I always like to remind folks that before we do things that are associated with being a holy people beloved by God - we are already involved in being the beloved of God. Therefore, the green light is on. No need to label something as being 'religious' or 'church-like'. God as 'coming through the door' is opening the door to our hearts so that in all that we become - we will become the ones God already knows we are - beloved. God as 'coming through the door' is the God who was with Jesus on the cross through the whole mess. With each movement - each actions by the powers of death that continued to think they had the day in their back pocket - God was coming through the door reminding Jesus of the never-ending presence of the whole Reigning power of God present and available within Jesus' vulnerability. God as 'coming through the door' is always a grand welcome into that which is to be - the fullness of God.
O God of love and new life, let that fullness of your Reign pour down upon us and be the encouragement for life within this day. Amen.
God as 'coming through the door' doesn't wait for an invitation. This is the God who embraces us before we ask for a hug. This is the God who runs out to the long lost child and is in the middle of throwing a welcome home party even before the child has had the chance to set up some kind of reason for coming home. God as 'coming through the door' is setting up our future that God already rules. You could say therefore, that the room in which we find ourselves is already a part of God's rule - God's domain - God's home that has many rooms. God as 'coming through the door' is the first one to greet us in life and the first to hold us in death. There is movement before we move - there is promise before we promise to be this or that. God as 'coming through the door' lets the wind of the day blow into our lives and carry us into a life we may not have considered - a life of love and hope and mercy and joy.
O God of love and new life, thank you for whatever will come into this day. You hold the future in your hands and always invite us to join you there. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Before you opened this devotion God as 'coming through the door' was - yes, in the room - already with you - not asking if it was time for a visit or if you were ready. Before that breath that you take in before you even realize that you are breathing in a part of the new day - the door is open and the room is full of the presence of our God who will take us along the way. Before we get all washed up - fed - dressed and ready to go, God as 'coming through the door' has invited us into the life God brings in through the door and set before us. This is not some kind of puppet God. This is God whose Reign is already in place and we are invited through the door God has already opened and is ready to walk through that door and face the world around us as though that is just what we - the beloved of this God - will do. I need such a proactive - come-along-with-me - God who is filling the room with hopefulness even before I think about it.
O God of love and new life, welcome into the day that you have made and the life you have ready for us. Amen.
God as 'coming through the door' is the God who does not wait for us to make a decision about whether or not we believe in God or want God to be a part of our lives or need God to step in and help. God as 'coming through the door' is already at hand and making something new out of this time and day. There is not time to wonder about how things will be when God is present - that is already the case - God as 'coming through the door' becomes the shape of things as they can be. Will we greet our guest who comes to abide with us and shape us? Or, I need to really ask, how will we greet our guest who is already pitching God's tend among us - already at the table - already on the couch - already entering into the things within our day that are so ordinary we often miss seeing God enter. God as 'coming through the door' is the power in the room that calls forth promise and hope and love even when there is an expectation that the day may be going in another direction.
O God of love and new life, what is it you will make with this day - our lives -the lives of our neighbors? It is most likely a part of the fulfillment of your promises. Thank you. Amen.
There is no let us see. There is now. God as 'coming through the door' is already at hand. Now what?! Think of Antoinette Tuff, office worker in a school near Atlanta. Did she think that God would make an appearance right there in the school during her shift of work. God as 'coming through the door' was the dynamic between Antoinette and Michael Hill. She was caught up in the unexpected edge of violence and Michael was caught up in that spiral of mental illness that can change the world in the blink of an eye. There in that meeting God as 'coming through the door' we have be handed a witness to the power of the love of God that moves through ordinary folks each time our lives cross the path of others. We know not who they are or what they want or how the next moments will carry on - and yet God is present and we are invited into the realm of God's character - a love that will not let anyone go. God as 'coming through the door' can shake the foundation upon which we often bet our lives. For at one moment we think we are in control and the next moment, we are completely out of control. There in that 'coming through the door' it is time for God's Reign to rule and guide us. Wow - really - me as a witness to the fullness of God's Reign. Yep! Here it comes.
O God of love and new life, may our hearts rest in your promises alone for it is there that we will be most able to greet you in whatever form you come to be with us. Come, O God of Life, come. Amen.
God as death defying is the power that walks right up to those who claim to be in control of the day and there - in that (any)place and time - God as death defying sits down in a seat on the bus - without regard to the voices of control. God as death defying is that still, small voice that will not be quiet when injustice attempts to rule the day. It is the voice that questions the powers and principalities that assume they have the knowledge of good and evil (that is - they think they are like God). God as death defying takes hold of ordinary people so that we can be a part of the life and voice that makes it perfectly clear that there is only one God. God as death defying brings life, establishes justice, makes straight those who have bent over by all the faces of death within the world, and insists on reconciliation and peace that leaves no one powerless and disenfranchised. God as death defying makes a whole lot of people angry - because we often choose to live within the domain of death and its limits and its promises for one side only. So when God as death defying exposes the lies of death's phony promises - we get mad at what we might lose. Truthfulness is an ugly word in the realm of death. God as death defying - never stops telling the truth. Ha!
O God of love and new life, let your rule come alive among us and the power of your life-giving Spirit encourage us to face the power of death without bowing to its demands and lies. Amen.
