Thursday, February 28, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 28, 2013

God as eternal judgement - an opportunity to think about these words that cause

some folks to shudder with fear. If you have any comments - []Eternal is one of those words that also can frighten folks. Those sign boards on

freeways - the ones that try to shake us into some kind of faith in a god I don't

buy - try to make sure we hear their version of 'eternity' as we drive by. Eternity

is time spent in hell - forever and ever. This eternity is meant to move you to

go through personal ritual that will somehow save you from this kind of eternity.

Well, the followers of Jesus are to be teaching our children and one another that

eternal is indeed a forever and ever kind of time. It is time embraced by God. It

is time and life claimed by God. It is not an on again - off again claim. It is

eternal. God never steps away from the promise for life that is meant to be the

foundation for time and then time beyond time. Just watch the story line throughout

Scripture. From Abraham down, we see such foolishness and disfunction and downright

stupidity and evil - and yet - there is our God always (eternally) giving and leading

and holding and forgiving. God as eternal judgment is available for us in and through

all of our days so that we might have life - that life will be shaped by the promise.

When we are led by fear and doubt, we do not have life to the fullest. When we have

a place to rest - a power that will be with us - a life that is handed to us by

our God who keeps promises, we can risk everything to step into God's invitation

to enter eternal life that reflects God's image.

I must admit, it is not easy to listen to our God when the world around me is speaking

differently. Not being the brightest cookie in the box, I can too easily be pulled

into life that really only offers life full of death. It always takes me a while

to hear the eternal promise and the eternal gift that is enough to transform all

things forever and ever.

O God of love and new life, we give you thanks for giving us the ears to hear the

eternal gift of your loving presence. It i always the beginning of new life. Amen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 27, 2013

God as eternal judgement - an opportunity to think about these words that cause

some folks to shudder with fear. If you have any comments - []Could it be that the word 'judgment' is too readily associated with a negative outcome?

How many times do we hear folks say things like: I feel like I'm always being judged

- I don't do things with them because they judge everyone? Maybe that is part of

the baggage we bring along when we hear about God as judge or hear things that

talk about God's judgment. Judgment seems to have a pointing finger involved - a

horrible sense of guilt hook onto it - the sense of being an utter failure. But

non of that is meant to be all that judgment is to mean.

The amazing and creative edge of the Reign of God - that is eternally changing the

old into the new - is powered by an announcement of God's judgment - for us. It

is God for the characters in Scripture and it is God for us here and now. We are

always within a time of judgment - but too often - too, too often - almost always,

we do not listen to the judgment. I know I am often likely to drag myself home or

quit because I think what I have been doing has been judged as worthless or failing.

And yet, the judgment that is handed me by our God is a judgment for me - a judgment

that has a promise dripping all over it. Not every judgment that is for us - is

the same.

I watch the "silver linings playbook" and in a dance scene, the lead characters

do not have a chance at getting a 10. When her crotch ends up in his face following

a dramatic leap, nothing above a 5 seemed possible - if that. When the judging took

place, all the numbers were under 5 and one was above five - the average: 5. All

that was needed was a 5. That terrible score (judgment) was enough of a judgment

for them that it changes their lives.

God is 'for us.' That is the yesterday, today, and tomorrow that is meant to rock

our lives and shake them up with all hopefulness.

O God of love and new life, here we stand - your beloved. We can be troubled over

what we are not and what has happened and yet you promise new life so that we are

not consumed by what we do and who we think we are. You, alone, O God, judge us

to be ready to enter the fullness of life that will become your Reign here and now.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 26, 2013

God as eternal judgement - an opportunity to think about these words that cause

some folks to shudder with fear. If you have any comments - []Our God shapes all that is and all that is to be. Therefore we hear stories like

the first chapter of Genesis. It is a story to counter the stories of the way the

gods of Babylon acted. By a simple word - life comes to be. This is not just my

life, it is all of life - even the rocks and the dirt and the creepy, crawling things.

With a word life begins and to set it spinning in a way that life is not always

put out there, it is good. This is an eternal good. So eternal is this good, God

and all things can take some time and rest and trust in that word that is meant

to sustain and shape the good life into the next week. No burning incense to keep

my butt safe from evil powers - no sacrificing animals or people in order to make

my day or week or year go better. In fact, in our storytelling about life within

this eternal Reign of our God, the banner of God's love for us waves at us with

unfailing faithfulness. We are daily invited into a promise of eternity that brings

rest and assurance. When that is the beginning of all things - the beginning of

time itself or the beginning of what is about to take place - roadside signs of

threat and fiery news filled with fear hold absolutely no power over us. Where fear

restricts life - always (even when folks try to say it can lead us into a good life),

God's promise of life in the embrace of God's love expands life beyond anything

we can imagine - because this love is eternally expansive.

