Oh God, Unknown One, whose creation desperately needs redemption
Nothing makes any sense. We are not taking a breath, every cell in our bodies anxious with furious vibration, broken bones and torn flesh, every thought numbed. Lead us through this arid wilderness. Can the lost be found? Can the afflicted be comforted or the proud be convicted? Can we be sustained by your promise? Redeem the images seared in our memories. Embroider the names of victims on our hearts and in our minds until compassion brings us to new places of hope. Amen.
Divine Wisdom, who readies us for transformation with waiting, Capture our attention in this silent moment. Refresh us with the peace of your Presence. Relieve us from deadening routines and over commitment. If we cannot answer, “why am I doing this?” then, help us to let it go. Instill in us a new sense of trust and patience for your unfolding plan. When the time is right, bind us with work that gives us freedom. Amen.
My mom was a crafter of words, for twenty years, she worked at the local newspaper and wrote all the classified ads. When she retired, it wasn’t the number of sales she made that her co-workers remembered but it was my mother’s way with words. Mom had a way of speaking about things that exposed the interest point. My mom spent her time exposing in ads;
that one mans junk was another’s treasure,
that a good deal could always be found and
that a new life could always be given to someone’s throw aways.
That sounds kind of like the gospel to me. The differences are that the object that may be considered junk for one and treasure to another is the cross of Jesus Christ. The throw aways that are given new life in the church are usually human beings and the good deal you get in church is always free, the love and grace of God is free for everyone.
Think about the classified ad that you might write that would invite others toward a relationship with God and your community of faith. When you come up with yours, please share them here in comments.
The bottom of the barrel is where the food rots. It’s smelly. The bottom of the barrel appears more empty than full. The bottom of the barrel is dark. No one wants whatever is in the bottom of the barrel.
Why is it that it seems that the bottom of the barrel, the most illogical place to find riches, is where we find God?
Sometimes we have to move toward the illogical in order to find the riches there. The labyrinth is a pathway of prayer. In Chartres, France, there is a well-known labyrinth. This labyrinth was created with a mathematical formula that uses the human body to teach the soul. It causes you to turn left when you think you should be turning right, it takes you far from the center when you think you are closest to the center. It is a learning experience for our bodies to do the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves in unpredictable ways. Jesus taught, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8a) To align our bodies with the movement of the Spirit will take us to places we never expected to go. When walking the labyrinth, an openness to possibility is essential. That means moving toward something we are not attracted to, it means moving toward places that don’t seem familiar. Our souls learn important truths as our bodies move in alignment with the Spirit.
Are we open to taking the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel and making our lives about that? Maybe the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel is the thing that counts the most. It might be the bottom of the barrel that takes us to the riches God intends for our lives, and my friends, we don’t want to miss that!