Tag Archives: Good News

only when necessary

st francis of assisi:

One of the messages scrolling across the digital signboard of Forest Road United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia proclaims:

“Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read.”

Hopefully, the message those people read is one of faithfulness and love, where the grace and compassion of Christ is freely given and available to all.

a prayer for Advent

This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.

Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen

a prayer for a world without poverty

I Dare to Pray For A World without Poverty

I dare to pray: Lord, let the world be changed,
For I long to see the end of poverty;
I dare to pray: Lord, let the rules be changed,
For I long to see our economic structures bring justice to the poor;
I dare to pray: Lord, let my life be changed,
For I long to bring hope where the Good News is needed.

In the strength of your spirit
And inspired by your compassion,
I make this promise to work for change,
And wait confidently for the day
When you make all things new
And those that weep will rejoice.

Peter Graystone

a prayer for more compassion

Father,

We love you this morning. And we come before you with praise and thanksgiving for all the mercy and love you have poured out upon us. Your grace is beyond comprehension, and daily sustains us.

Help us this morning to open ourselves more fully to all you have for us. Help us to joyfully share the good news of your love with those around us. Grant us more compassion. Empower each of us through your Holy Spirit to reach out to a poor and starving world, that your grace and mercy might truly reach all in need.

Allow our hearts to be softened by the tears of the poor and hungry that our response might more clearly reflect the love and compassion of the Christ. And in everything that we undertake, may it move our world closer to the kingdom where your justice reigns for all.  Amen

at the feet of the Church

We live in a world blessed by a loving Creator, a world well able to supply all the needs of the human family. That any should lack daily bread is nothing less than sinful. Every malnourished child in our world bears eloquent testimony to the complete lack of Christian values held by our society. I lay this at the feet of the Church.

Why? We have failed to give ourselves on behalf of the poor and hungry, We have failed in our basic purpose of testifying to the Kingdom. We have failed to care.

To be honest (always difficult in the Church), we have actually served to legitimize world views, political and economic systems diametrically opposed to the central message of the Gospel. The Church has closely identified with worldly and cultural power and then has consistently rationalized our position. Our fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been completely overshadowed by our desire to be respectable and to fit into society.  Every time a child cries from hunger is a witness to the Church’s lack of faithfulness.

Ending hunger in our world requires leadership. No other organization should be in a better position to provide that leadership than the Church. But until we regain a desire to provide true “good news” for the poor and hungry this will never happen. We have to again come to the place where we understand our role in transforming society.

And even though that is exactly what the Gospel calls us to do, at the moment the Church is far too comfortable to attempt it. We are at peace with the present world systems that hold two-thirds of our family hostage to hunger.  We continue to take our ease and hide behind our stained glass while 25,000 die every day from hunger.  We are far too enamored with the “good life” to care.

We identify with the rich, the powerful, the elite. They are our heroes and role models. We don’t have time for the oppressed, the outcasts, the refugees, the poor, the hungry. Until that changes the Church will continue to wither, totally deserving the lack of respect and interest it receives.  Until that changes we will never end hunger. We will never achieve justice. And there will never be peace in the world.