In the middle of the mad rush to purchase the world for one another God as salvation hands us life - abundant life - holy life - life that never ends. Good old Santa Claus and the accompanying ethic around this season does not want anything to do with the freedom with which God simply hands us life. God as salvation is not waiting for us to get it right. God as salvation is not watching to see who is naughty or nice. God as salvation has the table set and welcomes any and all to come and share in the life that is a feast of grace that is able to sustain us through all things. We come to this feast as beloved guests and it is as we are fed with this grace we become a part of its graciousness - ah, salvation at hand - in hand - as the community God brings to life endlessly.
O God of love and new life, within your endless presence you ceaselessly draw us in - even when we think we do not belong in your presence. Praise be to you, O God. Amen.
Thanks be to God for how God as salvation welcomes turkeys like me into the endless Reign of God's love. Makes me want to spread wide my feathers and show how even a turkey of a person can be a part of the wonder of God's salvation.
O God of love and new life, we give you thanks. Amen.
God as salvation is not looking for people to stand up and serve as the gatekeepers who know who is able to be a part of God's saving life. God as salvation is an announcement. That is what makes the Good News really good. God as salvation is handing us a life by embracing us with a love that is the power to make life joy-filled and a reflection of the same graciousness of this God as salvation. When we are tempted to set up our demands as to who can be within the saving community of saints, we all of the sudden reject this God who is out to save - heal - restore - renew. God as salvation has already acted and only acts as God has acted previously - for us. The 'coming of the Lord' is part of the coming - in the flesh - of God's will into and through the lives of God's people. This coming among us is God's doing and this coming has a history of shaking up all the many ways religious people think they have the final and defining word about what God wants. God as salvation is the one who opens our eyes to the possible power of God's love that has no limit or boundary.
O God of love and new life, take us on a trip through your Reign as it breaks in upon us in this day. Amen.
God as salvation puts an end to any notion that we - in some way - are able to gain our salvation. God as salvation is the one who acts - without our conditions - without out approval - without our limits. This God as salvation is the power of God to simply make things new. It is the vision of the Prophet Isaiah spelling out that the mountains will be brought low and the valleys filled and the crooked roads straight. In other words, God places us on a flat ground where we are never to fear what might 'get us' - look around God as salvation is for all and nothing else can be thrown in our paths. God as salvation opens wide our field of vision so that our vision will be as gracefully wide as Gods. All that we see are welcome home - all that we see are the beloved. This is even the case if we are able to come up with a good case against others. God as salvation throws our cases against others and ourselves and makes room for us. This allows us to live as though God's saving power is shaping the day and we can go ahead and live and dance there.
O God of love and new life, be with us as we dance and live within your promise of life. Amen.
We are approaching the season of Advent. There is a sense of anticipation that comes with the lessons and hymns in Advent. It is not anticipation of the Christmas trimmings of societies love affair with shiny stuff and decoration. The anticipation if for God as salvation at hand. Before us is the Reign of God breaking into our lives. It is not something that just comes in Advent. That is our way to make a point of never forgetting such anticipation - so it is at the beginning of the new Church year. God as salvation at hand contains the visions of the prophets of old and the prophet of today. It is about life - a saving life - life that is presently available and ready to be unfolded among us. God as salvation is not about the God who will take us away to some heavenly place. God as salvation is about the God whose Spirit of life is already present ready to pull us into the fullness of life that is the salvation of God. God as salvation is the end of our violence and judging and getting the better of things and winning at any cost. It is the beginning of reconciliation that leaves everyone vulnerable so that we together realize that life is much more full when we drop our limited love (that is - no love at all) and take the chance that God as salvation really is all about saving all - all - not some - not certain good ones - but all. Salvation leaves the world open for new ways to experience the fullness of God's love.
O God of love and new life, here we wait. As you continue to approach us with the promise of life that is eternally at hand we ask that you open our hearts that we may take in the fullness of such a life. Amen.
I took my day off too seriously - that's good. As for now, God as jealous wants one thing - to live within the realm of God's ceaseless love. That is all. This God as jealous is the one who will never stop waiting to come home - to come back to a love that never lets go of us. To me this jealousy is that forever hope that we will one day drop our pursuit of other 'loves' and realize that we have this Lover of a God who is utterly available - forever for us.
O God of love and new life, thank you for waiting and call us back into your arms in and through all things. Amen.
Our God already knows that there is no love as deep and wide as God's love for God's beloved. So to turn to other lovers - other powers - other assurances for life is a crushing blow. But God as jealous does not find ways to make us regret our foolishness. Rather God continues to be just who God is - endlessly loving. Too often the only way we see this side of God is when the gods of our life are failing us and we look back at old promises from our God who stick by those promises. We look back and see God as jealous for our love - God staying put - God forever still available even through rejection. Go as jealous will not be less loving of us because we act like fools and pursue other lovers. God continues to love.
O God of love and new life, you long to be our God and for us to be your people - to trust in your unending love. We can only imagine that experience as we are able to imagine what jealousy feels like. And yet, as a jealous God you continue to abide and wait for us to have new eyes. Amen.
Remember this - we are God's beloved. "I am the Lord, Your God" is how we hear it in many various ways. There is no what have you done to be my beloved. No, there is a statement of fact - this is our God and that means this God of ours is eternally for us. God as jealous is a reminder to us that God's whole heart is wrapped around us - without condition - without hesitation - without waiting to hear from us. Before we go out the door and before we entertain all the other gods within our lives that try to pull us into other relationships, God has already invested everything in us. So when we leave and turn away in order to gain whatever we think we gain by turning to other powers for life and wellness, God as jealous is - in some way - a reminder of what we are leaving behind. We leave this God who will do anything and everything to help us come home to God alone. This God of ours wants our love - knowing that we cannot and will not be able to love as God loves us. And yet, through reject after reject our God never lets go. Like a jealous lover who cannot get the beloved one out of his/her mind and life.
O God of love and new life, forgive us for the constant and the persistent running away from you for other loves. Too often we want love to be under our control and yet as much as we attempt to take control we lose so much. Forgive us. Amen.
I'm not real sure about this one. It is used quite often about God - God as jealous. In real life, jealous people can be quite vicious. And yet, that is not our God - never will be. God as jealous is not one that will beat the poop out of someone - rather God is so in love with us it is painful to God (if that is even something we can say) whenever we turn and follow something other than the loving promises of God. So rather than God being like some drunkard at a bar who is ready to pick a fight with someone who is trying to entice us away from God's love - God weeps - God longs for us to come back - God continues to be utterly available even when we are being wooed by other powers that entice us. God as jealous is God waiting - again - waiting painfully as we play. All this God wants is for us to grab hold of this love that will never cease to be for us and with us in and through all things.
O God of love and new life, remind us again of your love that is never-ending and always ready for a new life even as we slip away and play our games. Amen.
Get on board - God as waiting is ready. It easily can become too long before we step on board the way of freedom and hopefulness that is already in place. And yet, that way is presently available and there are signs pointing to the way so that we do not get lost. And yet, we readily turn away and walk in directions that are no where near the gift of life that our God is handing us. God as waiting is waiting with a gift - a promise - a reality that may not look or taste or feel like the one we claim to control. Well - it is a gift unlike anything we think we control or will control. In fact, God as waiting brings life for us and will wait for us to let go of what we want. God as waiting is present with a new life and yet God will wait through our need to control and our manufactured ways of saying what is good and right - ways that too often make us lose sight of our God who is presently waiting again. Isn't it odd how we so desperately hang on to the way we want things - as though we are our own gods - and are so eager to forget about the life our God is holding out for us even now.
O God of love and new life, pull us on board and hold on for we too easily find ways to jump off the freedom train of your Holy Reign of life. Amen.
God as waiting is eternally available. No distant God - no 'one day God will' - no 'when you are ready'. God as waiting will swoop us up and hand over the day with all the fullness therein. We may not want to go there. We may resist having God so present and waiting to be the God who rescues and heals and forgives and creates all things anew. Too often we settle for the way things are and leave no room for the God who waits to lift us up to life we may have never imagined. God as waiting is already reaching in to tickle us and move us to life we can so easily leave behind because we think it cannot be ours. Too often, our society makes people wait for things to change. Rather than creating change society keeps what is has and loses its ability to tumble into the Reign that God has already waiting for us. Recently I have been caught up in how slowly the institutions around us act. It is as though we have to make sure everything is just as we want it or can control it before doors can be open wide for all of God's children. God as waiting is not waiting for us to change the world - we tend to not go there. Instead, God as waiting is the God who nurtures and inspires and opens eyes and reveals new hearts to that God's beloved - all of us - will wait no more for life that never leaves anyone out. God as waiting is working - always working for us.
O God of love and new life, we see change and we want change but too often we shrink back afraid of what be or afraid of losing the control we think we have on life. And then, our eyes are open to the fullness of your love that you have been waiting around to show us. Thanks be to God. Amen.
There is no time better than now to be aware of God as waiting even as we are in the midst of this devotion. God is not waiting for us to read this or to do any other kind of 'spiritual' exercise or duty. God as waiting brings God's whole peaceable Reign and puts it down right alongside us. It is here - we are always invited to jump in or wander in or fall in. One of the keys in the story that is often called the Prodigal Son is that it is also known as the Waiting Father. Before the son decides to come home and try to make a life for himself - even if it is as a servant in his father's house - the father is all about celebration. The love of God is never pulled back and reserved and made conditional. God as waiting is a love that simply is utterly at hand and ready for any who are grasped up in its power even when we expect the story to go as we have planned it. Already, God as waiting is thinking about the homecoming - the welcome - the embrace - the celebration. That is all a reality now - at this moment. God as waiting holds nothing back for another time or place. God has been waiting for this moment and each one to come - for this God is all about life abundant.
O God of love and new life, help us enter the homecoming party. Amen.
God as waiting is not waiting for us to get it right. In fact, God as waiting is not dependent on us doing anything at all. This is the God that has always been - the God who knows no end to being alongside even people who will not acknowledge that God is at hand waiting with us. One of the most precious things to remember is that we are never alone - never. No matter where we see ourselves - we are not alone. God as waiting is at hand so that as we find ourselves needing to be encouraged, strengthened, or simply comforted, God is waiting and ready. At the same time, when we swear that we do not need any God waiting with us - that has no impact on God's actions. There is something about our God that defines availability. It is that simple 'before' that comes ahead of our request is made or our need is overwhelming. Usually we want God present when we want God present - when we call out. Well, God as waiting is not waiting for us make a request or take a new path. Before that - God makes new pathways for us even as we do not see them or are not willing to take them. And when we go in another direction, God as waiting is there - again.
O God of love and new life, again we ask to walk with you. In our asking we do not know if we will walk with you. Thank you for stepping in and standing in and being present - always waiting to hand us life. Amen.