Daily Prayer :: Wind

First steps on the journey of faith and community

July 6 — God calls my name

I have called you by name you are mine.

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

But now thus says the Lord,
    he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine. — Isaiah 43;1

More thoughts for meditation

In his text, Manning describes his first encounter with Jesus, when he was about to quit seminary and was killing time by doing the stations of the cross.

“Suddenly a tremendous wave of concussion force knocked me over backward and swept me off the beach, reeling in midair, marching through space, vaguely aware that I was being carried to a place I had never been before – the heart of the Jesus Christ. When He called my name, it was not Richie or Brennan, but another word that I shall not disclose, a word that is my very own name, spoken with infinite love. It is the sweetest sound I shall ever year, the name by which Jesus knows me.” (The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus)

Suggestions for action

What word does Jesus use to call you? What’s your “name” to Him? Write it down today, ponder it, and try to understand why you wrote it down. Show it to a friend, and see what wisdom they have to offer you, too. Find comfort and know today that you are God’s beloved.

Today is Jan Hus Day! Admire this martyr to conviction at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.

July 5 – The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus by Brennan Manning

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Exodus 20:1-20

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.

More thoughts for meditation

Brennan Manning The Relentless Tenderness of JesusFor the next ten days, we’ll be journeying through Brennan Manning’s The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (also published under the title Lion and the Lamb). Manning is trying to deepen our relationship with God; knowing him in all of his mystery and wonder, trusting her when she can be like a lion or a lamb. Here’s an excerpt from the text:

“In my own life, honoring the First Commandment, ‘I am Yahweh your God: you shall have no gods except me,’ has meant repudiating the god of fear and wrath handed on to me by preachers, teachers, and church authorities in my youth, repudiating the strange god who sees all non-Christians as good-for-nothings, who consigns all heathens to hell, who has given any one denomination a bonded franchise for salvation, who rubs his hands together with malicious glee and sends a Catholic to hell because he ate a hot dog on Friday, April 27, 1949. It has meant repudiating the strange god who flinches at gracing certain other churches with his presence; who despises a beleaguered couple who practices birth control; who forbids a divorcee the Eucharist; who ordains that some of his creatures (whether for race or creed or some other reason) shall be denied equal opportunity for employment or housing; who tells married Catholic priests they are excommunicated and mature women that in America they can be vice president of the country, but in the church they must sit down, submit, and shut up.”  — The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus [video of Brennan Manning]

Suggestions for action

Journal today (or comment below) about detrimental images of God that have influenced you. It could be now, in your childhood, or in your teenage years. Is that image of God, which could be a broken and false one, still plaguing you today? Pray that the true face of  God is revealed to you. Pray that you can find time to pray and be with God who is relentlessly tender.

Pick up a copy of this book by Brennan Manning. It is an encouraging addition for your library.

July 4 — The limits of the safe place

Tales from Astoria: Feeling safe

We expect people to express their gifts, talents, art and worship
We admit that we are less of a “safe place” for people who don’t want to take initiative, own their dignity, or make commitments.

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Matthew 19:13-30

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

More thoughts for meditation

We prize the fact that we are a “safe place” as a church, unlike other places (often in the news) where Christians are the “haters” and don’t accept people as they are or admit that they, as a church, are flawed.

Unlike some places, we are a safe place.

But we often have to explain ourselves further. Because we are not “safe” like many Americans view safety. On the one hand, we do not have a wall around us so that “other” people can’t get in or have a say. On the other hand, we are not fully open to “whatever” so that we can never be judged according to our behavior, or according to how we keep covenants or follow Jesus. We are saved by Christ and our safety is in Christ. We are not safe because we protect ourselves well or because we decide there is nothing from which we must be saved.

We are not a safe place like some people think of safety.

Our expectations about what it means to be saved and to feel safe in Jesus can and do make people feel “unsafe.” For instance, we expect people to take initiative—to listen to God and so have something to say. We expect people to live as children of God—with all the dignity and responsibility that entails. We expect people to make commitments—to love, share, serve, and care. The deepest commitment we make is our covenant, which is meant to reflect the Lord’s own covenant in His blood. Some people are surprised once they get to know us; our life can seem pretty demanding.

We could seem unsafe, if Jesus hasn’t saved you. But, we admit, if Jesus doesn’t save us everything is, for sure, unsafe.

Suggestions for action

Pray: Thank you that my salvation is possible in You.

Meditate on what makes you feel safe when it comes to your relationships. Do you have a criteria you consciously or unconsciously apply? Jesus said that he could save you. Does the Lord make you feel safe yet?

The pastors made one of their “Someone Asked” videos about this topic [here is a link]

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