…he thought he was seeing a vision. Acts 12:1-17 It is possible to look upon something and think that it can’t be real when in fact it is, such as unforeseen opportunities. Unless you act on what seems a reality you may never know that it was in fact real until it’s too late. The freedom to act is a gift. When our time comes, may wisdom in Love be our guide to use such a gift. Real freedom is making the right choice out of love for God and not one’s self.
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:21-32
…ahead of them, went the star that they (Magi) had seen in the east… Matthew 2:1-12 Truth revealed is the moment at which some event or action appears in its true form or nature. Epiphany is a truth revealed. It is something that we now understand, an enlightenment or revelation, which was once hidden or unclear. The very moment that truth is revealed we have the freedom to make a choice, or to move in a direction we may have previously thought was not possible. The light of the star that the Magi followed is the same light that we follow today, the one that leads to unconditional love and hope Jesus Christ. The question we have to ask of our selves is can we submit to and live out this epiphany? Now that the manifestation of Christ is revealed in us, the freedom to choose is ours. Arise and shine, for your light has come (Isaiah 60:1-6,9).
Prayers for the Unemployed and the Underemployed
On August 28, 1963 hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the commemoration of which was re-enacted 50 years later one week ago Saturday. As we approach the 2013 celebration of the labor force, our economy continues to struggle today for both jobs and freedom. I offer this 30 day vigil of prayer for the unemployed and underemployed. For as much as we like to see individuals “pull themselves up by their own boot straps” it simply is not possible without a fair living wage. The following prayer will be on my website and Facebook page. For the next 30 days, I invite you to find any time of the day to join me in prayer for all those who continue to seek employment, those who are underemployed and those who have within their resources to help build a fruitful nation for everyone who believe in the equality for which this nation stands. Please share with your Facebook friends and family and perhaps we can create a spiritual climate that accompanies and accomplishes our call to action.
For the laborers of this land (adapted from BCP p.824, 826)
Gracious God, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from unemployment and underemployment: impress upon the leaders of this land, both public and private, to work diligently and collectively for those who have been steadfast in their pursuit of suitable and fulfilling employment, with the goal of receiving just payment for their labor. Let the true miracle be the work of your people for your people, as a nation built upon the promise of life liberty and pursuit of happiness which it dares to deliver. Help us and strengthen us to establish equal protection and equal opportunity for all, and grant that everyone of us enjoys the riches of your land, to the glory of your name.
Lent: Day 33 – They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Mark 10:32-45
This Lenten season is just about over. Perhaps we are not quite at a point in our lives where it seems darkest before dawn, but in the life of Christ, he is preparing to make his way to Jerusalem. We know that the worst, at least from a physical standpoint is about to happen and those who followed Christ were afraid. Even today, at least for me, it is hard to imagine walking towards your own death especially when you are both innocent and not guilty of any crime. Who among us is both innocent and not guilty? Yet by the grace of God, with every step Christ takes towards Jerusalem we are all lifted up. Although the walk is hard to envision, because of Christ’s walk I can envision his death and burial into the darkness of the earth, as God reaching down to the depths of his creation for all who believe. Before I understood God’s Love I walked in that darkness of sin. So today I arise with Christ ahead of me and I’ll joyfully take this walk again, afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Instead of darkness I envision light. Instead of death I envision resurrection. Instead of continual bondage I envision eternal freedom. We are the forgiven. We are the righteous. We are the anointed. We are the children of God.
Psalm 143:1-12 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul…
2 Corinthians 4:1-12 …it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Lent: Day 16 – I couldn’t wait to get out of my parents home. I felt shackled, bound and unable to move about freely. Worst of all I felt as if I was forced to do things certain other people didn’t have to do, like cook, clean and wash dishes. When I left for good I vowed I’d never go back and I never did. Although I wasn’t wild and uncontrollable, I wasn’t necessarily free. Even when we live alone we find our selves bound to something if not some one. It’s not all bad. However when the bonds that we’ve adhered to begin to adversely affect the self or others, the person, thing, or both to which we are bound becomes an overwhelming problem. At times, our bonds are so overwhelming in fact we lose touch with mercy, we lose touch with grace and finally we lose touch with self. The good news is that even when we’ve lost touch with the self, grace and mercy does not lose touch with us because God knows us from within. When Jesus met a man lost in self and encumbered with legions, mercy and grace was the first order of the day. Whether we are bound by choice or bound by force, good or bad the consequences always have their way. However, the day we commit to be bound by Christ is the day we will begin to serve freely.
Mark 5:1-20 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain;4for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him.
It takes no time to know God’s truth. To believe God’s truth for the self takes a lifetime of journey. Every experience is a testimony for our belief in God. Life challenges us. It dares us to believe in what we can not see and pushes us ever forward into a cloud of unknowing. We can only respond in life to what is before us and if we are able to respond in truth and have faith in that truth, then we are free to accept the next challenge until in the end we are totally free.
…‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ John 8:21-32
…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21
…The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. Psalm 146