The call God has placed on his people requires attention and faithfulness, learning and worship, and passionate love and care for what—and whom—God loves. This call requires imagination, and discernment in community, and planning and willingness to step up and into some places that might be new and unfamiliar. It requires time for living together, praying together, working out conflicts together, and keeping faith together that the Holy One of the Long Haul has the map, the destination, and the way forward for the trip of a lifetime well in hand.
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. Thomas Merton
It is fine and right for us to be
good, moral, righteous individuals—
the kind who don’t commit murder—
but there are times when
our private, individual morality
is not enough to meet the demands
of the evils in this world.
We must also be
a good people,
a moral people,
a righteous people
with the collective courage and will
to demand the greater good
for those who live both within and beyond
the walls of our own churches and homes.
It’s always right when we are so sure
that everything will fall apart,
that our God arrives on the scene
and shows us how he—and he alone—
can make all things fall together.
Manna as the sustaining gift of God is food that satisfies a deeper hunger—something stronger than the hunger in our bellies. Manna feeds our hunger to be loved—to be seen and known, to have our suffering recognized and our burdens shared. But more even than that, manna feeds our deeper hunger for the courage and compassion to love others—not with our leftovers, but with our first fruits—with sacrifice.
God has not held his grudge against you.
Who are you to hold your grudge against another?
“The truth is,
I do not know what this hurricane will bring.
I do not know whom it will pass over and whom it will not.
But I do know this.
I know that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ,
and that he is the captain, Lord, and lover of our souls.”
Sometimes the presence of God whispering I will be with you is heard as subtle as a nudge to reach out to someone close by who could use some prayer, or reassurance, or companionship. Sometimes that presence of God is telling us to speak up, to tell the truth, or to seek forgiveness, or to build reconciliation in our lives and in the world. Sometimes the call of the burning bush makes us ask not only Who am I? but Who should I be?
“If I have learned anything about youth ministry
over the past decade,
it’s that youth ministry works best
not when we hire it out,
not when we outsource it,
not when we delegate it to others,
but when we all own it together.”
.Jesus—the Son of God, yet fully human—vulnerable, weary, uncertain, and yes just a bit arrogant, shows the disciples—and all of us—that the deep source of true healing is found in the willingness to be changed.