Today is Sunday, January 29, 2017. Two more days in January.
“If a man is to shed the light of the sun upon other men, he must first of all have it within himself.” ― Romain Rolland
This quote would be true, as well, if I replaced “the sun” with “Jesus.” I think that’s what drew me to it.
Parergon – something that is an accessory to a main work or subject; embellishment. Also, work undertaken in addition to one’s principal work. Pronounced “pa-rur-gon.”
Today is National Corn Chip Day. I must confess that Fritos have long been my favorite kind of chip. Right behind them are the various incarnations of Tostitos, also corn chips. I will make sure and eat at least one of those brands of corn chips today. Fritos, by the way, were first sold in 1961.
I’m skipping right on to the devotional, this morning, as time is always short on Sundays.
My theme song is God’s love and justice, and I’m singing it right to you, GOD. Psalm 101:1
I’m standing my ground, GOD, shouting for help, at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak. Psalm 88:14
What you say goes—it always has. “Beauty” and “Holy” mark your palace rule, GOD, to the very end of time. Psalm 93:5
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. Psalm 119:1
This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. Matthew 5:23-24
“Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)
(From Living the Message)
Today’s reading is “A Web of Relationships.” Following in the same vein as yesterday’s reading, it states that, “Prayer is the action that gets us in touch with and develops the most comprehensive relationships–self, God, community, creation, government, culture.” You see, when I pray, I don’t just pray for myself. In fact, there was a time when I rarely prayed for myself at all, and spent the majority of my prayer time focused on my family, friends, and local church body. These days, I realize the importance of praying for me, as well. Nevertheless, I spend more time praying for others than I do for myself. When I pray, it gets me in touch with God and with these relationships. Seeing Eugene’s list up there, reminds me that I might be missing a few components of my daily prayers.
As noted yesterday, when we are born, we are immediately cast into a “web of relationships.” And that continues for our entire lives. There are certainly times when we don’t recognize this, when we feel alone or isolated. When this happens, most “normal” (whatever that means) people will try to do something to rectify that feeling; “call up a neighbor, join a club, write a letter, get married.” These activities help somewhat, but if we do not pray, they don’t help enough. “In prayer and only prayer are we able to enter the complexity and depth of the dynamic and interrelated whole. A failure to pray is not a harmless omission; it is a positive violation of both self and the society.”
Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we’re doing or why, but it’s hard going and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God. Pray that we may be together soon. Hebrews 13:18-19
Father, teach me to pray more in line with this way of thinking. Teach me this complexity of relationships in my life, from my self, to you, to my family, to my friends, to my local church body, to the government, to creation, to the culture around me. I confess that I enjoy being alone too much. Make me more comfortable around people, that I might walk in your kingdom before them, that I might live out the words and life of Jesus Christ in their midst. Help me to walk slowly among people; help me to see them.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.