Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mary Oliver's Poem "Praying"

It doesn’t have to be

The blue iris, it could be

Weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

Small stones; just

Pay attention, then patch

A few words together and don’t try

To make them elaborate, this isn’t

A contest but the doorway

Into thanks, and a silence in which

Another voice may speak.

A Gospel Jesus Would Preach

“A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is this?” - Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You're The Message!

I was reading in Paul’s first letter to the Christ followers at Thessalonica this morning. A couple of things jumped off the page at me. These followers were living out their faith with convictions of “steel”, which was put there by the Holy Spirit. I think that is very cool. I like the fact that God in us gives us that kind of strength and resolve to live our faith boldly in a society who for the most part does not get it. A conviction of steel would be difficult to break or destroy. It is very hard and does not give very much. With that, we can go boldly in the directions He leads us, knowing nothing is going to break us. I take comfort in that.

The second thing that I observed was the idea of the living message. In the first chapter, Paul tells these guys that he doesn’t even have to witness about this group anymore because they are living out their faith so powerfully that they have become the message (the gospel). They are the good news in their communities just by how they live their lives. The word is out. These guys are living out the love of Jesus daily, and that kind of living radiates outward from us, and spreads to others. What the others do with it is another topic. Our takeaway is to “be the message”.

So, how about it my brothers and sisters? How are we doing this day? Do we feel and believe with our convictions of steel? Are we running hard after Jesus? Do those around us sense and observe the living message in our lives?

Happy Sunday! Be the living message today, with your Holy Spirit created convictions of steel! Live Love Loud.

Relational Tithe

Weird ?