Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘God saves’


Monday, June 29, 2020

eph-3_18-web[1]Marking God’s Presence

Psalm 121:3-8

God will not permit your foot to stumble; God who guards you will not fall asleep.  Indeed, the one who guards Israel never slumbers, never sleeps.  The Lord serves as your guardian.  God is at your right hand to serve as your shade.  The sun will not strike you during the day, nor the moon during the night.  The Lord will protect you against all evil; God will watch over your life.  The Lord will watch over your coming and your going both now and forevermore. 

We know that the pagan gods sleep.  Our God does not.  We know that the pagan gods mock and deceive humankind.  Our God does not.  We know that the pagan gods care more about themselves than they do the mortals whose lives they control.  Our God does not.

God says: I love you more than you can imagine.  My heart aches when you are sad.  I grieve when you suffer in any way.  I rejoice when you laugh.  When the deserts of life wear you down I want to shelter you in my shade.  When evil prowls its earthly domain I am ever alert to warn and protect you.  I mark your lying down and your rising.  I mark your going out and coming in.  I mark your tears and your laughter.  I mark all . . . because you are all to me.

It is too easy to forget that God is constantly with us.  We too quickly plan our day and leave God out of our activities.  We too often act as if we must protect and save ourselves.  When we mark our days with little “God appointments” . . . we also mark God’s presence . . . and we remember that to God, we are all.


To explore how to best mark God’s presence in our lives, type God Time in the blog search bar and examine your day in a new way.

Tomorrow, retreating from the world for a little time . . .

Image from: http://godsabundantblessings.com/

Read Full Post »


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sirach 51: Canticle of Thanksgiving

JIM-give-thanks[1]When we feel as though we are about to slip into the abyss, when it seems as though we have nowhere to turn, there is one place we can always find comfort.  No matter how many times we visit this book of wisdom written by Jesus ben Sirach it always feels new.  As we linger among these verses of the last chapter, we might pause to add the details of our own lives amidst the ancient words.  In so doing, we move from darkness into light, from our own timeline to God’s.  We may even end each phrase with the details of our own journey to God.  Again, we find that the faithful do not need to fight.  They must be willing to do one thing . . . to refuse to take any action that will separate them from their God . . . and be willing to wait for the harvest to arrive . . . in due season.

Dear God,

You have saved me from death, and kept my body from the pit . . .

You have delivered me, in your great mercy, from the scourge of a slanderous tongue, and from lips that went over to falsehood . . .

You have delivered me from deceiving lips and painters of lies, from the arrows of dishonest tongues . . .

I turned every way, but there was no one to help me, I looked for one to sustain me, but could find no one . . .

But then I remembered the Lord . . .

So I raised my voice from the very earth . . .

I called out . . .

“You are my champion . . .

“Do not abandon me . . .

“I will ever praise your name and be in constant prayer to you . . .

He preserved me in time of trouble . . .

I sought wisdom . . .

She came to me in her beauty . . .

My feet kept to the level path . . .

I became resolutely devoted to her . . .

My whole being was stirred as I learned about her . . .

And Wisdom replies:

Come aside to me, you untutored, and take up lodging in the house of instruction.  How long will you be deprived of wisdom’s food, how long will you endure such bitter thirst? 

Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching.  For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her.

Let your spirits rejoice in the mercy of God, and be not ashamed to give him praise in due season, and in his own time God will give you your reward.

And we respond: So be it!  Amen!


IMage from: http://www.thedesertreview.com/give-thanks/jim-give-thanks/

First written on November 3, 2008.  Revised and posted today as a Favorite.

Read Full Post »


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Jestin Xavier: Journey in the Desert

Joshua 24:17: It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes.  He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.

There are many deserts in our lives and many places of captivity.  They sap our strength.

There are many signs that God performs in his love for us.  They bring us hope.

There are many protected journeys on which God shepherds us. We travel safely thorough enemy nations.

God says:  I bring you out of the desert because I love you dearly.  I perform great signs and wonders for you because I cherish you deeply.  I make a way for you through dangerous places because I want to accompany you.  I protect you in each day’s journey because I want to abide with you.  I myself have brought you out of arid places to a fertile place where you will flourish.  I have great plans in mind for you.  I want to free you from that binds you and keeps you from celebrating your freedom in joy with me.

When we feel trapped in our lives, we must ask God for freedom.

When we face insurmountable obstacles in our daily journey, we must ask God to make a way for us.

When we fear for our safety and fret over the enemies who will take us captive, we must ask God for protection.

Enter the word Egypt into the blog search box for more reflections on making a journey with God’s protection, or go to the Journeys of  Transformation page and consider making a journey this coming week-end.


