Daily Prayer :: Wind

First steps on the journey of faith and community

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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.

July 7 — Pioneers aren’t looking for safety first.

Jean Donovan.jpg

Jean Donovan, Pioneer

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Luke 10:29-37

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 More thoughts for meditation

Brennan Manning introduced us to pioneer and settler theology. In his text he spends some time contrasting the pioneer and the settler – the “settler” Christian values rules, safety, and security over adventure and listening to what’s next, even at the risk of death.

Succinctly, the distinction between settlers and pioneers might be between those of who think redemption comes by following the rules, strictly; versus those who are trying to listen to what’s next and blaze new trails.

“What is the Spirit of Jesus asking of me at this particularly moment in these unique circumstances? The external law cannot express the totality of my relationship with God because it was legislated for all people. It cannot take account of individual differences because it does not recognize the parable of the talents, the varying abilities of men and women. It was not the external law that impelled the Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Joe Delaney to dive into a lake to rescue a drowning child at the cost of his own life. It was not the external law that caused astronaut John Glenn not to answer the doorbell and receive a prestigious visit from President Lyndon Johnson because his wife, sick in bed, needed his undivided attention. It was not the external law that drove the Good Samaritan to stop and attend to the needs of his bleeding brother, while the priest and Levite, because the external law did not require them to stop, not pass him by. Nor was it law that sent an attractive, intelligent twenty-year-old girl from the country-club set in Connecticut to martyrdom as a nun in El Salvador. It is only the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of love and compassion that speaks in the [now].” — Brennan Manning in The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

Suggestions for action

Though the road we travel as Christians is bumpy and scary, it is the less scary and more generative than turning back and settling. Pray today that you find your security in God and his mission.

Circle of Hope was certainly started with some pioneer theology! Just read our proverbs! What do you think? Have we tamed it down or are we still on the edge of adventure with the Holy Spirit?

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.

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