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Posts Tagged ‘patience’


James: Lessons in Love512px-Bible_paper

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

We have spent several weeks reflecting on James’s letter to the people of his day and to us in our own day. We have spent a number of weeks exploring his themes and sifting through his lessons. Some of our encounters with James make us uncomfortable. We are not always willing to step out of comfort zones and into a newness that tempts but does not guarantee. We are too often content with our harvest of the obvious before us and too often afraid to imagine the harvest of hope that God asks us to undertake.

epistle-of-james-project-590x382Other encounters with James bring a quiet understanding of God’s voice we hear in the precision and honesty of James’ words. We have felt Christ’s presence in the strength of James’ verses. We have been visited by the Spirit as we dwell in the wisdom of these Lessons in Love. Today we take time to gather these teachings and pledge to make them an active influence in our lives.

When we choose a Lesson in Love and decide to live it for the next month in our lives, what new possibility will open for us?

Chapter 1: The Value of Obstacles – the barriers we encounter are lessons in finding our inner strength in God.

Chapter 2: The Value of Balance – the extremes we experience are lessons in learning to balance God’s joy with the difficulties of the world.

JamesChapter 3: The Value of Living Wisely, Justly and Well – our words and actions indicate the quality of our discipleship in Christ.

Chapter 4: The Value of Turmoil – the storms and upheaval we meet are lessons in faith and hope in Christ.

Chapter 5: The Value of Patience – our common practices and plain speech are lessons in love and life in Christ.

And so we pray . . . Wise, Gentle, Balanced, Patient and Loving Jesus, continue to shepherd us as we take on your lessons in love. Speak to us clearly through the words of your servant James. Live in us daily through the power of your redeeming Spirit. Amen. 

james-1We might bookmark and re-visit this post when we are ready to enact another Lesson in Love as shown to us by James.

Tomorrow, our abundant helper . . . 

 

 

For notes on this letter, visit: http://www.usccb.org/bible/james/0

Images from: http://www.readthespirit.com/bookstore/books/ian-flemings-seven-deadlier-sins/more/c1/the-book-of-james-new-testament/ and http://bibledude.net/epistle-of-james-project-wordles/ and http://michaeljkruger.com/why-we-need-the-book-of-james-in-the-new-testament-canon/ and https://www.youracc.org/sermons/faith-perseveres-james-a-faith-to-live-by-11-18/

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James 5:8: Steady and Strong

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Andreas Achenbach: Ships in a Storm on the Dutch Coast

Andreas Achenbach: Ships in a Storm on the Dutch Coast

Wait for your valuable crops to mature as farmers do, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.

God says: I am always steadily at your back to protect you. I am always watching your path and leading you. I lend you my strength when you weary. I carry you on my shoulders when you cannot walk. I lead you beside still waters and I rescue you from overwhelming storms. I have given you gifts that I ask you to watch over and husband. You need not struggle and fight. You need not gather weapons or seek revenge. All you need do is remain steady and strong in me. I will do the rest. Strengthen your hearts for I am already with you.

ship tossedWe might use the scripture link to reflect on other versions of these verses and consider what gifts God has given us, to reflect on how we might be patient as we wait for our gifts to mature, and to remember that we need not fight . . . we need only remain steady and strong in God as the storms of roll over us.


Images from: https://www.art-prints-on-demand.com/a/achenbach-andreas/ships-in-a-storm-on-the-d.html and https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?mediatype=illustration&phrase=ocean+storm

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James 5:7-9: Early and Late Rains

An early spring rain on a window

An early spring rain on a window

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

James speaks to three groups of people in these verses, and all three groups will want to hear his words.

James speaks to those who judge others and speak out against them. If we find ourselves participating in gossip we will want to take care. Even our grumbling is a kind of separation and violence.

A fruitful summer rain

A fruitful summer rain

James also speaks to those who assume that they are in charge of their own plans and future. If we have crafted hopes and dreams with little input from God, we will want to turn back to God. Our arrogance and pride harm our loved ones as much as it harms us.

James finally speaks to those who amass treasure at the expense of others. If we come to understand that our fear for self separates us from God we will want to change our ways. We must soften our hearts and unbend our necks and consider what kinds of wealth we amass at the expense of others. We can hoard much more than silver and gold, and we do well to examine our own stockpiles.

A late and frosty winter rain

A late and frosty winter rain

James reminds us that with God . . . it is never too late to repent. Through God, all harm turns to good. In God, patience and persistence are the work of the Spirit. James advises us that the righteous will eventually flourish, whether the rains that bring the substance for blooming arrive early, on time or even late into our lives.

