WHEN YOU TRUST CHRIST as a source of light, he gives direction one step at a time. This can be frustrating, especially if you need to know where your steps will take you. However, if life is a journey and not a destination, then Christ determines “there.” It makes things easier. You don’t have to worry about where you’ll end up. You can focus on following directions.
Maybe that direction will be to take a step of reconciliation in a relationship. That may be an intimidating prospect. What if the other person is not receptive? What if your action makes things worse? We can’t know. We can’t see the end of the path, just the next steps
JESUS PRAYED that we might be one.
One in spirit
One in mission
In union and communion with each other and with you.
Today, God, we confess fumblings and failures in accomplishing unity, as we set aside yet another day to remind ourselves of the task. On this World Communion Sunday, give us eyes to recognize your reflection in the eyes of Christians everywhere. Give us a mind to accept and celebrate our differences. Give us a heart big enough to love your children everywhere. We thank you for setting a table with space enough for us all! Amen.
DEAR GOD, I do not sail calm seas. I am driven by tempests of emotion. Help me to harness these to the purposes of your kingdom, for unharnessed they drive me to the rocks upon which both I and my relationship with you are broken. I surrender myself and my emotions to you. Amen.
– E. Stanley Jones
WE DON’T ALWAYS think of praying for those locked in a dispute. When we hear that a brother is divorcing or two friends aren’t speaking, we may get caught up in taking sides. Instead we can lift them up to God, sending each one love and strength in the Spirit.
Such prayers might go something like this:
May the wisdom of the Spirit be with each of you.
May your hearts be open to the grace of healing.
O God, our refuge, protect and guide them.
God of love, show them the way to love.
Prayer addresses the helplessness we feel when relationships seem to be unraveling. Each time we hear more of the pain and impasse, we can take the matter to prayer once again.
– Kathleen Fischer
GOD IS WITH US behind our defensive walls, our locked doors. The doors are not kicked in, nor are the walls and masks torn away. God understands that our walls and masks grew from our pain and fear, from traumas that affected our ability to trust. In time the doors themselves will be healed, and our masks will become living flesh again when we realize we no longer need them for our survival. But in the meantime, the healing love shines in our defended darkness, and God’s Holy Spirit is breathed upon us.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
O GOD, sometimes I think you have forgotten me;
sometimes my faith becomes very small.
Please remind me that you have not abandoned me,
for your faithfulness never changes.
Help me to wait with patience
and to trust that all time is in your hand.
– Elizabeth J. Canham
“Our Lord’s teaching can be summed up in this: the relationship that He demands for us is an impossible one unless He has done a supernatural work in us. Jesus Christ demands that His disciple does not allow even the slightest trace of resentment in his heart when faced with tyranny and injustice. No amount of enthusiasm will ever stand up to the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His servant. Only one thing will bear the strain, and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself— a relationship that has been examined, purified, and tested until only one purpose remains and I can truly say, “I am here for God to send me where He will.” Everything else may become blurred, but this relationship with Jesus Christ must never be.” ~ Oswald Chambers