Tuesday, August 07, 2012

What is God up to? How can we help?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012  -- Week of Proper 13, Year Two
John Mason Neale, priest, 1866

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 979)
Psalms 78:1-39 (morning)       78:40-72 (evening)
Judges 7:1-18
Acts 3:1-11
John 1:19-28

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

One of the constant themes of scripture is that God acts through us, and when our actions are consistent with what God is doing, God does marvelous things through us.

I have a friend who likes to summarize Christian life and mission this way:  "Go out into the world awake and alert to see what it is that God is up to, and then ask, how can I participate?  How can I help in whatever it is that God is already doing?"

The story of Gideon is a delightful folk tale of a great victory of a small group who overcome great odds.  With courage and trustful obedience to God, they do something that defies their littleness.  That is a constant theme of scripture.  God raises up the little, the lost and the least and makes them the instrument for God's amazing work.

In Acts, Peter and Paul enter the Temple at the 3:00 hour of prayer and encounter the lame man who begs for alms.  They have no money for him, but they fix their attention upon him in the name and spirit of Jesus, and the man is healed.  One who is dependent and paralyzed is given strength to walk.

And John who is baptizing in the wilderness, gives interpretation to his activity, defining himself modestly as one who is making straight the way of the greater one who is coming.  John embraces his work within the greater scope of God's intention.

Today is a new day.  What is God up to and how can I participate?  Though I am small and little, if I am united with God's work, great things may happen.  All it takes is a little courage and trustful obedience, and maybe a few friends with similar intent. 

What needs will cross my path begging for my attention and for enough creativity that I might give more than just something superficial like money, but something more real, like a portion of the empowering spirit of Jesus?

How can I embrace my part in what God is doing?  How can I prepare the way of the Lord?  Each of us is called to prophecy and service, and that is a high calling.  And, we are called to see that work modestly within the greater work of God.

The presumption is that God is doing great things and will use the little, the lost and the least to accomplish it. 

How can we help?


Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location
-- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org
Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lowell,

Your reflection yesterday (Transfiguration) was so beautiful! Of course I think they are all good.

I made a comment on your convention blog and wondered if you could look at it. I was asking about the implementation of the 'guns' resolution and how that might be set in place in the Arkansas Diocese. If you have a chance let me know your thoughts.

I still feel connected to St. Paul's through email and prayer. What a church to be connected to!


At 9:27 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Hi Janet,

Good to hear from you again. I'll look at the comment about the guns resolution and write from that post.



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