God as in our shoes becomes a guide who leads us to life that is full. We take the steps - we act - we stumble and fall, and God as in our shoes sees us through it all with a promise that the ordinary of the day is really the wild and wonderful Reign of God just waiting for us to walk - run - leap right on through it all. God as in our shoes may simply be a part of the how we walk within the Reign of God since God's Reign is everywhere and always available. The how of that walk is part of the ethic of God's people - a way to have the image of our God unfold among us as us. The next thing we know, God is in our shoes teaching us how to walk as the beloved.
O God of love and new life, walk with us into and through it all. Amen.
God as in our shoes does not make us something other than who we are. We are the beloved of God. That is how we step into our shoes - therefore, God is indeed in our shoes. Now, we are able to take steps that reflect that love because the one whose love never ceases is in the game with us - all the way. God as in our shoes is not like the gods that many people expect - gods who play the role of puppeteer - making us do this and that. Rather, God as in our shoes walks into the stuff where we go and then there - in that stuff - God whispers to us (through the words of prophets or saints of old or Scripture - or one another) and we think again about who we will be in the world God as in our shoes makes the point that we are standing in God's Reign and may find ourselves walking with our God in the midst of it all.
O God of love and new life, as your beloved children, we are always in need of your presence that will calm us and send us into the newness of your love. Amen.
God as in our shoes is the incarnation - it is the presentation - it is the life of baptism - it is the way of witness and martyrdom. God as in our shoes will be me and you taking on the world as though the world is about to turn into something other than the way the world is right now. To run through this world and the violence that defines so much of it, means that we will often be led in its ways. And yet, God as in our shoes takes us along the path of non-violence. When we go there, we will stand out. To stand out in such a way is not like being honored. Rather, to stand out because we are a part of this God as in our shoes means that how we act and where we go will not be in sync with the parts of this world that are closest to us. God as in our shoes will cause us to drag our feet with oppression and hatred wants to keep moving at a faster pace. God as in our shoes will keep us grounded when the powers of the day tell us to jump. When we drag our feet and keep grounded like this, we will stand out - be odd - be trouble.
O God of love and new life, trouble the waters of our baptism that we will be reminded of the way you bring life and stir up our hearts. Amen.
God as in our shoes will take us into new life. New life means it may not be like walking the way we walked yesterday. God as in our shoes will move us wherever the ever-expanding Reign of God is headed. This may not be pleasant at first. It may even be outrageous and frightening. Outrageous because God move in ways we cannot control. Frightening because God moves in ways that bring us face-to-face with opportunities to put into life the acts of justice and peace and forgiveness that we often try to avoid. God as in our shoes is God here - right here - working with all that we are - nothing more and nothing less. That places us at the very center of God's promised life that comes to all and for all time. God as in our shoes is like a toddler who stands on her/his parents feet as the parent walks and the child goes along as though on a ride. We are on that ride within the Reign of God. God as in our shoes promises to take us - as us - beyond our lock-in-step lives.
O God of love and new life, we long to follow you into the unfolding of your Reign among us. Step into our shoes with us and be the encouragement to be a part of the unfolding of your gracious Reign. Amen.
God as in our shoes cannot be far off. That may be frightening and that may be quite assuring. Who is this God in our shoes? It is me and it is you. It is the day that will unfold before us. It is the ordinary things around us with which we have interactions. Therefore, it is our companion or a fellow employee or a visitor or an enemy. God as in our shoes acts as God tied up in, with, and under our flesh and blood. All of the sudden, we are not merely a person how is out for ourselves and our own. Now we are the same person who views the world through another lens. Go as in our shoes takes all of the biblical stories that we may know so well and puts them into our shoes. That right. Now - today - in the coming moments, God as in our shoes will be present to the world around us. My, my, my - how will that go over? I know it sounds odd and strange - but is it? When we say we are made in the image of God it also means that God is revealed in our image(s). So it does make sense that God will have to find a way to fit into our shoes and make God's image come alive as me and as you. I find that an interesting image. Some of the interest is that as I carry that thought around with me, God is right there in the shoes of all the people I cannot image being the image of God. Maybe that imaging - that imagination - is where we become something new today.
O God of love and new life, step right into our shoes and show us how we are able to stride right into the unfolding of your Reign. Amen.
God as infant is never involved in self-defense. God as infant is always giving its self away. Therefore, any form of conflict must deal with the fact that this infant Other - this God - will not be out to get us or destroy us or defeat us or punish us for what we have done or left undone. God as infant will be present for the taking. That is a presence that challenges us to give up our warring madness - our defensiveness - our self-centered ways - our self-consuming ways and embrace the simple presence of God's self-giving. God as infant will let us go and run life as we want it - spend our money as we desire to spend it - jump into issues that are all about us - make our wishes our want and then demands. And yet, through all of that, God as infant remains as the one always available to be hugged and kissed and appreciated so much that we forget about all the stuff that has been taking our lives from us - all of our everyday modern idols. God as infant waits for us to return home and rest in God alone. There will be our peace and our hope and our life.
O God of love and new life, bring us home to you. Amen.
God as infant draws us in. We are handed the future as it always is - vulnerable and in need of an open hand - available and in need of community. God as infant is always calling for more people to be at hand attending to the possibility of life that among us. God as infant longs to give life and to receive life. There is no one way exchange. As we take into our hands this power of God that is as an infant, it is up to us to see to its well-being. At the same time, in taking up the well-being of the other, we are grasped by the tenderness of our God who shows us the wonder and the unexpected joy that comes as we are drawn toward one another. God as infant puts us at the edge of what it is to be human - the need for gentleness, kindness in touch, responsible care, and utter devotion to the safety of the other.