O God of love and new life, as this day begins to open before us, we trust that

your love will be the power that allows us to face each moment within the image

of your creative and nurturing presence. Come, O God, and walk with us. Amen.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 25, 2013

God as eternal judgement - sound frightening and yet it is must be seen as a balm

that heals the sin sick soul.

Eternal judgement sounds frightening to most folks. These are the words that people

who knock on doors try to leave with you when they visit with pamphlets. It is he

word on those freeways signs that are usually painted with red letters. If you talk

to those folks, they will tell you that they are most interested in 'saving' you

so that you will not be eternally condemned. There is so much baggage being handled

in these few words - I must be stupid to even step into it all. Then again, this

is me and yes, I can be less than wise.

So let me start with just a small part of what I want to do. When it comes to the

word eternal and the games in which it is used, it is often seen as the time after

all of our time is gone. It is the 'beyond the death bed' time. It is the 'eternal'

part of the question: Where will you spend eternity?!?!? The pictures are as old

as our memories and beyond that - the fire - the pitchforks - the separation from

others - notion of being caught up forever and ever. And yet, eternal is now and

was back in the beginning of all things (if we can even begin to contemplate that)

and is the moment in which I am sitting and you are reading. Eternal is not a place

to which we will go - someday. I suppose I could say it is a place. If I did that,

I would need to say it is all places in all of time. Eternal life is the journey

along the road - every stop - every greeting - every trip and fall - every possibility.

So to begin, we need not fear talking about or thinking about eternal life. If it

meant the eternal availability of our God who is 'eternally' with us an for us,

how would you say or hear that word?

O God of love and new life, we give you thanks for each day you bring us into our

eternal home where you reside and preside over life that is abounding in steadfast

love. Amen.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 22, 2013

God as character

To run into this God as character - God who has a shape of life that takes our humanity

along new ways - can be a God from whom we may want to retreat. This is especially

the case if the life into which God is pulling us is not the life we want for ourselves.

More and more I find that God as character is showing me the fullness of life that

comes when I consider the welfare of the other and then begin to contemplate how

I am to live with the other and how that focus and life will change me for the


It is one thing to 'keep in mind' the welfare of others. It is quite another thing

to have our character be changed so that our lives begin to seek out the welfare

of others. As I look out at the political atmosphere of the day, I am too often

shocked at the extremism in the air: the extreme self-centeredness - the extreme

amount of scapegoating - the extreme verbal and physical violence - the extreme

inability to work together - the extreme intolerance - the extreme hatred. And then,

in addition to these 'regular' folks. there are the people we all labeled the extremists.

Our God as character is always offering us the hand of the other - so that we will

hold and not bite it - so that we will stay a bit closer rather than run away -

so that we will have a moment in which we may come to a new vision of who the other

really is and who we can be with them at our side. Character.

O God of love and new life, round us up, O God, and teach us again the ways of your

Reign of peace that brings the healing presence of your love into the may ways of

brokenness that we so often call home. Amen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 21, 2013

God as character

In a quick glance at biblical stories, God is messing with the character of people.

For example, when God liberates a people it is not just a liberation from some oppressor

of the day. God liberates people in order that they will become a people who take

on a new character - unlike the oppressor and powers of the day. God sets people

free and they are brought out into a new place so that they will become a new people.

These new people are given a way to take part in the character of our God. It will

be a transforming character - it will be an alien character - it will be a character

from which many will turn and go the other way because the character of a broken

world seems to fit better into a broken world. Look at the Corinthians and the

way Paul seems to be tearing out his hair as he listens to how that community of

saints is wrestling with the new character they are encouraged to take on as their

own. When they are to gather for the Lord's Supper, they go at it as they would

any other day of the week. The rich get the most and the poor are left with the

leftovers. Within the character of our God that is to become the character of the

community, that will not do. So Paul has to take the time to lay out some 'basics'

- again. Those basics that help to shape the character of a community of saints

are simple - essential - transforming - and yet, often too difficult for God's people

to take up as our own. This adventure with our God is no mere pie-in-the-sky, Jesus-take-me-to-my

heavenly-home journey. It is a journey into life that is visibly and daily changed

- in the twinkling of an eye - into a life that resembles the character of our God.

I still believe it is life that amazes the world as it is.

O God of love and new life, as you continue to unfold the story of your gracious

Reign, you never cease to offer that story to us as our own. We do not always jump

at the opportunity to be made new. Again, we call on the Holy Spirit to pull us

into a wrestling match that will make us look at you face to face and so that we

come away with a clearer vision of the character for life that you have waiting

for us. Urge us to come and get it. Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 19, 2013

God as character - creating

When our God is pulling us into that which is not yet - and the not yet is just

as it says 'not yet' - we move forward with just a sketch of who we can be. It is

not a completely drawn picture. If it was, we would be stuck within a world we can

see and a world we already know. But God is always creating something new - even

within the bounds of what we considered the way things have to be. When this kind

of creativity is at work, we no longer stay within those bounds. We are pulled out

into the 'not yet' in a way that makes us become someone a bit out of line with

who we have been. That someone - that me - that you - will begin to display the

character of God's Reign. That is the 'not yet' that is waiting for us. As we move

on down the road we each have opportunities to take on the light and the life that

we historically know as the Reign of God. We know stories that spell out that character.

We are now given the opportunity to take on that character even as it is not our

usual way to carry on. That means today is fresh for us to enter and step into

the character of God's Reign and resist some of the ways of our lives that move

us so quickly - without thinking - into the character of what has been.

O God of love and new life, begin again to day to help us unveil a new work of art

that is the life you hand us as we venture into your reigning life and power. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 19, 2013

God as character

Being alive within the Reign of God is to move into what is 'not yet' as though

we will take on a part of that which is 'not yet' but is intended to be. God as

character is the 'intended to be' - the character that comes alive each and every

time we take the risk to put to life the unbounded love of God's Reign even when

we know we must dabble with it a bit because we are not quite sure how it will

fit. Since the 'not yet' is not yet, we must trust that it is coming and we already

have a part it the way it will unfold. On Sunday we read the story of the Samaritan

who took part in the unfolding of the 'not yet' by stepping across the road and

taking part in the healing of the person left for dead. But more than that, the

Samaritan took the risk that is needed to teach him - and us by the storytelling

- that the 'not yet' does not need to be a story for others to hear. It is an action

and the action is the

character of out God in ways we understand and in a manner in which we are able

to participate. The priest and the levite could only see what is and what usually

would be. There only perception of the 'not yet' was really ruled by everything

they knew - nothing new. So for them, God as character is not filled with life.

O God of love and new life, pull us across the road. Amen.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 18, 2013

God as character

I am not sure what this will become. What I do know is that I can swing from being

a complete butt-head to being a pious sounding oaf - and some may say both sides

of the swing look and sound the same. My point is simply that I count on God as

the shape of what I can be - my character. When I hear that I can be a character,

I'm not immediately offended. My question is: What does that mean? Does it mean

that I act and speak in a way that may be contrary to the prevailing winds? If so,

I'm amused and grateful. God makes characters who take seriously what God promises.

That character is one that can be called strange and even out of place. Between

being a butt-head and an oaf, God still is there embracing me and shaping me into

someone who will put forth the character of God's Reigning presence. God as character

pulls at us so that within the bounds of our normalcy - as crazy as that may be

- the attributes of our God will be seen by others. This could be why I have always

appreciated the image of the saints of God being the clowns of God. Just a bunch

of oafs and butt-heads who have been caught up into the inspiring Spirit of life

that is always bringing a bit of the Reign of God to life even when it is not appreciated

and even when it looks like utter foolishness.

O God of love and new life, you alone are Holy and you raise up a Holy people who

are able to bring to life your image even as we continue to be seen as odd - oafish

- butt-heads. We give you thanks for using us to display the character of your Reign.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 15, 2013

Adventures... in Hope - Redeemer Devotions

God as lasting

A wise and troubled teen once told me that there are days when things can get so

bad he ties a knot. He was referring to slipping away down the rope and knowing

he will eventually not be able to hang on. Tying a knot would at least help him

hold on - for now. We talked about all the stuff that makes up that knot. We talked

about the knot being a gift - it was me who doesn't know how to tie a good knot,

I'd be in trouble. God as lasting is the power for life that holds onto us even

when we are trying to secure ourselves with knots of this kind and that. To tie

the knot already shows that we do not want it all to end. We see some worth - some

purpose - some need to sustain ourselves. God as lasting is the power that helps

to bring that all to life so that we will more clearly see that there are possibilities

even when we look out and are convinced that there are no possibilities. God as

lasting is the God who shows us that the worst of things - the hopelessness within

our lives - the frightening stuff that makes us think that we must bow out - is

not the last word for us. I would submit that our God as lasting ties the knot and

gives us the time and energy to take another look or hold on for long enough to

see that the day need not come to an end. God's as lasting is our God who holds

on to us even as we think we are holding on for dear life. No, our life is dear

to this lasting God of ours.

O God of love and new life, hold onto us - hold on - be the promise that bring life

even when we cannot see the life that is possible for us. Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 14, 2013

Adventures... in Hope - Redeemer Devotions

God as lasting - love that will not let us go

The perfect Valentine's day point of reference - God as lasting is a lasting love

that will not let us go - will not abandon us - will not turn away even when we

turn away. That is love - lasting love. It is the kind of love that lasts even when

all the 'love' around us seems to fall apart and vanish and, at times, crush us.

God as lasting - God as this amazing lasting love - will never be farther from

us than eternally with us and for us. I find that to be a source of strength so

that I might even love more boldly than I ever expected to be able to love. When

we are held up by this kind of love, the end of the day - no matter what has transpired

- is a day that is tucked in with a compassionate love that will heal and forgive

and make us ready to go back at it again. It is knowing that shape to the ending

and the beginning of the day that empowers us to give ourselves away to others

as a loving force that brings reconciliation and peace and hope to the world around

us. If that is what we can do within the relationships of this day, others may come

to experience the power of our God as lasting.

O God of love and new life, by your everlasting love you continue to nurture us

and send us out into this day so that a living form of your love will encounter

the world and bring that loving reality to life. Continue to shape us, O God.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 12, 2013

Adventures... in Hope - Redeemer Devotions

God as lasting - Ashes to Ashes

Even when we all fall down - even when our lives appear to be nothing more than

ashes - even when we look in the mirror and wonder what it all means - even when

the day is so full of everything that does not reflect the glory of God, God is

lasting. We are given a foundation upon which we are able to 'get our feet back

underneath us' for the simple task of being the beloved of God. It is that easy

- it is a gift. And yet, we so easily forget the power that comes to life when

we remember our inheritance - a rule of love and life that is enough to transform

the ashes of the day into the vitality of the moment at hand. God as lasting is

the word of truth that does not let ashes be the end of the story. It is also the

beginning. God as lasting turns the end into a beginning and therefore makes us

unafraid to see thing turn into ashes. For beyond ashes comes the God who lasts

beyond what appears to be death and is able to reestablish life and do it with a

bit of spirit and hope. That could be call the journey to the cross - a life that

is always shaped by our God who will last through all things and carry us along

the way. So the discipline of Lent is nothing more than once again rising to meet

our God as lasting - our God as eternally available - our God who is able to create

the day anew.

O God of love and new life, raise us up again. Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 12, 2013

Adventures... in Hope - Redeemer Devotions

God as lasting - thanks be to God.

Because we see God as lasting, we can boldly take on the character of the saint

of God. We are able to risk being merciful - forgive quite beyond the limits of

that which is considered sensible - extend our hand in peace without the assurance

that it will not get cut off. God as lasting is like the wind that never ceases.

It my appear to settle down for a moment but it is never gone. It may be so gentle

it is hardly notice and it may be as bold as a wind storm that makes everyone turn

their heads to see the impact of the wind on the world around us. God as lasting

is the power that turns generation to generation into people who know that the

world does not have the power to diminish or extinguish the love of God that knows

no ending - but lasts and lasts and lasts. Knowing of that lasting character, we

are free to live there. Live within that light that shines out from the shape of

our lives - lives that are always moved and pulled and guided by the Spirit of our

God who will last through all things with us. That is how we are able to rise up

each morning and begin to reflect the glory of God that will indeed last in and

through all times. For us, that means that we are a part of that lasting witness.

We are a part of that glory that reveals the Reign of God so that everyone will

know that there is a place and a time and a people that will not try to establish

themselves at the cost of others. Rather, we know we are established as beloved

and worthy by our God as lasting beyond anything that can be imagined.

O God of love and new life, continue to make us character of your Reigning love.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 11, 2013

Today starts some reflections on God as lasting. I have several reasons. First,

in a conversation about what we (clergy) do for self-care I brought up this simple

devotion. For 14 years it has helped to bring focus and a sense of imagination to

a life that I once was seeing as worthless. Second, I'm writing this on Saturday,

February 9, that means the folks at Redeemer have put up with me for 27 years. God

has provided them with a sense of humor that seems to be lasting.

