Daily Prayer :: Wind

First steps on the journey of faith and community

July 10 — Living out of the center

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Luke 19:1-10

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

More thoughts for meditation

Brennan Manning calls his readers to “live out of the center.” A life concentrated on Jesus, free of the opinions of others, focused on following Him radically.

Living out of the center frees us from the tyranny of peer pressure. Living to please the Father, as Jesus did, becomes the basic impulse of a Christian’s life—more important than pleasing people. And this requires a remarkable degree of freedom. Jesus was not intimidated by public opinion, by what “others will think.” In order to be free for the outcasts, the sinners, the marginals in His social world, Jesus has to keep His distance from the expectations and the moralizing judgments of the authorities and respectable. — Brennan Manning in The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

Suggestions for action

How influenced are you by the opinion of others? How enslaved are you to how the world perceives you? Try to reach out to someone today, whom you think you’ll be judged for loving and caring for, and see what happens. Perhaps you are your own worse judge.

We often talk about “centering prayer.” It is hard to live out of the center if it is hard to find or it is undeveloped. Check out this website for some basic instruction.

July 9 — Our transparency: Jesus the window to God


Shepherds see through a “window” and become one. — St John’s Church, Tralee, Ireland

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Romans 6:1-14

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin  but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

More thoughts for meditation

Brennan Manning coins a term called the “transparent disciple.” He makes the argument that followers of Jesus are windows into Jesus. When people see us, they see Jesus.

Why aren’t we windows into Jesus, working, laughing, crying, playing, loving? Why aren’t we transparent disciples?

In varying degrees, of course, many Christians are. I think of the UPS driver who came to our door to tell my wife, Roslyn, and me about the drowning of his three-year-old son and to speak in tears of his love for Jesus and how he prays in his truck. I think of the dentist in St. Louis who treats everybody as better than himself and closer to the heart of Jesus; of the married couple on Long Island who lade bare their past sins and with stunning humility left Roslyn and me speechless as they bore witness to the merciful love of a redeeming God.” …

The other end of the transparency, is the transparency of Jesus into humanity. Just like we can be windows into him, he is fully human like us.

Scandalous as it may be this is the Jesus of the Gospels: a man like us in all things but ungratefulness. A man consoled by the tears of a sinful woman, a man who experienced anger, irritation, and fatigue. A man who drank His people’s wine and sang their wedding songs. In so many ways and by so many signs did Jesus show us that He is fully human, that He has a sensitive human heart and longs to be treated as human.  —  Brennan Manning in The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus.

Suggestions for action

Ponder how transparent you are. In our narcissistic society, we are prone to being so image conscience, we almost never reveal “our true selves” or even find one! Pray that Jesus can offer you his wholeness and that you might be a window where others might see Him more clearly.

Jesus is God being transparent with you. How much do you really know about Jesus? Try reading a few parts of the first four books of the New Testament and see what you can learn about God by looking at the life and work of Jesus. What life is Jesus bringing to you?

July 8 — Suffering is the touchstone


Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

More thoughts for meditation

In contrast to the ever-popular “prosperity Gospel” [Dutch video], Brennan Manning calls us to embrace the true Christian vocation of suffering.

Through our baptism we were incorporated into Christ. Our Christian vocation is our heavenly Father’s invitation to enter into the sufferings of Jesus Christ, to share his life of humiliation, misunderstanding, rejection, loneliness, and inevitable victory. Whether we be priest or layperson, housewife or husband, coal miner or research physicist, these are but the life circumstances in which our resemblance to Christ crucified is to be achieved. The Father wills us to conform to the dying state of Jesus. And this is no chance affair. It is the interior law of the Father’s purpose. Suffering is not an accident in the Christian life. It is a necessity imposed by divine decrees. Confronted with the evidence of Christ’s life and the life of the early church, we can say that suffering is the touchstone of the church, we can say that suffering is the touchstone of Christian life, and if the cross is not your life, then it cannot be very Christian.”Brennan Manning in The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

Suggestions for action

Brennan wants us to be transformed. What mark does your life make when it rubs up against the “touchstone” of Jesus?

Make a list of what causes you pain. Pray through it and for it. Pray that you feel God’s eternal hope and peace despite all of the suffering around you. Pray that you are transformed, redeemed and resurrected.

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