Tag Archives: mercy

for some reason

Vonnegut nails it. There are far too many who call ourselves Christians that still live with Old Testament values. As Christians, we have been set free from the law of retribution. We live in the grace of a crucified and resurrected Christ.

The four Gospels in the New Testament are our fullest accounts of the words and teachings of Jesus. Nowhere in those four Gospels can you find Jesus blessing anger, hatred, malice, revenge or even justice. Instead, He lifts up, both by word and example, the values of love, caring, compassion, forgiveness, nonviolence and living in peace.

It’s far easier to seek revenge, to retaliate and resort to violence in response to wrongs. But, that is not what Jesus taught. It’s not Christian.  As Vonnegut says, give me a break!

Vengeance, retribution and the need to return violence for violence are all born out of fear. Perfect love casts out fear. It’s just a shame more of us who claim to follow Jesus cannot live as He taught us. Our world would be a far better place.

active compassion

True success is far more than more power, prestige and money. True success must include significance. And to be significant we must live lives of active compassion. We must love others even as Christ has first loved us.

 

a prayer for peacemakers

I praise you this morning, God. You alone are worthy of worship and praise, and so I pause to again give you glory and honor for your love, your mercy and your unending grace.

Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. Thank you for the grace of Jesus the Christ and for the explosive power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for creating such a perfect world.

This morning I lift up all the victims of senseless violence. Be with the families of those recently killed in Paris, but be with those grieving families in other areas of the world, as well. families in Syria, in Yemen, in Uganda, in South Sudan, in Iraq , Afghanistan, and even here in the United States. Let every member of every family touched by violence feel your love and experience your peace that passes all understanding.

And Lord I would pray that you grant all your children that perfect love that casts out fear. Help us live as your children should live, unafraid of whatever life brings. We now live in an age of growing violence and terrorism. Grant us all the strength and blessing of faith and faithfulness that we might be beacons of hope and light in a world darkened by fear and hatred.

Allow each of us to live alive, fully sharing the love you have first given us. Help us to be agents of reconciliation in every relationship you have granted us. Empower us to speak love and peace in the face of fear, bigotry and hatred.  Grant us the strength to be peacemakers in a world gone mad. And in the end, grant us the blessing of your eternal presence. Amen

 

a prayer for the rich

God of mercy and justice, we praise you this perfect day for all the gifts you have given your children. We glorify your name for your sustaining grace and the everlasting love poured so freely into our lives. You have given us so much, and for everything we have and all that we are, we give you our thanks.

Our prayer this morning is for the grace to more fully respond to the love and grace you have first given us. Help us always remember, and always be aware that all we have comes from you.

We have been so richly blessed with material abundance. We have financial wealth unimaginable by most of our human family. We take solid shelter and good homes for granted in a world teeming with refugees and the homeless. Food security is never an issue for our families Instead, we complain about variety and search out ever newer and exotic meals. We spend without thought, and eat to excess in a world full of poor and hungry.

Forgive us, Lord, for our thoughtlessness. Forgive us for our lack of awareness. Forgive us for our continued misuse of the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. Forgive us for our lack of caring… and our lack of sharing.

Lord, open our eyes so that we might see our world through your eyes. Grant us compassion deep enough to bring us to our knees in true empathy with those of our family chained by poverty and hunger. Grant us the miracle-working power of your Holy Spirit to lift us above our self-centeredness, our selfishness and fears so that we might love the least of these among us enough to open ourselves fully enough to share not only all we have…but all we are. Lord, teach us this morning how to be generous, and to give as you have first given to us.

Grant us more generous hearts. Help us more fully reflect your love through our caring and our sharing. And let all we have been given be used to glorify you. Amen

proclaim the Gospel

"Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." – Bl. Teresa of Calcutta:

One of my favorite quotes is that all Christians are called to proclaim the Gospel, and if all else fails we can use speech. That’s exactly what Mother Teresa is telling us.

We can all be living expressions of God’s love and kindness. Allowing the love of God to flow through us is a true gift to a world that’s hurting and hungry for genuine love.