Thursday, January 31, 2013

Anxiety (Not)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 -- Week of 3 Epiphany (Year One)
Juan Bosco (John Bosco), Priest, 1888

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

Today's Readings for the Daily Office

     (Book of Common Prayer, p. 944)
Psalms        50 (morning)     //       [59, 60] or  118 (evening)
Isaiah 49:13-23
Galatians 3:1-14
Mark 6:30-46

I remember a few years ago when this reading about Jesus feeding the multitudes came around I was living with a lot of anxiety.  We needed to raise around $500,000 for an expansion to 7hills Homeless Center that we were committed to, and I didn't see any way we could manage it.  The worry woke me from sleep on quite a few occasions. 

Even as I worried, I knew that the whole ministry had been an act of faith from the beginning, and we had always been given what we needed.  And yet, I was anxious.

Last week I attended a 7hills board meeting.  The program has never been in better shape.  Great staff and leadership.  Excellent support from the community and significant grants for new and effective programs.  It is so heartening.  And yet...  We've needed a new Day Center for a long time, and an opportunity has jumped up.  The first number that we've seen is...  you guessed it -- $500,000.  I had a little laugh inside myself.  I'm not taking the difficulty for granted or being presumptuous, but I'm also more confident than anxious.

"You foolish Galatians!" cries Paul.  He is scolding those who are opposing his gospel which is based entirely on trust in Christ.  He chastises those who are teaching others that they must earn their standing before God by being practically perfect.  He had tried that, and it only brought him anxiety.  His freedom came when he accepted the gift of acceptance and surrendered his life to Christ's guidance instead of his own competence. 

God is.  Christ loves us.  Let the Spirit run the world.  Trust.  Then, as we are led, do what we can so with a relaxed freedom, and leave the rest to God.  God can bring wonderful results even when we seem to have so little.


Lowell
_____________



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

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

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