors, cross-country skiing, gardening. Those of us (like me) who are more inclined to sit and read and contemplate life from our chairs may need to learn to connect more directly with the physical creation around us.
I pray for you on your journey:
The guarding of the God of life be upon me,
The guarding of loving Christ be upon me,
The guarding of the Holy Spirit be upon me,
Each step of the way
To aid me and enfold me,
Each day and night of my life.
Song: The Lorica (Steve Bell)
Bible Verse: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)
Some years ago, I read a story that brought a tear to my eye and it reminded me of just how powerful a force love can be, and the sacrifices that some people will make because of it.
“It was late on a cold Christmas Eve in South Korea during the Korean War. A young mother-to-be, whose husband had been killed in the conflict began to feel the pains of labour. She knew it was time to make her way to the mission clinic a couple of miles away. The pains came faster and more intensely than she expected. When she got to the bridge crossing a ravine not far from the clinic, she could go no further, and so she sought shelter under the bridge, and there without help, gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
The next morning the missionary nurse who worked at the clinic got into her ancient jeep to attend the Christmas services in the village church. As her jeep crossed the little bridge the engine suddenly died. Getting out to investigate, the missionary thought she heard a faint cry. There it was again. It seemed to be coming from under the bridge! When she went down to look, she found the baby boy lovingly wrapped in all his mother’s clothes, her lifeless body lying beside him, naked and frozen.
Overcome by what she’d found, and the significance of finding a newborn boy on Christmas morning, the nurse decided that she would adopt the little orphan as her own son. She named him Kim, and he grew up to be a healthy boy.
On Christmas Eve, as he was turning twelve, his mother decided she would tell him of the unusual circumstances of his birth. The next day Kim and his mother made their way to the village church for the Christmas celebration. On the way there Kim asked to stop by the graveyard where his birth mother was buried. When they got there he asked to go up alone.
She watched spellbound as the young boy made his way up to the simple grave. Slowly he began to take off his clothes. First his jacket and shirt, then his trousers, laying them all lovingly and carefully on his mother’s grave until he stood there naked in the cold Korean winter.
When his adopted mother finally came up behind him to wrap her own coat around him she heard him saying, “Mother, you did it all for me. You did it all for me!”
I still get a lump in my throat as I remember the first time I read that story of love and sacrifice, and it reminds me of yet another similar story of love and sacrifice which is even more profound. Scripture tells us how the Almighty Sovereign Glorious Creator God stepped down from His heavenly thrown, stripped Himself of all His visible majesty and power in order to be born into His own creation as a helpless babe in a dirty animal shelter. Then when His ministry on earth was completed, we see Him hanging on a rough cross, spilling out His life blood, willingly wrapping us in His compassion and forgiveness.
Why would He do that? Why would He sacrifice everything for us? Because His love for us is so much more than we can possibly imagine. He did it so that you and I could live. Jesus’ horrible death yields for us abundant and eternal life. Such love is almost incomprehensible, and yet we who believe, know it to be true. Our response to such amazing love should be to take all that we are and have, and like the little Korean boy, lay it down and declare, “Lord, you did it all for me. You did it all for me!”
“My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27 The VOICE)
As I grow in my faith, I have been blessed as I choose to be intentional about making time to hear God’s voice. There is a lovely spiritual discipline of two-way journaling. It’s something I would like to practice more regularly, so, as a reminder to myself, and an encouragement to you, I will share how I like to do this practice.
I make the most of a still moment by sitting down with a journal and after quieting my heart, I ask God to come and be with me and to speak to me. I know from his Word in John 10:27, that I can hear His voice because I belong to Him. I remind myself of this promise to build up my faith. Then I come into prayer with thanksgiving (“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise…” Psalm 100:4 NIV). I thank God for His love and favour in my life and His goodness and faithfulness. This helps me to focus my attention on Him. I might share something on my heart with the Lord and then ask him a question, or I might just begin to listen with my heart and pay attention to the spontaneous thoughts that come to mind. Then I write down what I hear and trust that if it doesn’t contradict the scriptures, it is very likely the voice of the Holy Spirit that I am hearing (If I’m not sure, I can take it to a mature believer and ask them to test it for confirmation. This is how I was taught by Mark Virkler of Communion With God Ministries).
