Thursday, October 20, 2016

Continue in the Word

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand. - Zephaniah 1:7

Be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another. - 1 Peter 4:7-8

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 119:49-56; 2 Samuel 13:1-33; John 8:31-41

The psalmist writes to God about remembering "your word to your servant," which becomes the basis for life from then on. Jesus says, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Zephaniah calls us to "be silent" before God in expectation of what God is about to do.

There's a direct connection between the word of God and the next step we take each day. The word is spoken, received, and heard. It goes out with a message of life and holiness, reaches our ordinary human lives, and calls us to a new path of faith. The path is new each day, a section we have never traveled on before. But having learned that God's word leads to better places than we would find on our own, we remember, we listen, we continue. We trust that in God's direction we will find truth and freedom and life and love.

In the work that I do as a pastor, in my daily personal life, as a husband, father, son, neighbor, and friend, I'm often aware that I'm on a journey. I know where I began and where I've been. I know I've been faithfully and abundantly guided by God up to this point. I have some ideas about what the future looks like - but I don't know the way. I make some guesses about the ultimate destination, but it's clear that I don't know exactly where that will be, and definitely not how to get there. So I appreciate today's message of remembering what God has spoken in the past, being silent to listen well to God's word today, and resolving to continue, to abide in the word of God whenever and wherever I receive it, taking step by step ahead as God leads. Thank you, God, for your faithful love and guidance. Thank you for continuing to speak the word and direct my path, even when I'm not so good at listening and following. Thank you for your promise of truth and freedom and life, for all who will follow.

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