As the Church Year continues to spin, it always reminds me that we can rise up in

the morning and say 'here we go again.' Today - as was the case yesterday and will

be the case tomorrow - we have the opportunity to begin our lives within the expansive

embrace of God's love for us. For me that means baptism and the simple dripping

of water and the profound promise that there is no day in which our God will be

gone from my side. God as lasting means that even as I sit perplexed by life and

thinking that I am not capable to be a follower of Jesus in this day - this lasting

God sustains me - holds me - pinches me to remind me that I am beloved of God and

that creates possibilities for life that I am not yet able to see completely. That

promise lasts. It is the same promise handed to all the saints who faced great evidence

that their lives would not and could not continue. And yet, God as lasting is the

word that cannot be overcome by the evidence of the day that may shout out a contrary

word. Again this day - this week - this month - this year - and into every moment

of our lives, God's promise is enough to see us through all our days - even into

the next moment that can frighten us and make us think we must turn around. God

as lasting does not merely shape us for now, it will be the power that creates

a character that makes each of us a part of a living witness to God's promise for


O God of love and new life, we know that this can be one hell of a day. That is

enough to discourage us and make us fold up our lives. And yet, by the power of

your Holy Spirit, we hear that dripping of water and your words of promise that

already words to lift us up into new life. We praise you, O God. Amen.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 8, 2013

God on the move who keeps us moving.

So it is the end of the week - what now? The week ends and the weekend begins. I

like the sound of that. In the end there is a beginning and most of us really look

forward to that which comes after the end. In fact, we often take note that there

is quite a bit of life to be lived in the that which is part of the end. Our God

on the move is always dismantling the 'end' so that we will stay on the move. That

is life in the Reign of God - what now - what will come of us - who will we be next.

So we look forward to the end and we learn that after the weekend is the beginning

- again. This God on the move is throwing life in front of us and calling us to

take a piece of it and be pulled into the possibilities for life that each of us

are handed each day - from the beginning to the end and right on through to the

next beginning.

We don't keep moving simply because we are having successes or have things going

our way. Rather we keep moving because we only know that our God will be with us

in the midst of all things - endings and beginnings. Therefore we can be people

who move into life and not let ourselves fall into indifference that keeps us in

one place - never moving in any way.

O God of love and new life, pull us through the end and make us see how life begins

even as we are ready to give up. By your Spirit help to hold up our heads to see

beyond the ends of our life that are so often able to bring us down. Amen.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 6, 2013

God on the move who keeps us moving.

When the church says 'Amen' we are saying that we are ready to move. We are ready

for God to be our God and use as instruments of the work within the life of the

Reign of God. We don't say a simple 'I agree' or 'good thought.' We say 'Amen' -

and expect that the world will begin to bend in the direction of our God who creatively

expands life in the way of justice and peace and the reconciliation of all things.

That is a big move - and we are saying in that simple 'amen' - let's go there -

let's move life a bit down that road - let's get up and engage the world in the

name of our God who gives us a way up off of our behinds and into the healing of

all things.

For most of us, that 'amen' may be things that are quite simple - the kinds of stuff

that can change the day - here and now in this moment. For others, that 'amen' is

the beginning of dramatic moves that most of us cannot anticipate. And yet, within

that 'amen' we all keep moving. Even when I am a part of the small movement of justice

and peace and healing, I know that I am a part of the healing of the whole cosmos.

Yes, me - little me - my little actions within this day - a part of the grand reconciliation

of all things. God on the move does not stop and is always finding ways to move

us too.

O God of love and new life, let's go - take us up into your Reigning life. Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 6, 2013

Lethargy is the real enemy of every hope. God on the move

Yesterday I ended with 'and then.' That is not an ending. Then again, when we have

this God on the move as our God, the ending does not have the same power that it

once had. Once it meant all things are over - turn off the TV - leave the theater

- close the casket - stay put and close the door. This God on the move never stops

touching us on the shoulder or tapping us on the head or marking us with the cross

of Christ on our forehead saying 'and then'. And then we will play in the garden

- we will heal those around us who are suffering from all the many things that cause

suffering - we will stand alongside all the people who have no one to stand with

them - we will cry and laugh and weep and wail and chuckle until we pee in our

pants. Our God moves us from here to a there that is not yet seen. The only promise

is that God will be on the move with us all the way and there will be life all along

the way.

