Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I was reading some devotions that Kim's grandfather wrote towards the end of his life. He was reflecting on Ephesians 3:19 which speaks about being filled with the fullness of God. Amazing that Paul prays that we would be filled with the fullness of God, this God whom the universe can't contain somehow by love can be filled in us.

Kim's grandfather wrote on that theme and then wrote that after he goes to bed he thinks about this verse and what is means for Jesus to all in all. For no self to remain and only for Christ to dwell in us. Then he wrote that he thirsts for that. Here is a man who sought and served the Lord his whole life and in his early eighties lays in bed thirsting to be filled with Christ more fully. Wow. I am moved to tears as I reflect on this. I long to have the same thirst in my life for Christ to all in all.

I am inspired by this man of faith and I am thankful for his witness in my life.

Prayers for Worship Sunday June 28th

These are inspired by Mark 5:21-43

Jesus, we don’t want to be of one of the crowd who sees you but doesn’t touch you. Help us to step out of comfort zone and touch you. Let our touch be a life giving touch like the suffering woman in the gospel. We desperately need the change only you can bring.

Leader: Gracious Lord Jesus,

Men: You are the hope for our lost and broken world. We look to you for healing and hope. We know that life is found in you and so we trust you with our lives.

Women: You said that we, Messiah Lutheran Church, are your body in the world. You said that we are light in the darkness. Heal any divisions within our congregation. Bring any bickering or petty fighting to an end so that we can better live out our calling to be a light to the Auburn communities.

Men: Your world is torn and broken. People are starving. Murder is too common. Exploitation of the weak and powerless runs unchecked. Change us so that we are not part of the problem. Make us part of the solution. Let it be known that in Christ there is freedom, love and justice.

Women: Thank you for your blessings. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for joy. Thank you for this congregation. Thank you for love. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Leader: We ask from you for your grace, care and love for those we name out loud or in the silence of our hearts……

Leader: Into you we entrust these prayers because we love you and trust you. Amen.

As we give you this financial offering let it be a symbol of our whole lives given to you. Multiply these gifts for you glory. Use this money and our lives to bring the good news of Jesus to our community.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


For your love we praise you.

For the way you look on us with greater love than we will ever know we adore you.

For not leaving us where we are but uniting us with Christ we worship you.

For the forgiveness as present as the air we breath we give you glory.

Lord, you are so worthy of all praise, glory and honor yet our words seem so little and inadequate. We know that you delight in our praise and worship and so today we worship you.

We worship you with all that we are and all that we wish we were not.

We worship you with our spiritual insights and our spiritual blindness.

We worship you with our moral victories and moral failures.

We worship you in all our humanity because it is our humanity that you created, and it was into our humanity that you were incarnate and it was into our humanity that you were raised and promised to raise us with you.

It is our joy to love you and it is our greater joy to be loved by you.

Abba, we love you.

Jesus, we love you.

Spirit, we love you.


Sometimes I think we forget how connected we are to each other. It is easy to isolate ourselves. The reality of the matter is that we are deeply connected with each other. We need each other. Paul describes us as different members of the same body. This body is the body of Christ, we are united to each other and more importantly we are united to Christ.

Part of the call of Christian community is to help us understand who we are in Christ and who we are in the community, they are separate yet related realities. To do this we need to spend time with Christ and with each other on a more intimate level. We have to get by the superficial prayers and the superficial conversations with each other. We need to get to the place of honesty with God and with each other.

The key is to build our lives on the truth of God in Christ and the truth of God in community and God in the world. Then we can relate to each other in a more authentic life giving way. Isolation breeds sin and hatred. Community builds love...

Have you been honest with God about who you are? Doing this will help develop your integration of forgiveness and humility..

Do you have another person you can be honest with about who you are? Someone who loves you and will speak the truth in love and walk with you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I am becoming more convinced that much of the work of Christian communities is to help people discover their belovedness and to begin to heal the wounds that life has created.

A gift of the spiritual life is the ability to see with the eye of heart. Paul speaks about the eyes of the heart being enlightened in Ephesians. So often the eyes of the heart are closed and we fail to see who we really are and who our neighbor really is. So many people today suffer from a poor sense of self or they base their sense of self on their performance, achievements, job, family or health. These things can be taken away and when they are one can lose who they "are" and sink into despair or depression.

When the eyes of heart are closed we judge ourselves and others based on the values of the world and not on who we are in Christ. Paul prays for the Ephesians in chapter three that they may comprehend the love of Christ. He wants them to really "see" who they are and how the world really works.

When we begin to "see" who we are in Christ then we will begin to understand how precious, beautiful, and unique we are. We will begin to be liberated from the bondage to our false judgments of ourselves and others. We will begin to understand how tender and gentle God is with us in our frailties and weakness.

Opening the eyes of the heart is not something we can achieve, we can only receive this gift. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our spiritual practices are to help us be in a place to receive that which has been prepared for us all along. One of the best things we can do is simply to slow down and create spaces in our lives for stillness, powerlessness and trust.

Entering the spiritual life is about trusting God and trusting that God knows what we need, when we need it. Our goal is not ourselves but to simply come and give our attention and consent to the One who created all, redeemed all and is sustaining all.

Jean Vanier

Last night we read from Jean Vanier's book "Encountering the Other". I thought I would put a link to his website.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I was talking with a friend today about an MS fund raising ride they are doing in the fall. Knowing that I like to cycle they asked me if I was going to try to ride in the event. I said I would like to do but didn't know how my body would be in the fall. I have learned a new appreciation for the now. I feel less guaranteed about the future and so I am learning more deeply to enjoy now.

There is a lesson in this for all of us. You don't have to have a chronic illness to begin to appreciate the now. So often we feel like life will be better someday, when something happens to make it that way. While we are thinking about the future, we are missing the now.

Jesus says the kingdom of God is available now, that eternity breaks into the now. He also says that God will care for us in the future. Live now.

One of the great ways to cultivate living in the now is by being looking around at things in your life you can be thankful for and give thanks. Cultivating gratefulness is a powerful spiritual practice.

What are you thankful for?