Tomorrow, patience in suffering.


Images from: http://sacredtouches.com/tag/window-pane/

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Luke 9:10-17: Some Left Over – Part VImultiplication-of-loaves-and-fishes-c-osseman

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Once more we read about this miracle of feeding thousands. Some say that the true miracle was that, moved by Jesus’ words and hunger pangs, the crowd pulled food secreted in pockets that they ordinarily would not have shared. This version of this story rests on several points: 1) those following Jesus were a greedy lot, 2) Jesus’ amazing words that moved the crowd to uncharacteristic sharing have been left out of the six Gospel descriptions of these events, and 3) the crowd not only shared their food but donated their leftovers to some unknown recipients. We might spend a lifetime debating these arguments, or we might instead reflect on the points above in the following way as Luke suggests.

God the Creator gives us far more than we can ever hope to equal. Today we give thanks for God’s immense generosity.

Jesus our Brother offers us an intimate relationship of sustenance that we can never hope to exceed. Today we give thanks for Christ’s redeeming love.

The Holy Spirit brings us an outpouring of healing and consolation that we can never hope to surpass. Today we give thanks for the Spirit’s abiding patience and persistence.

Examining the citation using the scripture link above, we determine to show generosity, love and patience to our sisters and brothers in Christ.

Tomorrow, John’s story of multiplication of generosity, love and patience.


Image from: http://www.tolleetlege.com/meditations/not-enough-gospel-reading-for-the-eighteenth-sunday-in-ordinary-time/

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John 17:1-5: Glory, Part VIII – Unityuniversality

Monday, July 25, 2022

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes for us Unity and Variety (12:1-14); we are accustomed to looking for those characteristics that define as unique.  Today we look at the idea of glory as found in the unity of God’s variety.

Today’s lesson on Glory: The great diversity we find in God’s creation call us to come together in unity through Christ.

It is true that there is great variety in God’s creation and that we are a part of that variety.  It is also true that many of us are uncomfortable when approached by a person or an idea that varies from what we expect or want. Today we read this prayer of Jesus’ in which Jesus intercedes for all — and not some – of the people. So what do we do about those who are not on our invitation lists, in our lunch group or book club, on our street, in our political party or in our church pews? How do we begin to include all of creation that we have not regarded as one with all of us?   When we hear Jesus today, we understand that he glorifies God by obeying God in making this universal call to all.

This is the call to find unity rather than division is one which we must take up and then extend to others.  This is the call that gives glory to the Father. This is the call that we can answer if we reply with the patience, openness, and understanding of Christ.

For this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 

Let us spend time today with Jesus’s words as we consider who and what separates us from God’s glory that calls all to be one in Christ. And let us reflect on our concept of eternal life as described by Jesus.


Adapted from a reflection written on August 17, 2008.

 Image from: http://www.spirituality.org/is/150/editorial.asp or http://www.icsu.org/publications/about-icsu/icsu-universality-of-science-2006

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Sirach 51:7-10: The Mystery of Wisdom – Part Iwisdom-001rumi

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Danger comes in both overt and subtle forms. We may be betrayed by a loved one, a trust may be broken, a sudden grave illness may take over our lives. Yet through all these obstacles, God lovingly abides.

They surrounded me on every side and there was no one to help me . . .

Wisdom lies not in the acquisition of knowledge but in patient and prayerful waiting . . .

I looked for human assistance and there was none . . .

Wisdom comes to us through all of God’s creation, the earth and all she holds . . .

Then I remembered your kindness, O Lord, and your compassion from of old . . .

God always speaks to us, sometimes as a whisper on the wind and at other times as a voice in the maelstrom . . .

For you rescue those who wait for you, and save them from the hand of their enemies . . .

God promises to abide, rescue, heal and transform . . .

And begged for rescue from death . . .  

And God always keeps this promise for with God, all things are possible. This is the mystery of patiently waiting on wisdom. It brings us to eternal life, and saves us from the darkness of death.

Tomorrow, wisdom as relationship.


Click on the image above to learn more about the mystical poet Rumi who was born in 1207 in what is Afghanistan today.  He wrote over 60,00 poems that are collected in MASNAWI. 

Enter the word Wisdom in the blog search bar and reflect on how and where and when we most often encounter her loving hand. 

 

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Matthew 8:23-27: Stilling the Storm

James Seward: Peace, be Still

James Seward: Peace! Be Still!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

We say: Lord, we are perishing!

Jesus says: Why are you afraid?

God says: You and I have spoken about the storms of life so frequently – nearly every day – yet still I am willing to hear you again cry out for my help. And I am willing to give my help to you. I know that the circumstances of the world frighten you; yet I ask for your patience and courage. I know that the troubles of the world alarm you; yet I ask for your perseverance and fidelity. I know that the anxieties of the world panic you; yet I ask for your mercy and kindness. I know that the injustices of the world anger you; yet I ask for your confidence and love. When I calm the storm I calm you. When I ask for stillness I ask for your open heart. When I ask for love I ask for your full and abiding presence in me. Practice this when you are not distressed and you will see how natural this becomes in the way you interact with others. And you will find that a new peace and tranquility abide within. You will find that the approaching storm will roll over you to leave you unscathed. And you will have stilled the storm within.


For a musical reflection on Peace! Be Stillby Seward, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DSYtYdjsbA

Find your former self in Seward’s painting . . . look for your new self in Christ.

For a reflection on fear, click on the image above or visit: http://www.shellyduffer.com/tag/jesus-calms-the-storm/

Enter the word storm into the blog search bar, think about how we react to crisis or strife, and decide to hand over the storm within to the one who calms all storms.

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Matthew 5:5: The MeekPsalm-37-11

Easter Monday, April 18, 2022

On this Easter Monday we continue our reflection on the Beatitudes as we re-focus our attention on God’s priorities rather than our own.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Perhaps patience is the quality we most need if we are to be humble servants. Patience in our understanding that we are not in charge. Patience in our knowing that it is God’s wisdom and grace that answers our deepest questions. Patience in allowing God’s fidelity and mercy to invade all that we do. Patience in both giving and accepting God’s healing love. Psalm 27 reminds us what we gain when we are able to wait. These verses bring into focus what it is we inherit, and why the land in which the Spirit dwells is worth our offering of meekness.

Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear . . .

On this Easter Monday we celebrate God’s strength . . .

Though war arise against me, I shall be confident . . .

We celebrate God’s hope . . .

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living . . .

We celebrate God’s gift of eternal life and love . . .  

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage . . .

We celebrate God’s gift of promise . . .

Yes, wait for the Lord . . .

We celebrate God’s gift of persistence.

2012042151empty_tombWhen our quiet strength rises from God we have no need to boast or strut. When our simple humility follows the example of Christ we have no need to exclude or divide. When our genuine meekness grows in the Spirit of God we have no need to hate or avenge. Let us wait on the Lord, let us give thanks for God’s presence, and let us celebrate the patience we inherit that offers us the gift of God’s meekness.

Using the scripture links, explore different versions of these verses and give thanks for our inheritance of meekness.

Tomorrow, the merciful. 


Images from: http://eagleviews.org/2011/10/14/they-say-he-said/ and http://flowers-kid.com/easter-empty-tomb-images.htm

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Habakkuk 2:3-4: The Delayimpatienceordivineanticipationb1

First Sunday in Lent, March 6, 2022

In this Lenten season, we witness to the presence of Christ in our daily routine. In this time of introspection, we welcome the Spirit into the temple of our hearts. In this time of healing and re-making, we thank God for the gifts of grace and mercy and patience. In this time of transformation, we come to understand the essence of our Lenten delay.

If it delays, wait for it . . .

Like small children, we want all our woes and anxieties resolved within seconds of their borning; like small children we must learn that waiting in joyful anticipation brings the gift of wisdom.

It will surely come . . .

Like energetic teenagers, we easily slip into the thinking that the multiverse holds us at its center; like energetic teenagers we reluctantly admit that our way is not always God’s way.

It will not be late . . .

Like impatient adults, we ask the world to move at our singular command; like impatient adults we come to see that the common good is more valuable in God’s eyes than our individual desire.

The rash one has no integrity . . .

In our Lenten journey we come to understand – if we are open – that God is present in misery just as in joy.

But the just one, because of faith, will live . . .

In our Lenten passage we come to know – if we are open – that God’s delay is part of God’s plan.

As we move through this second full week of Lent, let us take all of our impatience and anxiety, all of our anger and frustration to the one who mends and heals all wounds. And let us – like Jesus – make a willing sacrifice of our waiting as we anticipate in joyful hope God’s fulfillment of our great delay.


Image from: http://vividlife.me/ultimate/6328/impatience-or-divine-anticipation/

Enter the word Habakkuk into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on the wisdom brought to us through the words of this prophet.

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