June 4, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for June 4, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Being Clothed in Christ”

Being a believer means being clothed in Christ. Paul says, ‘Every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” (Galatians 3:26) and “Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13: 14). This being ”clothed in Christ” is much more than wearing a cloak that covers our misery. It refers to a total transformation that allows us to say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me” (Galatians 2:20).

Thus, we are the living Christ in the world. Jesus, who is God-made-flesh, continues to reveal himself in our own flesh. Indeed, true salvation is becoming Christ.

This prayer comes to us from Rev. Ben Roberts, Associate Pastor of Social Justice at Foundry UMC, Washington, DC.

A Prayer While Wandering In the Desert

Loving God: you held your people as they wandered the desert. You provided when the landscape changed, and the familiar felt distant. You are God who is unchanging in time of rapid change. Your love is without end, your grace is without end, your mercy is without end. Your arm of protection and guidance is without end. We lift all who carry a sense of fear or anxiety today. Provide for us a vision of your promise to be our God even in the fog of confusion. Grant this world clarity, so that we never forget our duty and call to love one another. Help us as we reach out in new ways. We lift up those who have no home in which to rest. We lift up those for whom more time at home is a danger unto itself. We lift first responders, social workers, and our hospitals as we all move into new ways of caring for one another. Be in these days as a reminder that distance is not absence, and that life-giving water still flows from you. 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 excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” written in August 1963.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the
myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Return of Dad Joke

What’s the advantage of living in Switzerland? (Well, the flag is a big plus.)

Why to scuba divers fall backward into the water? (Because if they fell forward they’d still be in the boat.)

Q. Did I tell you about the time I worked in a shoe recycling shop? A. It was sole destroying.

Today’s links! 

https://www.brusselstimes.com/all-news/belgium-all-news/114806/belgian-man-has-been-receiving-pizzas-he-never-ordered-for-years/A 65-year-old man in Flanders says he is “losing sleep” because he has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for nearly a decade, sometimes several times a day.

https://www.inspiremore.com/jacquerae-hill-and-doug-parker/ JacqueRae Hill, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, noticed that one of the passengers boarding her flight was carrying a copy of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, which explores why white people have a tough time talking about racism. When she had a spare minute, JacqueRae sat down in the otherwise empty row next to the passenger and struck up a conversation. Read what happened here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/ Sandi Morris, an Olympic pole vaulter, needed a place to train, so she and her father built one— with a lot of help. Follow the link, and you’ll find both an article and video.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/may/27/corner-of-minnesota-thats-there-by-mistake-northwest-angle-us-canadaIf you think New Athens is out of the way, read about the Northwest Angle, a tiny piece of Minnesota that can only be reached by going through Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4jU8IQK5b0How about a little jazz? Listen as Louie Armstrong and Billie Holiday perform “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” Don’t like jazz? Then let’s close with “Just a Closer Walk” sung by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOKaircCiGI


Sunday worship at 9 AM, with “Doughnut room” time starting at 8:30 AM. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/815064120, Meeting ID: 815 064 120 Dial in to participate at +1 312 626 6799.


Foyer painting project continues today starting at around 4 PM

Stay safe and stay well!