O God of love and new life, call us into relationships of joy that come as we entertain your presence among us. Amen.
God as infant is full of surprise and cannot be controlled by any of the powers of the world that attempt to bring God into a set pattern. Rather, God as infant takes the day as we try to anticipate it and then the day or the moment moves in a different direction. This is the God who cannot be put onto our calendar - like a date we intend to make - as though we have the say when we want to be in God's presence. This is the God who is like Emmylou, my new granddaughter, she will cry when she cries - she will pass gas without getting permission or saying excuse me - she will demand food without delay - she will spit up on the perfect outfit that was picked out for a specific event. God as infant will be present as this God wants to be present and we have to deal with it all. New life blossoms when we deal with it all as it comes - that which we are expecting and that which takes us by surprise. God as infant makes us laugh at our own humanity when we begin to have grand notions of who we are and other kinds of notions of who other are. God as infant cracks a smile and we are not quite sure if it is a smile or gas - either way, God is present and grabs our attention and will change our lives.
O God of love and new life, wrap us up in your holy presence - a simplicity of utter joy. Amen.
God as infant weeps as we weep and will be as helpless as we are helpless. This God does not take a way out or try to be distant from us. Rather, God as infant will be the embodiment of life that is waiting to unfold but not waiting to take hold of the world. For in one, this God considers humanity as a treasured gift of life that is able to imagine life as God created it - fully peaceable - fully forgiving - fully able to love without limit. For the other, that god longs to rule over others and those who follow that god will be out to win and defeat the other rather than enter into a relationship of peace, justice, forgiveness, and love - because life is seen as something that has to be conquered and won. God as infant reaches out with open arms - not knowing how open arms will be greeted. And yet, God as infant keeps those arms open and waiting for humanity to be transformed into the love, mercy, caring, and justice that marks us as truly human - in God's image. The open arms of our God as infant will not take from us. Rather, we will be offered the opportunity to give - graciously give - patiently give - lovingly give - peaceably give ourselves to the one who is as vulnerable as humanity can be. God as infant awaits our care.
O God of love and new life, nurture our care for others and the image of your character among us. Amen.
God as infant seems like more of a Christmas season devotion than one for the beginning of a week half way through January. And yet, when we are not willing and able to see the power of God revealed in the utter vulnerability of an infant, we will never see the power of the God. In our culture, too often, God cannot be the vulnerable one - the one who, let's say, gets crucified. Rather, the god that our 'Christian' nation likes to own is the one who wins and backs a winner. This god is also the one who must have a growing number of people who will turn out to defend this god against all the evil powers of the world. That is a sure sign that the god of this culture is not the God who 'created heaven and earth.' For God does not need our protection. God as infant reminds us that God will claim no advantage and take no special treatment. God as infant is the God who wants to change the way of life for all people who have been trying 'forever' to turn God into a more suitable and more desirable god who will win the day for us. God as infant draws out of us not the vision of victor - but that of self-giving love that knows the need for humanity to nurture and uphold the other so that all life - the winners - the losers - the greatest - the least - will be a precious to us as a babe.
O God of love and new life, help us release all that we want to grasp so that we will have the opportunity to witness the beauty of your humble nature. Amen.
God as moving on - just has. Whatever we thought was to be the God we wanted - becomes more than our imagination will allow. God as moving on calls forth love and justice and peace. Then, when we are sure we are being loving, bringing forth justice and creating peace, God as moving unveils the many other ways we can walk within the ways of God's expanding love, justice and peace. Unfortunately, we often expect that our vision of love, peace, and justice is the end. When we are able to get 'there,' we will have done our part. And yet, God as moving on shows us that we have been invited on a journey that will keep us moving into new experiences that call for love, peace, justice, and so much more - all of which expands our life so that we are created anew each day.
O God of love and new life, are you moving us again today? Please continue and then move us again. Amen.
God as moving on continues to come to us from a direction we have not yet anticipate. This God will not be put into a mold and cast into something we can keep for ourselves - like jewelry. God as moving on may also be the God who takes us back over old ground so that we see it with new eyes and come to see how God is able to transform us and yet keep us in touch with all that we have been. God as moving on understands that we have been brutalized or traumatize or misunderstood or been foolish. And yet, all of that is a part of us and all of that must be seen within the grasp of this God who is able to help us move on into new life. To move on, we cannot dismiss what was - but we can remember the presence of this God as moving on who will never let those days of pain overwhelm us. God as moving on is seeking to move us on into days of healing and wholeness and joy even when we still seem to linger deep within the pains of or lives.
O God of love and new life, move us on through our pain and empower us to be creative in the midst of all that has tried to dismantle and harm us. Move us on into the knowledge of your presence - eternally. Amen.
God as moving on was just here with us but is now moving on to a new place and bidding us to follow. We usually want God to come to be with us - but we want God to stay with us as we would have life be. God as moving on comes into any and every space or life without hesitation or partiality - and then, God moves us on to a new place that will reflect more than whatever we have tried to make of ourselves. God as moving on is full of invitation. Come and see - Come and hear this - Come and live anew, in order that we may never try to keep God stuck in one place with one people or in one time. God as moving on reminds us of that which is beyond us and yet is as much of God's Reign as all the stuff we considered to be all that there could be. Just beyond here is the there that helps us see more and more of the glory of God as God keeps moving on and creating all things anew.
O God of love and new life, when you invite us to come and follow you we are not quite sure what that will mean for us. Therefore, we hesitate or stumble or turn and go the other direction. Within your invitation, take hold of our hearts and help us to not fear what is not yet visible to us and then nudge us to move on with you. Amen.