Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 Shout praises to the LORD! Praise God in his temple. Praise him in heaven, his mighty fortress. 2 Praise our God! His deeds are wonderful, too marvelous to describe. 3 Praise God with trumpets and all kinds of harps. 4 Praise him with tambourines and dancing, with stringed instruments and woodwinds. 5 Praise God with cymbals, with clashing cymbals. 6 Let every living creature praise the LORD. Shout praises to the LORD! Psalm 150:1-6 (CEV)
5 Your anger lasts a little while, but your kindness lasts for a lifetime. At night we may cry, but when morning comes we will celebrate. Psalm 30:5 (CEV)
965 I have been thinking of all the priests throughout the world. Help me to pray for the fruitfulness of their apostolates. ”My brother in the priesthood, please speak always about God and, when you really do belong to him, your conversations will never be monotonous.”
The individual’s interaction with God is never dull or routine. At least, it should not be.
There are going to be times of great joy, and times of sorrow and grief. There will be times were we lash out in pain and anger, and times were His comfort will be all we have, for we are crushed by despair. Every emotion that we feel can and should be revealed by us to God, for He knows how we feel.
He even knows how we feel when it becomes necessary for Him to correct us. The hurt and pain we feel, when we admit we have sinned, the grief and shame that comes with the guilt.
If this is true for the individual, it should be true for the church as well.. We are to laugh and cry together (see Romans 12:15), therefore our worship services should have true emotions in them.
That is why we should be emotional as we speak about God, the God we know, the God in whom we are not afraid to cry or laugh, for we know His love. That is why we plead with be to let Him reconcile them to Himself. Growing comfortable in His presence is not about taking God for granted, but letting Him see us as we are….
And knowing He loves us.
Allowing our emotions to show doesn’t mean putting on false displays, or manipulating the congregation. It means simply living life, comfortable in the presence of God.
Let’s be real with Him, and in our communities… Amen!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Discussion/Devotional Thought of the Day
16 I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. 17 For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.” Romans 1:16-17 (TEV)
I have been thinking of all the priests throughout the world. Help me to pray for the fruitfulness of their apostolates. ”My brother in the priesthood, please speak always about God and, when you really do belong to him, your conversations will never be monotonous.” (1)
Fifteen years ago this summer, I went from being a vacancy pastor at a church – to being the pastor at my first church. (and five years since I’ve been here..wow)
Those people were quite patient with my preaching – for back in those days, I thought a bit differently about preaching – and about worship. I probably knew more back then, and was excited to transmit the knowledge, the theology, all the great ways we can…and do… serve God. We would talk about Heaven, and the Book of Romans and the Book of Revelation. And I probably bored them all to tears. And, looking back at a couple of the video tapes I have from the days… well – I spoke in a monnnnn oooooo tonnnne. Our “motto” back then was Christ Centered Preaching – and I have to admit – while He was at the center – we spent most of our time preaching around Him.
Basically, I lectured people for 30-45 minutes about our faith.
Over the years, (at least I hope!) my preaching has matured – and gotten simpler – and become conversations that focus on the gospel – this incredible power of the word that reveals Christ’s love – so demonstrated on the cross. So demonstrated as He claimed our lives as His – as He bought the rights to our lives, our souls, from whatever evil we had give ourselves over too. And as St. Josemaria says – when you realize that you belong to Christ – no more does Satan, or sin or anxiety of death own and control you – you cannot be flat affect and monotone. We are right with God! We have been made right – God has put us to right. He has rescued us from drowning, He has given us…life – life lived with Him, in His glory, in His presence, purified, cleansed, His.
May we never, whether pastor/priest in front of the congregation, fathers teaching our children in our homes, or with friends over a meal together, not talk about our Lord’s love for us, and why we trust in Him, and the hope, the expectation we have… because we know His love.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3402-3405). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.