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Pray for Guidance in All Things
Preparing for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost: One Day before Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21
Old Testament: Haggai 1:1-15a
Gospel: Luke 20:1-8
Psalter: Psalm 17:1-9
Old Testament: Exodus 3:13-20
Gospel: Luke 20:1-8
God of faithful surprises, throughout the ages you have made known your love and power in unexpected ways and places. May we daily perceive the joy and wonder of your abiding presence and offer our lives in gratitude for our redemption. Amen.
Guard me as the apple of the eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who despoil me,
my deadly enemies who surround me Psalm 17:8-9).
by Joan Stott
Throughout my life I have been involved in a number of different organisations— some religion-based and others secular; some concerned with local issues, and others that supported international and ecumenical concerns. I discovered that in each of these varying organisations there were different sets of values, their own styles and societal cultures and even sub-cultures; their own goals, aims and objectives, some of which were contradictory; and applied within their own language. Some organisations welcomed new ideas and new ways of doing things, whilst for others, there was only one way of operating with one style of leadership. After conscientiously attempting to learn “their language” and failing miserably, I left those organisations feeling unsatisfied, unwanted and socially very unacceptable.
Creative pause: Have you ever felt that you do not “fit in” within a group?
When one finds a “home” within an organisation and understands their “language”, one can even develop a “right relationship” between one’s peers, and so contribute more appropriately and effectively; and many special outcomes can be achieved to the benefit of all concerned. When anyone finds a “spiritual home” within a group or congregation where the same “language” is spoken , what a blessing that is! That is where the blessings of God have an added essence or influence on that community.
Creative pause: A “spiritual home” with a “right relationship” is indeed a blessing!
The author of Psalm 17 apparently had been in a “right relationship” with his peers, but something went wrong, and he called on God’s help to judge his situation and to lead him through that disaster! He listed his own virtues in a non-congratulatory, humble way; he was aware of God’s testing of his life and motives; and he prayed for guidance and blessing. He was fully conscious of God’s unfailing love for him, and asked to experience that love again in the usual wonderful way! This man was able to share all this with God, because he was in a “right relationship” with his God, and he also knew the “language” with which to come to God asking for a blessing! He said: “…I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray… You save with your strength those who seek refuge from their enemies. But because I have done what is right, I will see you. When I awake, I will be fully satisfied..”
Creative pause: Do you invite God to “test” you?
PRAYER: Lord God, grant that as we serve you now on earth, so we may one day rejoice with all the saints in your kingdom of light and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
More of Joan Stott’s meditations can be found here.