A re-post from August 31, 2012.

Read Full Post »


Psalm 79War

Friday, December 14, 2018

A re-post from November 11, 2011.

Today is Veteran’s Day and the birthday of my littlest granddaughter who lost her sister a few short weeks ago.  I read this Psalm and think of death as we understand it – the loss of one we love – and I wonder . . .

Help us, O God, our Savior . . .

Today is also the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, a soldier who converted to Christianity and gave up the world of physical violence to enter into a spiritual life that in many ways looks much like war.  As St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12-13: Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.  Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.  From the MAGNIFICAT Mini-reflection: Saint Martin translated his long military career into a campaign of spiritual warfare against the paganism and the temptations to worldly wealth which threatened the people of the Church he served as monk and bishop.  I think of evil spirits in the heavens, and warfare and death and St. Martin and I wonder . . .

May your mercy come quickly to meet us for we are in desperate need . . .

Paul writes to the Corinthians and to us in today’s Morning Prayer: The weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses.  (2 Corinthians 10:4)  I think about how we may not recognize our own paganism, our own violence, our own falling away from God, and I wonder . . .

Help us, O God, our Savior . . .

Good women and men step forward when times are dark.  God never leaves our side when circumstances extinguish hope.  I think about warfare of all kinds and I wonder . . .

May your mercy come quickly to meet us for we are in desperate need . . .

I call upon the God who suffers with us, who abides with us, and who heals all wounds and violations shot through the faithful by the pagans who invade their inheritance, who breach the temple gates and defile holy places, and I wonder . . .

Help us, O God, our Savior . . .


Images from: http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/11/10/veterans-day/ 

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Mini-Reflection.” MAGNIFICAT. 11 November 2011: 145. Print.

Read Full Post »


Ezekiel 24:15-27Destruction

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The first 40 books of this prophesy are written predicting the doom and fall  of Jerusalem; and Ezekiel was mocked for believing that the impregnable Jerusalem – jealously guarded by Yahweh – would fall to the pagans.  History reminds us that in 597 B.C.E. Nebuchadnezzar and his troops swarmed into the city and violated the temple, sacking it, killing the Jewish soldiers, taking Jewish captives and carting off all that had value to Babylon.  The Jewish nation had lived too long in false security, thinking for too long that they were unbeatable as a kingdom . . . invincible as a nation . . . indestructible as a people.  They had not understood that it was their own actions that threatened their safety rather than the foreign troops.  Their refusal to adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Mosaic Law had left them vulnerable.

It is too often that as humans we do not realize our lack of understanding until we lose what we hold most dear; that is why there is something recognizable in the eyes of a fellow mourner that tells us when our sadness is truly felt by another.  It is impossible to counterfeit soul-wrenching mourning . . . nothing deceives those who have lost . . . those who have grieved.  Like the witnesses to Ezekiel’s dumbness and numbness, we cannot empathize with grief or sorrow until we ourselves have experienced deep loss.  This is human nature, for it is not until we exit from mourning that we find ourselves immutably changed.  After exile, we forever recognize honest grieving when we see it.  We do not fully and totally take in the fugitive . . . until we are bereft of all we know.

In today’s reading, we see Ezekiel’s stalwart attempt to obey Yahweh.  We watch his effort to hide his grief.  We cannot take our eyes from the drama of his transformation because somehow we understand that from this day forward the Diaspora will believe his predictions, will begin to heed his words, will try to put away their pride and anger . . . will learn to leave themselves open to the healing redemption of their God.

Ezekiel is eventually vindicated, but not until the nation has begun their northward journey into the unknown.  Ezekiel suffers great loss, but in so doing he opens himself to his mourning people . . . and accompanies them into exile.

When we find ourselves on our knees with no where lower to sink . . . we must listen for the voice that says to us . . . All sanctuaries are desecrated . . . yet you are my favored one . . . the one I send to my people . . . to accompany them in their exile. 

God turns all harm to good.  God heals, saves, and redeems.  God asks us to enter into the miracle of transforming the destruction with him, to join in the healing.  When God calls us, we must respond.  When we are sent as ministers to his flock, we must go.  When the walls of the city are impregnated and the temple gold is taken, rather than wrapping ourselves in deep mourning, let us keep our sandals on our feet, leave our turbans on our heads . . . and leave behind the pride of our hearts.  We are called to enter into a fugitive life to live for a time in which we find our sole sustenance in God.  For by this sign, the lost sheep will know that God is with them.


A re-post from October 15, 2011.

Image from: http://www.biblesearchers.com/yahshua/passovertrial/cosmicdrama.shtml

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: