FOR FAITH TO GROW, we must be open and listening to God through scripture, prayer, worship, music, nature, people, and the circumstances of our lives. Then we must be obedient to God’s will and direction for us as we discern them. True Christian faith leads us to involvement with others and sensitivity to their needs.
DRAW ASIDE tonight and look up to the heavens. You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to pray. Think about the vastness of the universe, the way in which God set each star and planet in its place. Listen. Look. Marvel. Make time for silence and solitude. As you behold the glory of creation, be reminded that it is this Creator God who is journeying with you. . . . What is God saying in your spirit?
Almighty God, when I look to the heavens, I know that you are much bigger than I can imagine. At times our troubles seem so big.
Holy Spirit, remind me of your awesome power. Allow me to hear the gentle voice of God speaking to me in moments of quiet. Amen.
- Wessel Bentley
FIVE SIMPLE WORDS expressed by and to a dying person can mean more than any others. Saying thank you can bring joy and peace to dying persons and their caregivers. Sitting by the bedside of a dying person is an expression of gratitude for what that person means to you. Then a dying person can express his or her appreciation to caregivers saying two words, “Thank you.” Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
It is also the time to say I love you. … Some people can say the words “I love you” to their loved ones. Others cannot. Yet when the end of a relationship seems imminent, no other words mean more. Saint John of the Cross said it well, “In the evening of life we will be judged on love alone.”
- Richard L. Morgan
TODAY WILL HOLD INTERRUPTIONS. We can count on it. Let’s ask God to give us eyes to see these interruptions as opportunities the way Jesus did.
The diversion could be an opportunity to stop and be present with someone else. The unwelcome intrusion might be an opening to experience life rather than rush through it. The interruption may be a chance to hear from God.
God, remind us today that you are present with us. When we are interrupted, help us to see how you are working and how you might use us to show your love and light. Amen.
- Jacob Armstrong
Make me worthy, Lord, to serve you and all the world’s people who live and die in loneliness, hunger, poverty, and sickness. Give them through my hands this day their daily bread, and by my love, give them peace and joy.
–Rueben P. Job & Norman Shawchuck
THE NEXT TIME you face a challenge or difficult decision for which you seek God’s guidance, try this. Every morning get up 20 or 30 minutes earlier than normal. Go to a quiet place where you can be alone.
Light a candle. Quiet yourself before God for a few minutes and then thank God for being present with you, as symbolized by that light. Then give thanks for blessings in your life. This practice builds confidence that no matter what the challenge you face, there are still blessings to celebrate.
Now, make your request known. State your challenge and what you need. After that ask, “Dear Lord, how can I honor you in this situation?” Pause. Be still. See what comes to you.
Don’t process the thoughts. Don’t contend with how you will carry out any idea that comes or what that idea might require. Just let the thoughts come. Write them down. Keep a pad and pencil nearby.
do this over several days and see what repeating themes or actions emerge. Once you sense some direction, ask God to show you the next step. Don’t make seeing the end of the path the goal, just knowing the next step.
- Rob Fuquay
GRACIOUS LORD, you are the Bread of Life,
who provides for all my needs
and satisfies the deepest longing of my heart;
graft me into the very center of your great tree of life;
feed me, nourish me,
and care for me like a tender vine
that I might grow into Christ in all things. Amen.
- Paul Wesley Chilcote