Saturday, March 5, 2016

Words of Inspiration for Early March

Since 2002 or 2003, I have been used Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent as part of my morning devotion/prayer for Lent. It's a devotional book that takes passages from Henri Nouwen's work and weaves them together.  What's interesting is that I have underlined passages through the years.  Those passages still speak to me.

But what's more interesting:  the new passages that leap out at me.  Here's what I underlined this morning:  "Our conflicts and pains, our tasks and promises, our families and friends, our activities and projects, our hopes and aspirations, no longer appear to us as a fatiguing variety of things which we can barely keep together rather as affirmations and revelations of the new life of the Spirit in us.  'All these other things,' which so occupied and preoccupied us, now come as gifts or challenges that strengthen and deepen the new life which we have discovered" (p. 78).

Nouwen goes on to stress that our new life doesn't mean that we have no problems, no pain.  Indeed, we may have more.  But our outlook is different.
I also have to record a Facebook post from my pastor, Pastor Keith Spencer, another inspiration this morning:

"The end does not justify the means for Christians - for those who follow in the way of Jesus, the means are everything for the end is always in Christ and through Christ and leads us to the cross. The Way of Jesus is the way of the soft and humble heart, the servant heart, the hopeful heart.
We can always navigate the fear and hate that surround us as they attempt to blind us to the Way of Jesus by holding fast to the one who calls us to love those we hate. Once love has left the conversation, so has Jesus."

That last sentence took my breath away--what a great way to remember what our priorities should be, especially in a political season.

My pastor wrote that passage as part of his sermon prep for tomorrow.  We'll be exploring 1 Kings 11:  26-40.  If you'd like to join us, we have services with a traditional sermon time at 8:30 and 11:00, plus an interactive service at 9:45:  Trinity Lutheran Church at 72nd and Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines, FL.

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