God as death defying sets before us a future that is not ruled by any other power but the power of God's endless love. Therefore, out there beyond the horizon - beyond what can now be seen - is life in which our God sets a table for us so that all may come and eat and drink and be full. God as death defying grasps us and offers us a hand so that which is not yet may become that which is - and then - that which is not yet - will become that which is yet to come even when we think we have arrived. It is a baffling and wonder-filled experience that always leaves death speechless. God as death defying spins death around and around so that death does not even know its own domain for God's life enters all things in all times. God as death defying is laughter - grand, laughter that brings a blast of fresh air and freedom.
O God of love and new life, as we look out to the horizon, you are already covering us in you peace and delivering us into life beyond that which we think we know so well. Praise be to you. Amen.
In the face of death, God as death defying is a light that lets us see that what death has too offer is nothing in comparison to the life that God brings to light as we enter this day. We are always going to be pressured by the power of death - it will try to shame us - it will try to lean us into the way of hatred and fear - it will attempt to move us against others - it will whisper in our ears that we must be in control. God as death defying simply sits in the room an holds up a light that enlightens the rest of the room. God's Reign is full of life and death keeps trying to make us focus on the pile of dung in the corner of the room. God as death defying flushes the toilet so that the sweetness of life for and with others can be unveiled and make us boldly alive and ready to face how God's Reign will become the way we move through the day. God as death defying hands us a whole new world of life - life eternal - that we are invited to enter freely.
O God of love and new life, fill this day with your light that we may see more and more of the fullness of your Reigning power. Amen.
Go as death defying looks like a comedian who will not stop making fun of the powers that want to rule the world and yet they are not able and they never seem to grow. When the room is full of death, God as death defying makes a fool of death. No matter how death dresses itself up to look presentable to us, God as death defying undresses the act quite quickly. A simple reminder that death-is-not-life-at-all brings light into the room that has become heavy with the attempts made by death to limit who we are to be. God as death defying is the laughter that comes when death has been exposed. Rather than fall in line with death's way of defining how the world will go, death is revealed to be no power at all. God as death defying may be the one person in the room who is able to speak a word of truth when the lies of death seem to be able to own the room. At that point, there is silence - and then laughter at death's facade.
O God of love and new life, fill this day with the laughter of your eternal Reign of life. Amen.
I was going to start this as God as not our internet service - but not. God as death defying is God in our face - right in our face - so that all we are able to see is life. When that is all we see, we are more likely to live boldly within the realm of God's love for we will not be intimidated by all the various ways the powers of death attempt to make us crash and burn. God as death defying is like Luther saying he 'breaks wind' toward Rome. God as death defying has no respect for death and will not even let death put its print on the day. God as death defying is that Sunday morning before dawn - before most folks are up and moving - before the birds begin to sing - and the only thing taking place is new life. In the face of what ought to be death's domain and death's sting, God as death defying does not even let death move into another day. We are handed life.
O God of love and new life, we are too often held back by the many ways death attempts to burst our balloon. By your grace, you have walked into the room and announced that the threat need not control us anymore - because it is not real. Amen.
What are you looking for your God to be for you? I think we all want God to be the God we want. And yet, God as evolving will not let us put God into the box we think is the right one. God as evolving keeps moving the box until we are able to simply give up on our attempts to wrap it all up just as we like. That can be a humbling experience. God as evolving keeps pulling us beyond the place in which we have just become settled so that we will be ready for a fresh revelation that will open our eyes to something we just could not believe before being pulled along the way. God as evolving is not a God that offer us new shackles and chains and a list of restrictions. God as evolving keeps loosening the shackles and removing the chains and presenting us with a list of endless opportunities in which the grace of God will begin to alter our presence in the world. God as evolving will change up everything - even God as we like God to be.
O God of love and new life, take us with you. Amen.
Some folks would say that God evolved from the angry God of the Hebrew Scriptures to the Gracious God of the Christian Scriptures. I don't buy. God is God. God as evolving represents the God who is consistently gracious and loving and faithful and utterly forgiving. Therefore, God inspires us to open our eyes and see that God and that God alone. As we long for a warring God or a vengeful God or a wrathful God or a finger-pointing God, God is working on our hearts and minds so that we will evolve into a people who are able to see and love and count on nothing less than the God we associate with the words Good News. Good News opens up the many ways God gets out of our boxes and helps us repent - or come along and follow in a new way. God as evolving is the God who invites us into change - repentance - new life. This is even the case when we each try to hold onto 'fundamentals' we insist on seeing in our way. Right then and there, God as evolving makes our foundations shake and we are given new things to see and encounter and bring us into a life we may have never dared imagine.
O God of love and new life, you alone take us out beyond our vision and then, as we settle in there, you appear a bit different and you move us again. It is with a sense of amazement and awe that we come to praise you here and now. Amen.
God as evolving is quite like the garden at Redeemer. From year to year, there are vegetables that are put in and we expect produce from those plants. That allows us to give thing away. And yet, the garden keeps evolving. We learn that some plants do not do so well and other do. Then again, the weather can throw a fit and make all the predictable stuff become unpredictable. God as evolving will be enough and just right for any day. If you are like me, you have expectations about how the world should move. And yet, it doesn't. Even this work week will change as we are moving through it. We adapt to what comes. That is an evolutionary word right there. Adapt is also a word that frightens people. And yet, God as evolving is the power that moves us to take a new look at what is around us. As times change - life changes and we may not go at the day in the way we once did. The absolutes we often tie around our necks can become the death of us. God as evolving allows us to take off the noose that can kill us and take another approach to how we are to be followers of Jesus and participants within God's Reign. Maybe that noose can become a lasso that we use to draw in that which has always been out there.
O God of love and new life, help us to grow into the life of the garden of your Reign. Guide our dreams and our visions and the life that blossoms from them both. Amen.