Today’s Bible reading
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. —1 Corinthians 3:6-13
More thoughts for meditation
The fluidity of the water stage might remind you of the myth of a “compartmentalized” life. There really is no such thing, is there? The “spiritual” and the mundane flow into each other regularly. “Me-time” gets interrupted by others, and God is there, too. It is like when Jesus healed and ate on the Sabbath. The Pharisees did not like that he was mixing categories, and the pharisee in me sometimes gets stuck on arbitrary boundaries, too. Jesus answers us: “Those categories were just tools to help you in the beginning. They were made for you, not you for them! I am Lord of all the categories, and life is one whole cloth. Follow me, and I will teach you how to be sustained and serving, healed and healing.”
Try this prayer practice (adapted from Ruth Haley Barton)
- Picture a place that brings you comfort and a sense of safety.
- Imagine God sitting in that place with you.
- Just be with God for a few minutes.
- Allow God to bring others to your heart and mind—any person or situation that is of concern to you, someone who has asked for your prayers, or a situation that is causing you stress or requires wisdom.
- Imagine God asking you, “Is it OK for us to invite this person to join us (or for us to look at this situation together)?”
- If you can say “Yes,” welcome that person into the space where you and God are communing and be with that person, group or situation in God’s presence.
- Listen for the prayer (desire, groaning?) that the Holy Spirit is already praying for that person or situation.
- Ask God, “How can I join you in that prayer?”
- See if there is anything God is inviting you to offer to that person or situation.
- Do not force or push anything.
- If nothing comes, continue to rest in God relative to that situation.
- If wisdom or a next step does come, determine that you will respond faithfully as God makes the way clear.
Suggestions for action
Go to a body of water: the ocean, one of our rivers, a pool, a puddle, a bathtub, a bucket, a bowl.
Take a rock (a pebble, a ball, something that will sink to the depths) and invest it with some kind of meaning—something that needs to get into the water, to be healed, to feel enveloped, to be stirred up or to be stirring things up. Ceremoniously take your rock, say or shout its meaning (like “Shame!,” or “Compassion!” or “Fear!” or “Action!”) and throw it into the body of water. Make ripples that visualize your own impact. Stay with it until the ripples have died down. Wait for yourself to be quiet, too.
Today is Amy Carmichael day! Visit this missionary ancestor and influential author at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body