Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Given to the World

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. Psalm 119:6

The disciples were urging Jesus, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work." - John 4:31-34

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 126; 1 Kings 8:54-9:19; John 14:25-15:8

The theme that stood out for me yesterday was the dimension of communication that flows from us to God. Today, it's the opposite, as a number of the texts refer to ways that God communicates with the world.

I made a partial list: God's commandments, the "food" of doing God's will, God's actions like watercourses or like growth and harvest, rest, goodness, the "Advocate" or Holy Spirit, peace, pruning, growth, abiding, fruit, an open pathway for prayer requests.

In just a handful of scriptures, there's an incredible variety of the gifts God gives to the world. And these really are forms of communication; each of these gifts has a point and a purpose, an effect on human life and our connection with God and with each other.

If I were to pick out one gift that resonates most with me today, it would be the gift of PEACE. I was at a retreat at Camp Mowana in northern Ohio, and even though I had to leave the retreat early, it was a time of relaxation and renewal. Walking the prayer labyrinth pictured here, I had a sense of God's presence in a quiet way, putting some of my worries and stresses in perspective. "Don't give this so much attention," I heard. Instead: peace, trust, abiding. Today's scriptures have helped me frame this message in the context of so many good gifts given by God to the world.

Thank you, God, for being a God who gives richly. We have plenty of ways of bringing concerns and requests to you, but your ways of giving vastly outnumber those. Thank you for the gift of peace, and for the perspective that helps me put all trust in you.

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