When I imagine God on the move, I am moved to go for it. Knowing that I may go for

it in all the wrongs ways, there is the community of saints who are meant to be

on the move also. When that is the reality in which I live - otherwise called a

promise - there will be extravagant adventures and there will be ones that simply

keep us all grounded to life that is simply moving along the way - for now. We all

could use some wild, extravagant movements within those days when all we want is

to remain lazy and turned-in-on- ourselves. What do we do when we have just taken

that unbelievable leap that has always seemed quite beyond us? We learn to say,

'and then' and the whole church says 'amen.'

O God of love and new life, in and through all we approach, remain with us and continue

to move us alongside your way. Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 5, 2013

Lethargy is the real enemy of every hope. God on the move

We can go there. We can do that. We are allowed to jump in and go for it. We do

not need to be in control before we take God's promises to heart and live and die

by them. This does not mean we through our God-gifted reason and insight and gifts

to the wind and leap before looking. Then again, I really do think we take our reason

and insight and gifts and toss them into the wind that is the Spirit of God who

lifts it all up and brings us down in a place and time that we are able to see anew.

The wind is part of the God on the move - always pulling us to the boundary and

then beyond - always opening our eyes to see what we thought we should not see -

always introducing us to Eunuchs along the road and we were always told not to

deal with those folks.

God on the move offers us the promise of rest but this rest is not the kind of rest

that draws us into a premature death - a death of indifference. Rather, this God

moves us and enlivens us all the way through death so that even the power of death

that often causes us to shut down will not be the last word within the hopefulness

of God's Reign. God on the move invites us to say what Herb Brokering used to say

to our class: And then.

O God of love and new life, bring it on - all of it. Amen.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 4, 2013

This week it is a short quote from the first page of the introduction to Ethics

of Hope by Jurgen Moltmann that has me thinking more about be God's people with

a future. He writes: Lethargy is the real enemy of every hope.

As we become settled, we often stay settled. It doesn't take long to do this and

yet it can become the end of us. By the end, I mean that we can easily forget about

that which is possible in life and that which is not yet present. Therefore, we

are being tempted to keep the world as it is right now. I don't think that is the

history of the Reign of God among God's people. This God of Scripture and this God

who is still moving among us making us into the story of God's people is for me

God on the move. This is a God who is with us - eternally with us - but always on

the move. That demands movement on our part so that we can see the wideness of

God's Reign that does not settle for the way any of us try to contain God's Reign.

God on the move pulls us up off of our seats so that we may - at least - gain new

perspectives. Otherwise how do we embrace the fullness of God's image as expressed

in the rest of humanity and the whole creation. When we sit back - we tend to be

in control of what we do and see. I control the remote when I sit in my chair.

I bring the world I want onto the screen and when there is nothing I want - I turn

it all off. God on the move opens the door - shows us the front yard - the end of

the street - the life that is out of my control but longing for me to enter it and

entertain what is not yet.

I figured out that I can become indifferent very easily. I am able to say 'forget

it all' and yet I know it is the Spirit of God that keeps pulling me up to greet

what is coming. Hope.

O God of love and new life, as you pull us into your future and we fight it every

bit of the way, hold tight and keep pulling and bringing us into life eternal. Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Redeemer Devotions for February 1, 2013

God as Light from which we turn.

Early in the morning when I go downstairs to move into the first moments of the

day, things are quite dark. And yet, living in the city there are street lights

that throw light into the rooms through which I walk. And yet, there are still patches

of darkness. I find the darkness to be peaceful. Light can be disruptive. Darkness

allows me to sit back. For some reason, that light and dark time of the day helps

me see that there are both sides to a good day. There are times when the light blinds

me like darkness. There are times when darkness allows me to see more clearly. There

are times when I turn from the light in order to get another perspective on what

is right in front of me. When I do that, am I turning from the light or am I simply

given a new way to look at what is so well-known? Not sure.

In the darkest of days - even the dark days I create for myself - I find that there

is always a space for insight and growth and transformation. If that is so, isn't

it good to enter the darkness deliberately at times - to turn from what has been

called light in order to see that which cannot be seen in the light? God as darkness

is for me like God as light - always bringing forth surprise and mystery and an

appreciation for all that comes and all that I must enter this day.

O God of love and new life, within the light and darkness of life, you are the Lord

of the day and the power for life that pulls us into your future. For this we once

again give thanks. Amen.