I might ask God for a picture, or an image or scene might just come to mind. I could ask God what He means to communicate through that picture – is it a symbol? What atmosphere or feeling does it convey?
I have, for example, seen in my mind the imagery of my legs and the legs of my Lord, bare and dangling from a dock, dipping into the cool and refreshing water. This helps me sense Jesus’ closeness and reminds me that He is my dear friend, sitting with me and enjoying my company. I write this down. It solidifies the picture in my mind so I can call it into remembrance again—perhaps in a lonely time when I need the reminder of His presence with me.
No matter the method, hearing God’s voice is a great delight. A while back I had been inviting the Lord to speak to me more and I was two-way journaling in the evening before bedtime. In a cheeky way, I asked Him a question but closed my journal with a giggle before He could answer. I wanted to hear him another way. The next morning, I woke promptly after a vivid dream. In the dream I saw a monkey with what appeared to be a gold wired shape hung from his ear. I pondered the picture as I became more awake. My mind transitioned from its sleepy state to being more rational and I recognized the shape of the earring as the constellation of Leo. A quick google image search confirmed that I had seen the mirror image of the Leo shape. I picked up my journal again. “Lord, I just had a dream. In it, I saw a monkey with an earring that looked like the constellation of Leo,” I wrote. “Yes, and so too will you have a Lion in your ear,” was the spontaneous thought that came back. I laughed aloud. I didn’t realize God had such a great sense of humor.
Being intentional about hearing from God is important. Just as we make time to reconnect with our close friends, family and spouse, we need to make time to fellowship with God. When I recently made the intentional decision to use my time to listen and hear Him and journal my dreams, pictures and two-way conversations, I was somewhat surprised that He had so much to say. Rather than filling journals with my words to Him, I began to fill journals with His words to me. These words have been precious and have guided me very specifically in the last couple years. Though I am still growing in this ability to hear and recognize His voice, I believe the more time we spend intentionally listening, the easier it will be to become familiar with His voice and recognize when He is speaking or has something to say.
I invite you to join me in exploring this practice more. I can say with certainty that you will be blessed. He loves to speak to us.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)
“’You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you’, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14a NIV)
David began Psalm 61 asking God to hear his prayer “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help” (61:2). Perhaps David was far away physically from Jerusalem, far away from where the Ark of God was located when he cried out. Or perhaps David sensed in his heart that he was far away from God, and longed to have that sense of nearness restored.
Most of us know what it is to feel distant from God, to have an at-the-ends-of-the-earth experience in which we feel that God is far away. In this psalm, David shows us how to overcome the distance that intrudes in our relationship with God. “I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me” (61: 2-3).
David cried out to the God he knew as a Rock of safety, a Refuge, a Fortress. He knew that God was not a faraway, uncaring deity, but a caring and capable Protector whom he could run to in the midst of his alienation.
More then that, he seems to have recognized that God’s promises of safety and refuge would find their fulfillment in a King who would be greater than he was. This King would not be a distant deity but a King who will come to his people. He will not live in a palace. In fact, he will not even have a home. He will not be served, but will serve. He will not be crowned in honor, but crowned with thorns in disgrace. He will not wear a robe but will be hung on a cross.
This is what it cost our true King to come to our aid when we cry to him for help. This is what it cost to have our alienation from God eradicated and our nearness to God restored. This is how good our King Jesus is – he overcame the distance between heaven and earth, between God and man, to come to our aid.
When we join ourselves to King Jesus, we too can overcome the distance between ourselves and a holy God. Because of Jesus we not only have the hope of feeling close to God, we have an open invitation to boldly draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).
In a time that many of us feel distant from everyone and everything, how comforting it is to know that our God went to such great lengths, so that we can be close to Him now and always.
