Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Sabbath time; the pause that refreshes

Morning: Psalm 102; I Samuel 9:1-14; Acts 7:17-29
Evening: Psalm 107:1-32; Luke 22:31-38

Becoming human – becoming ourselves – is demanding work, full of trials.  We can easily betray ourselves, and others.  But, paradoxically, if we are ready to learn from hardships, they can bring new wisdom and lead us back to ourselves.  

Friends, I would betray myself, and you, if I did not take time to rest and renew my spirit.  The summer season invites us all into rest and restoration, so I will accept summer’s invitation and let go of a few things during July and August.  “Reawakening” will pause now until September. May your summer days be blessed.

Graham

Thursday, June 29, 2017

God shows no partiality

Morning: Psalm 66; Ezekiel 2:1-7; Acts 11:1-18
Evening: Psalm 97, 138; Isaiah 49:1-6; Galatians 2:1-9

In every age, prophets rise up to speak the truth to those who are living a lie. Prophets typically suffer challenge and criticism from those whom they might expect to support them – perhaps because they are too liberal or because they are responding to the needs of people from outside the group.  But truth cannot be imprisoned by race or religion or any other constraint … truth is universal. Peter and Paul (it is their day today) both knew that God shows no partiality and they served that ideal to the death.

Graham

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Love overflows

Morning: Psalm 101, 109; I Samuel 7:2-17; Acts 6:1-15
Evening: Psalm 119:121-144; Luke 22:14-23

Jesus took / blessed / broke / shared Bread and Cup, and his own life, as if to say: Receive everything as Gift, what you have and who you are, your whole life … Own that you are Blessed, “Blessed are you”; be a blessing to others … Break open your life, do not keep it closed off … Savour this indescribable Gift, the gift of a heart broken open (not broken, but broken open) to Love.  Then you cannot help sharing … Love overflows.

Graham

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Love is often threatened but cannot be controlled

Morning: Psalm 97, 99; I Samuel 6:1-16; Acts 5:27-42
Evening: Psalm 94, 95; Luke 21:37-22:13

Those who challenge governments are often arrested, imprisoned, even executed. Jesus, who taught about love, and Peter and John, who followed him, were brought before the authorities charged with stirring up trouble.  They had encouraged people to follow the ways of love and justice; this scared the authorities.  Governments want people of faith under their ‘protection’ (read ‘thumb’) so they can control the message of faith until it sounds more like the government’s message than a message of love and justice.  Religious institutions, concerned about their power, may succumb to such control, but Love will always resist it.

Graham

Monday, June 26, 2017

Keep awake

Morning: Psalm 89:1-18; I Samuel 5:1-12; Acts 5:12-26
Evening: Psalm 89:19-52; Luke 21:29-36

Apocalyptic writing deals with the ‘end times’. On a personal level, we are preoccupied with life after death; on a cosmic level, the ‘end of the world’.  Since death is real, we cannot help wondering how everything will turn out.  Yet it is not wise to be overly preoccupied with these questions.  Instead, says Jesus, ‘be alert’, and ‘stay awake’; live consciously. To live unconsciously is not to know what moves you – it is like death.  But while I have life, I really want to live it to the fullest. Don’t you?  Let the next life take care of itself.

Graham

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Real life is what we know, but turned on its head

Morning: Psalm 66, 67; I Samuel 4:12-22; James 1:1-18
Evening: Psalm 19, 46; Matthew 19:23-30

Listen to these counter-cultural messages from Jesus, all in 8 verses: << It is hard for a rich person to live in God’s way. What is impossible for mortals is possible for God. If you loosen your grip on everything, your life will be richer. The first will be last and the last will be first. >> We think we have lived in a Christian society for hundreds of years.  In truth, our world has scarcely begun to hear Jesus’ teaching ... that we really live when we are no longer attached to our passions or our things.

Graham

Saturday, June 24, 2017

John the Baptist; prophet of the real

Saturday June 24th – John the Baptist; prophet of the real
Morning: Psalm 82, 98; Malachi 3:1-5; John 3:22-30
Evening: Psalm 80; Malachi 4:1-6; Matthew 11:2-19

Laurence Olivier, when asked why theatres are full and churches not, said: “We (actors) make fables appear real; you (Christians) make what is real seem like a fable.”  John the Baptist declared that truth was being subverted in his society.  He pointed to Jesus, who would call humankind back to reality, back to truth: “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease.” John was a realist who knew his purpose and his limits.  John invites us to ask ourselves, ‘Do I live what is real, and tell it like it is? Or am I living a fable, imagining that it’s real?’

Graham

Summer Sabbath time; the pause that refreshes

Morning: Psalm 102 ; I Samuel 9:1-14; Acts 7:17-29 Evening: Psalm 107:1-32; Luke 22:31-38 Becoming human – becoming ourselves – is dem...