One of last week’s lectionary texts was Romans 14:1-12.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Rom. 14:10, NRSV)
God of Grace,
In belittling others,
I am made small.
By doubting their faith,
I cheapen my own.
In my haste to judge,
I am the one condemned.
God of Hope,
I claim to be person of faith,
yet live as a person of fear.
I build walls,
because I fear the stranger;
Hold on to the present,
because I fear the future.
And make my own plans,
because I do not trust yours.
What a fool to think
that what I do out of fear
could ever be better than
what you do out of love.
Thanks be to God,
As this year’s chairperson of the Faculty Council, I am privileged to open our first employee meeting with a reading from Scripture and a prayer. This year, our academic year begins one week after the horrific display of racism and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. That event prompted my reflection on the following text.
Colossians 3:1-15 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
A prayer for tomorrow’s sermon at Spring Creek Baptist Church:
God of life,
Sometimes our prayers are as parched as the desert
and our hearts as dry as the dunes of sand.
We take offense at things that don’t matter,
but ignore the ones that do.
When others are hungry,
we are full.
When others are hurting,
we are numb.
When others are cold,
we rest comfortably
beneath warm blankets of apathy.
It is finals week here at Oklahoma Baptist University. Here is a prayer for students:
May God calm your anxieties,
refresh your minds,
and honor the faithfulness
you have shown this semester.
Remember that God has gifted you
more than you can imagine,
and you are capable of more
than you’ve ever dreamed.
May the great wisdom of the Father,
the incomparable love of the Son,
and the mighty power of the Spirit
(Photograph: Weeping Mary by Martin Gommel)1
“Who is it you are looking for?”
is a question for me,
not just for Mary.
Mary looked at Jesus, and saw the gardener.
I look at my
neighbor, and see a stranger;
a stranger, an see an antagonist;
an antagonist, and see an enemy.
Help me, Lord, to see you,
wherever, and whoever, you are.
Weeping Mary, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.