June 1, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for June 1, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Jesus Is In the World, But Not of It”

The Beatitudes offer us a self-portrait of Jesus. At first it might seem to be a most unappealing portrait—who wants to be poor, mourning, and persecuted? Who can be truly gentle, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, and always concerned about justice? Where is the realism here? Don’t we have to survive in this world and use the ways of the world to do so?

Jesus shows us the way to be in the world without being of it. When we model our lives on his, a new world will open up for us. The Kingdom of Heaven will be ours, and the earth will be our inheritance. We will be comforted and have our fill; mercy will be shown to us. Yes, we will be recognized as God’s children and truly see God, not just in an afterlife but here and now (see Matthew 5:3-10). That is the reward of modeling our lives on the life of Jesus!

This prayer for healing comes from the Iona Community:

From deep within our being we call upon you, God, for through you all can be made whole. Hear us as we raise to heaven our concerns for the people of earth. We pray for those who cry out in physical pain or who suffer silently and who long for the healing that human hands alone cannot offer. We pray for those who suffer mental anguish, who worry, feel anxiety, fear the future, who at night cry, “I wish to God it were morning,’ and in the morning cry, “I wish to God it were night’. We pray for those who mourn who grieve the loss of love or a loved one, and for those who know within themselves, or see in others, a loss of ability or agility, a loss of choice or independence, or a dimming of the light. We pray for those who are near death, or fear death, and for those who have made the last journey from life to greater life. We pray for communities in which people deal with disaster, terror, or pandemic, hunger or poverty, not knowing how or when their misery will end. We remember those who are victimized because of their race, background, or history, because of their gender or sexuality, because they are different; and for all who are abused, abandoned, or degraded. Loving Jesus, your hands are strong to hold and heal, to wipe away tears and protect in danger. So, hear our prayers. Protect all those who care for our safety and bless all those who continue your holy work of healing in clinics, hospitals, and hospices, through online counselling and around kitchen tables. We ask these things for the good of your world and in your strong name. Bless the heads that bow, the hands that touch, the hearts that hope. Bring healing; bring peace. Amen.

As Christians, we cannot condone violence, bloodshed, and looting, nor can we support a system that relegates someone to second class citizenship because of the color of his or her skin. Here’s an example from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” written in August 1963.

I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist.

 Was not Jesus an extremist in love? —”Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.”

 Was not Amos an extremist for justice? —”Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

 Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ? —”I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

 Was not Martin Luther an extremist? —”Here I stand; I can do no other so help me God.”  Was not John Bunyan an extremist? —”I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a mockery of my conscience.”

 Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist? —”This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.”

 Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist? —”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

So, the question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremists we will be.

Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love?

Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?

Today’s links! 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/whatever-you-do-do-not-eat-touch-or-even-inhale-the-air-around-the-manchineel-treeThis tree deserves to always be kept at a safe distance—quarantine or not.

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/824001085/tips-from-someone-with-50-years-of-social-distancing-experience Looks like social distancing will be with us for a while. Here are some clues of how to make it through from someone who’s been doing it for almost 50 years—Billy Barr, the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colo.

https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2020/04/vadim-solovyov-giant-wildlife/Russian artist Vadim Solovyov likes to imagine what it would be like if giant animals roamed city streets. Here’s a link to some of his mind-blowing work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGp_ttF8fb4Take a trip across American in minute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS2aEfbEi7sWatch Lou Costello divide 28 by 7.

Sunday worship at 9 AM, with “Doughnut room” time starting at 8:30 AM.


Meeting ID: 815 064 120

Dial in to participate at +1 312 626 6799.

Wednesday Bible Study, 7 PM We’ll be covering Acts 10 and 11 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85431227316 Meeting ID: 854 3122 7316

Stay safe and stay well!