Prayer – My towering Rock of safety, my safe Refuge, my Fortress, I am hiding in you where my enemies of self-centeredness and pride and self-sufficiency cannot alienate me from you. You draw me close and hold me tight. How good it is to know that I am under your protection forever.
King David knew that his sin had caused him to run up a big debt with God. The man after God’s own heart had turned away from God and gone after his own pleasure apart from God, leading to adultery and murder. And because God is perfectly just, David knew that the debt of his sin had to be paid for him to be at peace with God. But he also knew that he could not pay it, not with any amount of good works, not even with all the wealth at his disposal as King of Israel. And yet he celebrated, with a seemingly settled understanding, that his enormous debt had somehow been cleared: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” (Psalm 32: 1-2).
When David celebrated that the long tab he had run up by his sin had been covered and would not be counted against him, it was no small celebration! God had removed David’s sins from his spiritual ledger. David was given a clean slate. But how was this possible? Was his debt merely written off or overlooked?
David’s debt was not merely ignored. Someone else paid it. “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1: 18-19).
Like David, we have racked up a big debt of sin that must be paid. At the cross, Jesus said “hand the bill to me, I will pay it. It’s a debt that you owe, but I will pay it with my own life’s blood.” When King David said, “Oh what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,” he was celebrating that God had forgiven him on the basis of, and in anticipation of, full payment for sin by Christ on the cross. David received this payment on his behalf by faith. He could not see the cross clearly, but he believed God’s promise to forgive his sin on the basis of the One who would come and make full forgiveness possible. He looked forward to the cross in faith, just as we look back to the cross in faith. It is much clearer to us now then it was to David. We know with certainty that Jesus paid it all.
What freedom and joy we can have by resting in this truth. Let us respond by living a life of thankfulness for this priceless gift. Let us celebrate!
Prayer – Jesus, in your grace, you paid my debt. What a gift! What freedom and joy I receive from this wonderful gift. Now I can truly understand David’s great joy.
Esther de Waal has written a book about The Celtic way of prayer. Two characteristics of the Celtic prayers stand out for me. 1. The physicality (earthiness, ‘full surround sound’, wholeness or completeness, immediacy) of the gospel is expressed in the prayers and songs. And 2. The theme of journey is frequently found, either a journey towards another town, another country, or a journey inwards to find God who dwells within us.
Are you sometimes tempted to ask God for healing for your body but you think you ought to be able to “get over” the anxiety on your own? Or that when you ask God for help, your prayer doesn’t “get through”—God is too far away. The Celtic way of prayer written by Esther de Waal describes the physicality and immediacy of the Gospel as expressed in prayers to the Holy Trinity, using the activities and objects in front of you as prompts to pray.
Three folds of the cloth, yet only one napkin is there,
Three joints in the finger, but still only one finger fair
Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear,
Frost, snowflakes and ice, all in water their origin share,
Three Persons in God alone we make prayer.
(as quoted by deWaal, 1997, The Celtic way of prayer).
Every event, every activity is an occasion for prayer. When you meet the new baby in your family:
The blessing of the Holy Three little love, be dower [inheritance] to thee,
Wisdom, Peace and Purity. (de Waal).
Many times a day, we are driven to the point of need and help. A prayer for healing and help reminds us of the specific activities of each person of the Trinity:
I send witness to the Father , Who formed all flesh:
I send witness to Christ, Who suffered scorn and pain;
I send witness to Spirit, Who will heal my wound
Who will make me as white As the cotton-grass of the moor.
[or the snow on the ground]. (de Waal).
Perhaps you could form some prayers of your own physical and timely reminders of God who is always present as Trinity?
How about when you get up in the morning and you splash your face with water three times: “in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, in the name of the Spirit—be present as I start my day”.
How about when making your way to work?
Head, hands, feet – Father, give me wisdom in my decisions, Jesus guide my hands as I do your work, Holy Spirit, give me your ears to hear and comfort to share as I listen to my client today.
Please share your prayers with me in an email. If we get a few prayers, I’ll share them via the Deacon’s corner or the community blog.
Next week I’ll talk about the Journey with the Holy Trinity.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.