Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. (CEB)
Dusty boots walking the road
Aching feet, oozing blisters, holes in soles
Dusty boots have stories to tell
Stories that heal
Dusty hands moulding the chalice
Stiff fingers, cakey palms, covered in clay
Dusty hands have stories to tell.
Stories that heal
Dusty words proclaiming new life
Death threats, broken body, holes in hands
Dusty words have a stories to tell
Stories that heal
May Ash Wednesday love stir your soul, awaken you, and send you into a wilderness searching for the truth so that you may turn to the One who gives you strength, love and forgiveness. Enter into the Truth, and see the journey with fresh eyes, real words, and new ears. Hear the stories that heal.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NRSV)
I remember the first time I felt called by God. It wasn’t the Apostle Paul’s lightning bolt experience. It was, however, a lightning bolt to my heart that shattered the wall the world and I had built up around it. My heart was so full, I thought it would burst.
While attending a Pilgrimage (Cursillo) 3-day weekend in 2003, I heard God’s call to me, “You are my beloved.” I heard it through the voices of those who invited me, those who loved me (and still do) unconditionally, those who take time to listen to me and truly care about my journey. I heard for the first time how God wants a relationship with me. All God asks of me is to glorify God in all that I do.
After this experience of love, I really understand how all are called to be God’s people. All are called to glorify God in all things. If we think glorifying God leads to violence or tearing someone down, this is false and not a correct interpretation of scripture. Paul tells us in Romans all who love God are called according to his purpose.
All have the invitation to love God.
To know God is to love God and all of God’s beloved.
1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath.
What word or phrase captures you?
Savor this word or phrase. Stay with it. Allow it to penetrate you with gentleness.
What peace do you notice?
Read the text a second time.
What message does God have for you in this text?
Where do you notice the message?
What peace and/or tension do you notice in the message?
Read the text a third time and listen for a call to action from God.
Give thanks to God for this time to rejoice in God’s gentleness and peace and for any new insights you have received.
Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 9, 2011, the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD